Collie2.gif (1341 bytes)Sheepdog.gif (1260 bytes)Hound.gif (1134 bytes)
Go to
W
DW HOME

Benjamin Church, Pioneer
A Family Heritage
Resource


Read Milwaukee Book Review


Making-of-Milwaukee.jpg (9050 bytes)
ORDER
The Making of
Milwaukee
(Wisconsin)


ani-redstar.gif (899 bytes) READ ani-redstar.gif (899 bytes)
a review
of The Making
of Milwaukee


Americans-Parthenon.jpg (4775 bytes)
ORDER
Americans Interpret
the Parthenon: The
Progression of Greek
Revival Architecture
from the East Coast to Oregon, 1800-1860

 


Cream-City-Chronicles.jpg (6899 bytes)
ORDER
Cream City
Chronicles: Stories

of Milwaukee's Past




ani-redstar.gif (899 bytes) READ ani-redstar.gif (899 bytes)
a review
of Cream City
Chronicles

 


Built-in-Milwaukee.jpg (5240 bytes)
ORDER

Built in Milwaukee:
An Architectural
View of the City

 



National-Register-Historic.jpg (6466 bytes)
ORDER
National Register

of Historic Places
1966 to 1994

 



Wis-Artists-Architects.jpg (4945 bytes)
ORDER
Famous Wisconsin Artists and Architects (Famous Wisconsin)

 




History-Just-Ahead.jpg (4292 bytes)
ORDER
History Just Ahead: A Guide to Wisconsin's Historical Markers

 




Milwaukee.jpg (3713 bytes)
ORDER
Milwaukee

 



Milwaukee-Directory.jpg (2805 bytes)
ORDER
Erving, Burdick &
Co's Milwaukee city directory, for
1857 & 1858.

 



Unpuzzling-Past.jpg (7534 bytes)
ORDER
The Unpuzzling Your

Past Workbook:
Essential Forms and
Letters for All Genealogists

 



Land-Change-Wisconsin.jpg (3582 bytes)
ORDER
Wisconsin, Land
of Change: An
Illustrated History

 



New-Paltz.jpg (6374 bytes)
ORDER
New Paltz
(Images of America)

 



NE-Quaker-Meetinghouses.jpg (6086 bytes)
ORDER
New England Quaker Meetinghouses, Past and Present

 



Daughters-of-Light.jpg (4192 bytes)
ORDER

Daughters of Light:

Quaker Women
Preaching and
Prophesying

 


ORDER
MILWAUKEE
BOOKS

Solomon Juneau,
Voyageur

Juneautown
Walking Tour

Walker's Point
and South

 



Byron-Kilbourn.jpg (6208 bytes)
ORDER
Byron Kilbourn
and the Development
of Milwaukee

 



Wisconsin-Past-Present.jpg (5357 bytes)
ORDER
Wisconsin's Past
and Present: A
Historical Atlas

 


Benjamin Church, a young carpenter from New York, arrived in what would become Milwaukee on November 15, 1835, when Wisconsin was still a territory.  A pioneer carpenter and master builder, he helped build hotels, houses and more.  He was born in 1807 in or near New Paltz, Ulster County, New York, and came west via Chicago. He settled on the west side of the Milwaukee River in Kilbourntown, one of three towns that were merged to become Milwaukee in 1846.

He and his wife Permilia had six children including the eldest Ann Maria "Hannah" Church who married Sherman A. Bradley. A Greek Revival home that Benjamin  built for his family in 1843-44 was rescued and moved to Estabrook Park in Shorewood in 1938, and in 1972 was added to the National Register of Historic Places. He was a Mason and a member of Milwaukee's Old Settlers Club.

GO TO:  Church House | History | Church Family | Genealogy | Maps

Benjamin Church House   [ Top ]

Benjamin Church gained his place in history thanks to the distinctive Greek Revival home that he built on Fourth Street between Cherry and Galena Streets in Kilbourntown, part of early Milwaukee. Four columns graced the portico. He brought this new style with him from his native New York. See photos of the Benjamin Church House.

