Brothers in Milwaukee

Arriving first in Milwaukee were Jeremiah Zander (1804-1863) and Lucian Zander (1812-1897). According to the “History of Milwaukee, Wisconsin,” by the Western Historical Company, 1881, they arrived in 1836. Also listed as one of the women to arrive in pioneer Milwaukee in 1836 was Jeremiah’s wife, Ellen. According to the book, the first white woman to make her home in Milwaukee had arrived just two years before. Ellen Brown (1811-1880) and Jeremiah were married in Troy, NY, in 1835, just prior to their arrival in Milwaukee.

According to the “Pioneer History of Milwaukee,” by James S. Buck, 1881, Jeremiah, along with a John Corbin, established one of the first stores in the city that same May, under the name of Zander & Corbin, with a stock of general merchandise. Although that partnership dissolved soon afterward, Jeremiah later operated at least one other grocery store.

Jeremiah was almost immediately listed in the 1838 newspapers as running for public office, and his name cropped up repeatedly as a candidate for office or on political committees through the remainder of his life, including Wisconsin’s campaign for statehood. Wisconsin became a state in 1848.

In the “Pioneer History of Milwaukee,” Buck named Lucian V. Zander as one of two carpenters to build the first brewery in the city in 1841.

After that, it appears that the rest of the brothers started arriving one after the other.

Published in the Milwaukie (cq) Sentinel of Nov 30, 1842, was a notice, by the cabin passengers, endorsing the steamer Illinois and its captain, Capt. Allen, for the voyage made from Buffalo, NY, so late in the year. The first name listed was L.T. Zander.

And Lycurgus Zander (1816-1882), the musician, didn’t waste any time, as according to Buck, the city’s first musical society was formed in January 1843 with J. B. Zander as secretary and L. T. Zander as leader.

Then Leonidas M. Zander (1812-1862) was listed as departing in 1843 for Milwaukee in a church record from Troy, NY, in "Early Settlers of New York State: Their Ancestors and Descendants," by Janet Wethy Foley.

It was possible that the two youngest brothers, Aurelius Zander (1822-1891) and Tacitus Zander (1822-1861), came at the same time. Among the long list of names in the Milwaukie Sentinel of March 23, 1844, in favor of forming a Clay Club to support the election of Henry Clay as president of the U.S., were:

L M Zander (Leonidas)
J B Zander (Jeremiah)
L V Zander (Lucian)
A P Zander (Aurelius)
T P Zander (Tacitus)

Lycurgus either had already left Milwaukee — or he declined to support Henry Clay for president! He returned to the East Coast and married Sarah Griswold (1831-1901) in Hartford, CT, in 1848. They lived in New York City for a while and then went by ship to San Francisco.

Leonidas did not stay for long either as he was back in Troy, NY, in time to be included in the 1846-7 Troy city directory. He remained in Troy until his death in 1862.

Lucian also returned to Troy and was married in 1846 to the widow Rebecca (Whitney) Northrup (1816-1899). Her obituary states that the couple arrived in Milwaukee in 1848, and they are listed as living in Milwaukee's 5th Ward in the 1850 census. Their oldest son Lucian Jr. was born in New York in 1847, while their second son James was born in Milwaukee in 1849. Their third son Lycurgus was born in Jefferson County, WI, in 1851. The family later relocated to Elgin, IL.

Aurelius stayed in Milwaukee for a number of years. He married Lucinda Hutchinson (1827-1882) Feb. 14, 1946, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin Territory, and was living next door to his in-laws in Milwaukee’s 1846 census. His son Ozias was born in Milwaukee in 1848, and the family of Aurelius, Lucinda and son Ozias was listed in the 1850 census in Milwaukee. Son Tacitus was born in Illinois in 1853. The family homesteaded in Crawford Co., WI, before moving to Tuscola Co., MI.

How much time Tacitus spent in Milwaukee is unknown, but the Wisconsin Tribune of Mineral Point reported in May 10, 1850, that:

Going on Foot.—The St. Joseph (MO) Gazette mentions the departure of about thirty California emigrants, who left that place about the middle of April, on foot for the gold region. They took with them forty days' provisions, and expect to reach California in sixty days. Among the list we notice the following persons from Wisconsin: T.P. Zander, of Milwaukee, Samuel Kelly and Joseph Alstad, of Waterford; John Buckingham, of Iowa Co. and George D. Hicks of Shullsburgh, LaFayett Co.

Tacitus did arrive in Sacramento, CA, (the center of the gold rush) and then died in 1861 in his brother’s home in San Francisco.

Jeremiah was the only brother who remained in Milwaukee. According to his obituary in the Daily Milwaukee News, Aug. 14, 1863, he had been deputy clerk of the Circuit Court for 15 years or more. He was lauded as a pioneer of the city and knowledgeable of the early history of the city and state.

Sadly, his son, Augustus, who enlisted as a private in the 1st Regiment Infantry, Co. C, Wisconsin Volunteers, died April 14, 1862, of disease in Bowling Green, KY. According to a display at the Wisconsin Veterans Museum, two soldiers died of disease to every one that died from battle during the Civil War.

A daughter, Frances, died in 1876, shortly after her marriage to Charles A. Brown, and Ellen, Jeremiah’s wife died in 1880. This brought to an end our Zander family Milwaukee connection.

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