Alfred Uihlein House, Milwaukee Wisconsin

Date added: November 29, 2009 Categories: Wisconsin House

This excellent, late nineteenth-century mansion was built for an executive of the nearby Schlitz Brewing Co. and was at the time it was demolished one of the last surviving homes in the once affluent German residential area popularly known as Uihlein Hill. Alfred Eugene Uihlein, the mansion's first owner, left the house to his three surviving children, who donated it to the Archdiocese of Milwaukee in December, 1935. It became the property of the City of Milwaukee in 1970.

The original owner of this house was a prominent member of an illustrious Milwaukee family. Alfred E. Uihlein (1852-1935) came to the United States from Germany in 1867; and after working for a few years in breweries at St. Louis, Missouri, and Leavenworth, Kansas, he settled in Milwaukee, where he joined the Joseph Schlitz Brewing Co. One of Milwaukee's early breweries, this company was founded in the late 1840s by August Krug, Uihlein's uncle. On Krug's death in 1856 his business manager, Joseph Schlitz, took charge of the firm; and after Schlitz died nineteen years later, Alfred Uihlein and his brothers operated the brewery. Alfred served as superintendent until 1917, when he succeeded Henry Uihlein as president. Under the Uihleins' leadership Schlitz became one of the nation's leading breweries. (in 1969 it was the second largest brewer in the country.)

During the late nineteenth century the area just north and west of the Schlitz Brewing Co. was one of Milwaukee's finest residential areas. The Uihlein brothers had begun building houses there in the early 1870s, and the neighborhood soon came to be known as Uihlein Hill. As time went by, second generation members of the family elected to live elsewhere, but the first generation stayed on, even after the neighborhood had changed radically. The last of them, Charles Uihlein's widow Emma, died in 1946. Of the many splendid homes that once lined North Fourth to Seventh streets. West Walnut, West Galena, and West Cherry streets, only two remained in 1969 -- this building and the former Henry Uihlein house, 437 West Galena Street, similar in style, dating from the same period, and also the property of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee. The area was rezoned for light industry, and the two mansions were acquired by the city and razed in 1970.