Greek Revival Style in architecture became so popular it was also known as national style. It connected the democracy of early Greece with the democracy of the new American nation. It spread west  through New York to Midwest America and beyond. Shown in 41 illustrations.

Church House in Historic American Building Survey: with four architectural drawings from 1933 survey-- including interior floor plan and exterior details -- plus one photo of its condition prior to rescue and two data pages that connect the house with the Binzel family.

As the second oldest structure still standing in Milwaukee in 1938, the Benjamin Church House drew the attention of the Milwaukee County Historical Society and the City Council for restoration as a landmark.

The eleventh-hour rescue of the Benjamin Church homestead, the role of the bricks stamped J.A.M. 1844 and the move to Estabrook Park are recounted in Frederic Heath's article, December 1947 issue, Wisconsin Magazine of History, pages 80-83. Photo shows its Greek temple style.

Remember When? Church House:  a large photograph from the Milwaukee Journal when the house was relocated in 1938, with brief details on the history of the house after it left Church family ownership

The restored house was dedicated September 14, 1939, with Frederic Heath as emcee. A fantasy pageant by Myrtyl Ross was performed.

Church or Kilbourntown House: due to its distinctive Greek Temple style and constuction materials including hand-hewn timbers and local bricks dated to 1844, the house was rescued in 1938. The Colonial Dames of America helped by furnishing the house with period pieces.

Benjamin Church Residence 1844: current photo of the house in Estabrook Park, with note on use of cream city bricks in its construction, plus a larger photo. The house is included on key lists of important structures in Milwaukee architecture and historic Milwaukee

Cream City Bricks were a famous Milwaukee product made from the red clay of western Lake Michigan and used for many city buildings, and more on the composition and color of Cream City brick.

The Benjamin Church House, once moved to Estabrook Park, was "the pride of the city" in Milwaukee.

Kilbourntown House saved by move northa 1995 Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel story gives the history of the house along with list of other pre-Civil War houses in Milwaukee.

Kilbourntown House: one of three pioneer houses operated today by the Milwaukee Historical Society, with details on visiting times. The alternative name for the house comes from the name of Byron Kilbourn's early town on the west side of the Milwaukee River.

On the National Register of Historic Places:   recognized for its Greek Revival architecture, the Church House of Milwaukee was added to the national register in 1972. See all Registered Historic Places in Milwaukee County. See a summer photo and more photos.

Church House on museumsusa.org: with notes about its quality 19th century furnishings, and a mention in the December 1940 issue of the Wisconsin Magazine of History [p. 243] that House and Garden magazine had an illustrated article by Walter J. Harris on the Benjamin Church House in its September 1940 issue.

Church House Wikipedia article with details on its owners, the Church and Binzel families. Article also at Answers.com with photo showing front and bedroom wing. Written by Barbara Bradley Petura.

Kilbourntown House in Winter: a 1953 photo of the Benjamin Church house in Estabrook Park with skiff of snow. More details.

Benjamin Church's Kilbourntown House: scroll down for two Fall 2006 photos of the house, one of a column, another of the portico

Benjamin Church House exterior and interior photographs, taken by Barbara Bradley Petura, July 2007, plus one of Benjamin Church himself, the pioneer who built the house.

Dining Room of Kilbourntown House:  inside the house Benjamin Church built, photo courtesy of  Ms. Crow, a former tour guide there

Being a Church House Docent:  Aaron Stockham, a history graduate students, describes leading summer tours at the Church House.

The Herb Society of America in 2000 created a "kitchen herb garden" for the little white house.

