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Downtown 1958

Downtown 1958

Monday, February 3, 2014

Curtis Reed Home


Generally considered the founder of Menasha, Curtis Reed's home is pictured above near the Fox River on Manitowoc Street. 

Born in 1815 in Westford, Massachusetts, he was the brother of Harrison Reed and George Reed. In 1835 he joined his elder brother, George, in Milwaukee, later farmed for a time in Summit, Waukesha County, and in 1846 was a member of the upper house of the territorial legislature. In the 1840's, with his brother, Harrison Reed, and others, he acquired and developed property and utility rights on Doty Island, at the outlet of Lake Winnebago on the lower Fox River which became Neenah and Menasha. In 1848 he built a log cabin on the northern side of the island, and in 1849 he and Charles Doty, son of Wisconsin Territorial Governor James D. Doty, platted and recorded the town site of Menasha. Reed was a prominent figure in Menasha for the remainder of his life, active in the complicated manipulations promoting the Fox-Wisconsin improvement project, and instrumental in having the government canal routed via the north channel of the Fox River. A Democrat, he was state assemblyman (1853, 1861), and held numerous local offices in Menasha, including those of alderman, mayor, and postmaster. He died in 1895.
Source: Dictionary of Wisconsin biography

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