Hales Corners - A Crossroads Community

Photographed March 20, 2015
Erected by Hales Corners Historical Society
Hales Corners, Milwaukee County, Wisconsin
42° 56.179′ N, 88° 2.835′ W

Native Americans were the earliest inhabitants of Hales Corners. In 1833 the Potawatomi, who possessed the land at the time, relinquished their rights in a treaty with the U.S. Government.

Settlers soon came. Seneca Hale claimed land here in 1837 and began farming. In 1840 he and his wife, Helena, bought their 160 acre parcel (a full quarter section) for $1.25 per acre. Their land lay southwest of this point. William Hale, brother of Seneca, claimed the quarter section northwest of here in 1838. He and his wife, Bridget, were the parents of the first baby born to a settler in Hales Corners. William became the first postmaster in 1854, and it is said that the village is named for him. Ebenezer Hale, father of Seneca and William, bought the quarter section on which you stand, 1n 1838.

Forest Home Avenue and Janesville Road (formerly known as the Janesville Plank Road) form two sides of what is commonly called the Triangle. These roads followed old Indian trails. For many years, the Janesville Plank Road was the only road between Hales Corners and Milwaukee.

The South side Hotel, built on the Triangle in 1848, served as an overnight stop for farmers hauling wheat and produce to market, for settlers pushing west, and for miners from southwestern Wisconsin hauling lead ore to the port. In 1899 Otto Neussel replaced it with a large 2 1/2 story hotel that dominated the Triangle until 1960.

The first four schools in Hales Corners were built in succession on the Triangle, on land that is now part of Highway 100. The last of the old schools, (converted to a private residence in later years), plus homes and businesses, were acquired by the state in the late 1950s. By 1960 the Triangle, the heart of Hales Corners, had been cleared of buildings and substantially reduced to the present size to make room for highway development.
The marker is located on eastbound West Forest Avenue, east of its intersection with South 108th Street / Wisconsin Route 100, at 10731 West Forest Home Avenue, Hales Corners, Wisconsin 53130.

Village of Hales Corners, Wisconsin: History of Hales Corners

Looking eastbound along West Forest Home Avenue.

The marker is adjacent to the Healthwise Chiropractic parking lot
(the marker is visible in the distance, to the left of the Healthwise marquee).

This welcome sign is located on the triangle referenced in the marker.

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