Fourth Street Neighborhood: photo looking north from Galena Street in 1895. The Benjamin Church House -- his family residence -- was originally located on Fourth just south of Galena, an address now 1533 Fourth Street across from Court Street, as shown on this  map

Milwaukee Streets: name changes vital to understanding old records in view of today's city

Maps-Milwaukee-Neighboods.jpg (7995 bytes)
ORDER
The Milwaukee

Neighborhood Map
(Maps & Atlases)

 

Milwaukee-Streets.jpg (4690 bytes)
ORDER
Milwaukee Streets:|
The Stories Behind
Their Names

Benjamin Church (1807-1887) in Documents   [ Top ]

Benjamin Church arrived in Milwaukee on November 15, 1835, his membership records in the city's Old Settlers Club state.

Benjamin Church lived in the West Ward or Second Ward on the west side of the Milwaukee River, 1840 Census and 1850 Census records show. See his family of five in 1850 on a transcribed 1850 Census page. The Robert Luscombe family was next door. Read on Wikipedia a biographical sketch about Benjamin F. Church written by the author of this webpage.

Benjamin & Family as seen in the 1850 and 1860 census records including his  wife Permilia and their children Ann Maria, later called Hannah, Mary or Maria; Ann Augusta, later called Anna, Annie and Nannie; Charles B.; John; and Susan. A sixth child, a son, died young. The family in 1860 and 1870 also included Hannah's husband Sherman A. Bradley, a carpenter from Connecticut.

Benjamin-Church-Portrait.jpg (4922 bytes)
Photo courtesy of the Milwaukee
County Historical Society.

Benjamin Church, builder, living on Fourth Street in Ward 2 as listed in the Milwaukee City Directory 1848-49

Benjamin Church, builder, on Fourth between Cherry and Galena, as listed in the 1858 Milwaukee Directory

Benjamin was a member of the Masons, Milwaukee Chapter 1, with Byron Kilbourn, founder of Kilbourntown on the west side of the Milwaukee River and eventually part of Milwaukee. Church was aligned politically with Kilbourn. 

In 1836, Church was boss carpenter for Kilbourn's Washington House, a hotel later the Republican House. In his Pioneer History of Milwaukee p. 104, James S. Buck says Church was contractor for the Washington House that opened in 1837, built by Archibald Clybourn. On p. 70, Buck lists Benjamin Church among those who arrived in Milwaukee in 1835. On p. 92, Buck lists Benjamin Church among the 20 men who were "boss carpenters" in charge of construction in early Milwaukee.

In February 1850 in Madison, Benjamin Church helped establish the Grand Chapter of Royal Arch Masons for Wisconsin, pp. 1288-1289.

On January 6, 1859, Hannah M. Church, the eldest daughter of Benjamin and Permilia C. Church, married Sherman A. Bradley, born in 1835 near New Haven, Connecticut, records show.

William De Loss Love, noted Congregational clergyman, author and abolitionist,   married Hannah and Sherman. He served Milwaukee's Spring Street Congregational Church from February 1858 through 1871.  Its new Church at 6th and Spring streets had first services in 1857. Confusion about its location occurs because Spring Street was later renamed Grand Avenue, then West Wisconsin Avenue.

Benjamin's second daughter, Anna Augusta Church, on April 14, 1875, married Henry Moore. She was called Anna, Annie or Nannie.

On September 10, 1879, Benjamin's youngest son John Church married Margaret Ledge Gunyon. Family sources say her middle name was Legarde and she was Robert Gunyon's adopted daughter.

By the 1880 US Census, Benjamin was retired and living with his son John Church and John's wife Maggie who was born in England

In an 1881 listing, Benjamin was an Old Settlers Club member, having arrived in Milwaukee before January 1, 1843. His dates: Born July 23, 1807, Ulster County. NY. Came to Milwaukee November 15, 1835.

Wisconsin Name Index: click to search the index for a listing of the biographical sketch of Benjamin Church prepared by the Federal Writers Project (Wis.) between 1935-1942.

Benjamin F. Church died November 29, 1887, and was interred on  December 1, 1887, in the family plot in Section 16 of Milwaukee's historic Forest Home Cemetery.

In his book Pioneer History of Milwaukee, p. 281, James Smith Buck  lists Benjamin Church among those members of the Pioneer and Old Settlers Clubs at whose funerals he officiated as marshall. Buck was a New Hampshire.native.

