Wisconsin History Day By Day

Related Web Sites:
The Antiquities of Wisconsin

Who is Increase Lapham?

Increase A. Lapham Papers, 1825-1930

Increase Allen Lapham, First Scholar of Wisconsin

Read More About It

"Wisconsin's Weather and Climate" by Joseph Moran and Edward Hopkins

"Wisconsin: Its Geography and Topography, History, Geology and Mineralogy" by Increase Lapham

"Studying Wisconsin: The Life of Increase Lapham" by Martha Bergland and Paul G. Hayes

Interesting Fact:

Lapham served an important role in the establishing of the Milwaukee public high school program.

Study Questions:

  • What was Lapham's educational background?
  • What was the significance of his book, "Antiquities of Wisconsin?"
  • Why was the science of observation so important to Lapham?

    U.S. historical events that occurred on September 15:

    1776: British troops occupy New York City.
    1963: Four black girls are killed when a church is bombed in Birmingham, Alambama.

  • September 15

    September 15, 1875: Increase Lapham, Wisconsin's first scientist and scholar, died from a heart attack while fishing on a lake near his home. Lapham, who moved to Milwaukee in 1836 to work for the Rock River Canal Company, had a wide range of interests in such fields as botany, geology, cartography, horticulture and history. He was the author of the first book published in Wisconsin, "Geographical and Topographical Description of Wisconsin" in 1844. He was a leader in the development of the National Weather Service. Lapham served as the president of the Wisconsin Historical Society and chief geologist of Wisconsin.

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