Date in History: 1920’s

The Fort Atkinson Municipal Building, dedicated this week in 1929, was born in controversy. In the 1920s, Mayor William Weld, decided that it was about time that the city had a real city hall instead of renting rooms around town. He proposed selling the city-owned gas and electric utilities in order to finance a new municipal building. At that time the city-owned utilities charged low rates in addition to making a small profit. In 1926, after a bitter citywide debate, local electors voted to sell the utilities to Wisconsin Gas & Electric. The sale was made but not before opponents took the case all the way to the State Supreme Court arguing the sale was illegal. Wise or not, the result was s stately neoclassical building that still serves as our city hall.

This historic document aired on the radio as an Historic Minute on 02/24/2003.