Benj. Church's Parents & Descendants   [ Top ]

Caleb and Hannah Baker Church were the parents of 10 children, including Samuel and Benjamin, born in 1807. Caleb was a farmer and cooper. Hannah was a Quaker minister and both were Orthodox Quakers in Ulster County, New York. They lived in or near New Paltz in Ulster County.

Hannah Baker Church -- Benjamin's mother -- was a highly respected Quaker preacher, connected to the Clintondale Friends Monthly Meeting in Ulster County, New York. She was the wife of Caleb Church and the mother of many children..

New-Paltz-Families.jpg (3464 bytes)
ORDER
History of New Paltz,
New York, and Its
Old Families from
1678 to 1820

Hannah Baker Church is mentioned as an early Friends minister in the book Quaker history and genealogy of the Marlborough Monthly Meeting, Ulster County, N.Y., 1804-1900, with an excerpt online.

Caleb Church's descent from Richard Church of Plymouth, Mass., has been suggested but lacks documentation. Caleb, Hannah and their children including Benjamin are in the Unplaced Members section of the book Descendants of Richard Church of Plymouth, Mass. This Richard Church arrived at the Massachusetts Bay Colony from England in 1630 and moved to Plymouth in 1632.

Jesse Charles Bradley:  grandson of Benjamin Church through his daughter Hannah M. Church who married Sherman A. Bradley.  Active in Masonic groups, Jesse here is Worthy Grand Patron of the Order of Eastern Star, Wisconsin Grand Chapter. In 1905 he was elected Grand Master of the Free and Accepted Masons of Wisconsin. He married Caroline Belle Speich. Her father Joachim came from the Glarus Valley in northeast Switzerland; her mother Marianna Stocker came from that country's Simme River Valley in Canton Bern.

John Church, youngest son of Benjamin and Permilia Church, married Margaret or Maggie Legard, a relative of William Legard of Yorkshire, England. John was a tax assessor for Milwaukee. Descendents note that Maggie was adopted by Robert Gunyon whose will is mentioned here. The Edgar B. Church mentioned is John and Maggie's youngest son.

Robert Gunyon Church (1882 - 1944?):  grandson of Benjamin Church through his youngest son John. Robert G. Church was the father of Robert Smith Church and several other children.

Robert Smith Church (1921-2000):  a great-grandson of Benjamin Church, his obituary mentions his wife Helen; sons William, John and Paul; and daughter Anne.

Milwaukee History   [ Top ]

Timeline of Milwaukee History: from its founding to today -- follow links to the "bridge war," Socialist era, more

Beginnings, Dates and Events:  Chapter 16 of The History of Milwaukee, City and County, Volume I, [pdf format] edited by popular historian William George Bruce.

Letters from Early Milwaukee: Increase A. Lapham's 1836-1846 letters portray rapid growth of the young city, much more

Milwaukee 1835-1851: part of an emigrant's handbook from this period, showing the city's economy, imports and exports, ship building, the 50,000 people arriving by ship in 1850, and more. The ad section at the end shows the city's goods and services in 1851.

Solomon Juneau: French-Canadian fur trader who founded Juneautown on the east side of the Milwaukee River, an area merged into Milwaukee in 1846

Byron Kilbourn: Connecticut native and developer who founded Kilbourntown on the west side of the Milwaukee River, merged into Milwaukee in 1846

George H. Walker:  In 1835 founded Walker's Point on the south side of town, merged into Milwaukee in 1846

Milwaukee's Competing Founders: a brief look at the early days of the city plus the return Byron Kilbourn's remains to Milwaukee

Links to the Past for Milwaukee:  source for genealogy and history with early census records, biography indexes, directories, maps, more

Milwaukee-Then-Now.jpg (9204 bytes)
ORDER
Milwaukee
Then and Now

ani-redstar.gif (899 bytes)READ reviewani-redstar.gif (899 bytes)
of
Milwaukee
Then and Now

