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Milwaukee Sentinel – May 4, 1909


Charles Milwaukee Sivyer Will Bring Daniel Allender Here to Produce Proofs


Milwaukeean Who Has Seen Great City Grow About Him Is 73 Years Old Today

Charles Milwaukee Sivyer, whose proudest claim is that he was the first white boy born in Milwaukee, has been called on to defend his claim, as it were, against one Daniel Allender, Northport, who has written to the Milwaukee Old Settlers’ club that he was the first, having seen the light of day in Milwaukee in 1831. Mr. Sivyer’s birthyear was 1836.

Should Mr. Allender prove his claim it would mean that the plate that the Old Settlers’ club had inscribed for Mr. Sivyer must be altered. Mr. Sivyer is so anxious to see the new claimant and to have the question settled that he has offered to pay Mr. Allender’s expenses to the homecoming next August when Mr. Allender will be required to display his proofs.

Once Hamlet on River

Reminiscent over wonderful changes that have been his unusual lot to witness in their swift unfolding, Charles Milwaukee Sivyer, 445 Jackson street, said to be the first white boy born in Milwaukee, celebrates on Tuesday the seventy-third anniversary of his birth.

Still vigorous and able to appreciate to the fullest extent the Aladdin wonders transpiring since the city was a tiny hamlet, Mr. Sivyer recalls the Milwaukee that he knew as a boy – the village as it was when he first looked upon his life from a rude cabin on the banks of the Milwaukee river – a spot now noisy with traffic and burdened with skyscraping buildings.

Simply as it can be told, the changes that have taken place during Mr. Sivyer’s lifetime read like the strangest romance.

As he mingles with the hurrying throng of the streets, notes the extent and grandeur of the city’s architecture, what bewildering comparisons must be going on in the brain of this man who was its first white boy.

On May 4, 1836, Mr. Sivyer’s father was building a rail fence around the block south of what is now courthouse square when he was startled by three Indian messengers.

“Saganash!” they called, using the Indian word for Englishman, and then they told of the birth in his family of a paleface boy.

It was Mrs. Solomon Juneau and Mrs. Carley, the baker’s wife, who put swaddling clothes on the youngster, and all the village took great interest in the event.

Young Charles Sivyer, when he grew up, went to school in a building on courthouse square – the center of the town, and a piece of land donated by Solomon Juneau. Here, too, court was held, as were all village entertainments.

Birthplace Is Marked

Attending school at the same time was a Milwaukee Smith Hockelberg, a girl who beat Mr. Sivyer out of the honor of being the first white child born in Milwaukee by six months, and who died in September, 1908.

Mr. Sivyer’s family, the father of whom was William Sivyer, has a remarkable record. Still living are: George J., Denver, aged 75 years; Alfred L., Los Angeles, aged 71 years; Leonard D., Los Angeles, aged 55 years; a sister, Mrs. Ella Ruggles, Milwaukee, aged 65 years, and Charles M. aged 73 years.

The old Sivyer cabin where Charles was born stood on the banks of the Milwaukee river in the rear of where the Iverson art store is now situated, or about 425 East Water street. And there today the spot is marked by a bronze tablet in the wall of the store, placed there by the Old Settler’s club, of which C. M. Sivyer is a member, and this is the inscription it bears:

“On this site was born the first white boy in Milwaukee – Charles Milwaukee Sivyer.”

And the stories goes on.. First White boy claim is disputed

Owner/SourceTranscribed by June Ristow
Linked toDaniel L Allender

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