December 16, 1870: Byron Kilbourn, surveyor and land speculator, died on December 16. He was born on September 8, 1801 in Connecticut but spent most of his childhood in Ohio, where he became a surveyor. In 1834, he came to Wisconsin to survey parts of Sheboygan and Manitowoc counties. Kilbourn purchased land on the west bank of the Milwaukee River in 1835 and actively promoted the Milwaukee and Rock River Canal Co. in hopes it would promote his town site. His competitor in Milwaukee was Solomon Juneau. Kilbourn was a member of the second constitutional convention and twice elected as mayor of Milwaukee. He was a pioneer in promoting railroads in Wisconsin but was involved in a railroad bond scandal which ruined his public career. Wisconsin Dells was first named after Kilbourn but changed the name in 1931.