Historic-Towns-Wisconsin.jpg (7647 bytes)
ORDER
Walking Tours of
Wisconsin's
Historic Towns

 

Milwaukee-Wisconsin.jpg (6949 bytes)
ORDER
Milwaukee Wisconsin

(Images of America)

 

History-Highlights-Wisconsin.jpg (8315 bytes)
ORDER
Wisconsin History
Highlights: Delving
into the Past

 


German-American-Urban.jpg (4863 bytes)
ORDER
German-American Urban Culture: Writers & Theaters in Early Milwaukee

 


Milwaukee-Journal-Sentinel.jpg (7823 bytes)
ORDER
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

 


Women-Wisconsin.jpg (9373 bytes)
ORDER
Women's Wisconsin:

From Native
Matriarchies to the
New Millennium

 


Federal-Census.jpg (6992 bytes)
ORDER
Your Guide to the Federal Census: For Genealogists, Researchers, and Family Historians

 



500-Brickwall-Solutions.jpg (6428 bytes)
ORDER
500 Brickwall
Solutions to
Genealogy Problems

 

Milwaukee Architecture 1837 to Today: a wealth of photographs from early residences and churches to the world-famous Calatrava addition to the Milwaukee Art Museum

History of the Milwaukee River Basin: view history of the Milwaukee area during periods of the Native Americans, the European explorers, early development, more

Arrival of German Immigrants - 1840s: Milwaukee became known as the German Athens due to its rich German culture

Milwaukee Neighborhoods   [ Top ]

Picturing Milwaukee Neighborhoods: illustrated essay on the city's historic roots

Map of Milwaukee Neighborhoods with links to photos

Milwaukee Genealogy   [ Top ]

Links to the Past for Milwaukee:  major source for genealogy and history including early census records and city directories

Milwaukee County GenWeb with surname lists, look ups, links, more

Wisconsin GenWeb - Milwaukee County has history indexes, census records, obits

GenForum for Milwaukee County

Milwaukee Genealogical Society

Milwaukee County Historical Society and the county's area historical societies

WCHS Research Library

Census Online: Milwaukee:  sampling

Milwaukee County Cemeteries

Milwaukee Library Photos: search database of images

Wisconsin Historical Society:  Genealogy resources including Vital Records database

More resources for Wisconsin, Milwaukee, New Holstein and Sheboygan as well as German-speaking Swiss in Wisconsin.

Other Genealogy Resources   [ Top ]

Brick Wall Genealogy Solutions: a guide to many helpful articles and tips on getting past brick walls and dead ends in family research

Family Research Tips & Tools with an index to our growing series of Finding Family for Free segments, reviewing resources that help you discover your ancestors

Genealogy Resources: links to many of the most helpful online resources for family history research, many available free, and including a section on getting started in genealogy

Relative Musings:  our blog on genealogy and family history research, including our Finding Family for Free entries -- with many specific resources and examples -- as well as musings on familty history research
.


Calatrava.jpg (6432 bytes)
ORDER
Santiago Calatrava:
Milwaukee Art Museum,
Quadracci Pavilion

 

ORDER
Germans in
Wisconsin

(Ethnic Series)

 


Genealogy-101.jpg (7160 bytes)
ORDER
Genealogy 101: How to Trace Your Family's History and Heritage

 


American-Genealogy.jpg (4729 bytes)
ORDER
The Researcher's
Guide to American
Genealogy 3rd Ed.

 

More-Brickwall-Solutions.jpg (7832 bytes)
ORDER
More Brickwall
Solutions to
Genealogy Problems

 

Roots-Magic.jpg (6594 bytes)
ORDER
RootsMagic Family
Tree Genealogy
Software

Irish-Milwaukee.jpg (5152 bytes)
ORDER
Irish Milwaukee
(Images of America)


Danes-Wisconsin.jpg (6838 bytes)
ORDER
Danes in Wisconsin:
(Expanded Edition)

.


