Family tree of Byron KILBOURN

American politician

AmericanBorn Byron KILBOURN

American surveyor, railroad executive, and politician

Born on September 08, 1801 in Granby, Connecticut, USA , United States

Died on December 16, 1870 in Florida, USA

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Kilbourn was born in Granby, Connecticut, and moved with his family to Worthington, Ohio in 1803, which his father helped found that year. Kilbourn's father was James Kilbourne, a colonel during the War of 1812 and a U.S. Representative from Ohio from 1813 to 1817.

Byron Kilbourn worked in Ohio as a surveyor and as a state engineer. He first visited Wisconsin in 1834, landing at Green Bay, and worked as a government surveyor in the area. He later deemed the area near the Milwaukee River to be a promising location for commerce, and he purchased land there. In 1837 Byron Kilbourn founded Kilbourntown (present day Westown), which rivaled with Solomon Juneau's Juneautown (present day East Town) and George Walker's Walker's Point. In 1846, the three combined and formed the city of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He served in the Wisconsin Territorial House of Representatives in 1845 and was a member of the second Wisconsin Constitutional Convention of 1847. Kilbourn also served as a Milwaukee alderman and was elected to two non-consecutive terms as mayor in 1848 and 1854.


When working as a highway commissioner for the Wisconsin Territorial Legislature, he also founded what was to become the City of West Bend in 1845 and later Kilbourn City, now known as the city of Wisconsin Dells. Byron Kilbourn also became involved in the railroad industry, and served as president of the Milwaukee and Mississippi Railroad for about three years until 1852. He was fired by his directors. Then, he started a new railroad from Milwaukee to La Crosse, on the border of Minnesota and Wisconsin.

Near the end of his life, he moved to Florida, where he died in 1870, aged 69, and was buried in Jacksonville.

In 1998 his remains were transported back to Milwaukee for interment at Forest Home Cemetery.

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Geographical origins

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