Jewish-Milwaukee.jpg (8046 bytes)
ORDER
Jewish Milwaukee
(Images of America)

.


Irish-in-Wisconsin.jpg (5394 bytes)
ORDER
Irish in Wisconsin
(People of Wisconsin)

.



Easyfinder-Milwaukee.jpg (2671 bytes)
ORDER
Easyfinder:
Milwaukee

 




CitySmart-Milwaukee.jpg (6634 bytes)
ORDER
City Smart:
Milwaukee

 

Maps of Milwaukee, Wisconsin  [ Top ]

Territorial Milwaukee Map: showing original Juneautown, Kilbourntown, Walker's Point

Milwaukee 1904 Map: with many old street names

Collection of Milwaukee Maps: 12 maps from 1883 to 2000. Choose "view descriptive record" for medium-sized version and text

Milwaukee River Basin Map: showing the Milwaukee, Menominee and Kinnikinnic Rivers that come together at Milwaukee as well as the neighboring counties

Milwaukee Map - Downtown: detailed road map and major public buildings, rivers

Map of Milwaukee Neighborhoods with links to photos

Milwaukee County Map: map puts city in context of the county, and Lake Michigan to the east and neighboring counties Racine [south], Waukesha [west] and Ozaukee [north]

1895 Wisconsin Atlas: state and county maps plus index to towns, cities



Maps-Milwaukee-Neighboods.jpg (7995 bytes)
ORDER
The Milwaukee

Neighborhood Map
(Maps & Atlases)

 



Milwaukee-Bike-Map.jpg (6152 bytes)
ORDER
Milwaukee Bike
Map and Southeast
Wisconsin

 


Wisconsin-A-History.jpg (5525 bytes)
ORDER
Wisconsin:
A HISTORY


Indian-Nations-Wisconsin.jpg (8097 bytes)
ORDER
Indian Nations of Wisconsin: Histories of Endurance
and Renewal


Antiquities-Wisconsin.jpg (5564 bytes)
ORDER
The Antiquities

of Wisconsin


Famous-Artists-Architects-Wis.jpg (4945 bytes)
ORDER
Famous Wisconsin
Artists and Architects

 

VISIT
A Shop @
WorkingDogWeb

for everything dog
and more!

 


book-stack.gif (5069 bytes)
CLICK NOW
for books
on ANY topic

 



Thanks for visiting.
Please come
back soon!

 




star-red.gif (874 bytes)Click banner to find great products for 135 breeds from Affenpinscher to
Doberman, German Shepherd to Labrador, Rottweiller to Siberian Husky,
Weimaraner to Yorkshire Terrier, more! 
Thanks for your support.

When you click this banner & shop, you support Best Dog Free Stuff!


Click to browse for Top Dog Books!
CLICK ABOVE to browse our dog bookstore - thanks!

Explore WorkingDogWeb's 1,000+ links -- choose a category:

GUIDES: Activities & Sports | Breeds | Clubs | Dog Facts & Figures
Health & Nutrition | Kids & Dogs | News & Chat | Puppies | Training
BookSearch | Web Search | Meet the Editors 
Best Dog FREE STUFF!
ani-redstar.gif (899 bytes) Canine Link of the Week ani-redstar.gif (899 bytes) Cool Canine Sites
W
DW BookReviews | WDW HOME | WDW BookShelf
Racing Siberian Husky Online | Siberian Huskies | SledDogs
Shop online for CDs, Videos, Gifts & find Freebies: CLICK HERE

ani-redstar.gif (899 bytes) Follow us on Twitter for genealogy ideasani-redstar.gif (899 bytes)

Disclaimer: The editors are not responsible for the content
of pages outside the WorkingDogWeb site.
Meet the Editors 
 Copyright 1997 - 2013 by R&BP
Updated 2/12/2013
.

star-red.gif (881 bytes) [ Top ] star-red.gif (881 bytes)

A to Z Index  |    Bookstore     |  Contact Us    |   Search   |  Shops   |   WDW Home