Increase A. Lapham, 1836-1990

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Title: Lapham, Increase A., 1836-1990
Call Number: Mss-0703
Bulk: 1.62 cubic feet

Abstract:

The collection consists of material relating to the life and work of Increase A. Lapham.  The collection is organized into types of material, including published books and articles, biographies, correspondence, papers and other miscellaneous materials.

Biographical Note:

Increase Allen Lapham was born in Palmyra, New York, on March 7, 1811.  When he was 14 Lapham began supplementing his dollar-a-day income by drawing and selling plans of the lock to townspeople.  On the strength of his drafting skills, Lapham rose from a common laborer to an engineer and surveyor of canals in the 1830s.  Early in 1836 Lapham received an invitation from his former employer, Bryon Kilbourn, to come to Milwaukee.  Lapham accepted Kilbourn’s offer to become chief engineer and arrived in Milwaukee on July 1, 1836, settling with his wife Ann Maria Alcott.

Over the next 20 years, Lapham helped his new hometown grow from a village to a booming city. Appointed deputy surveyor for Wisconsin Territory, Lapham surveyed city plots and registering land claims until the government land office opened in Milwaukee. He arbitrated land claims and drew the basic plat of the city. Lapham was also instrumental in the establishment of the Milwaukee public high school program and was one of the founders of the Milwaukee Female Seminary.

In 1836 he published Wisconsin’s first scientific imprint, a Catalogue of Plants and Shells Found in the vicinity of Milwaukee. His Geographical and Topographical Description of Wisconsin, published in 1844, became the first commercially published book in Milwaukee and proved tremendously popular with immigrants looking for information about their new home. He also drew the first map published in the area. His close study of weather conditions had convinced him that weather could be predicted if the meteorological data were reported and mapped. With Lapham’s help, the National Weather Bureau, the forerunner of today’s National Weather Service, was established in 1870.

Lapham was a founder and member of many early educational, civic and scientific organizations in Wisconsin, and he corresponded regularly with leading scientists throughout the world until his death of a heart attack in 1875.

Administrative Info:

Part of the collection was donated by Walter E. Scott.  The finding aid was retyped in June 2009.

Books, Pamphlets, & Articles by Lapham

Box Number

Folder Number

Natural Sciences – talk given to Milwaukee Lyceum Jan. 22, 1840 1 1
Report of a Committee Appointed by the Trustees…Relative to the Commerce…Navigation of Lake Michigan 1842 (photocopy) 1 2
Statement of Elevations in Wisconsin 1844 (photocopy) 1 3
A Geographical and Topographical Description of Wisconsin 1844 1 Loose 4
Wisconsin: Its Geography and Topography 2nd ed. 1846 (rebound) 1 Loose 5
A Communication from I.A. Lapham on the subject of a State Penitentiary 1848 1 6
A Systematic Catalogue of the Animals of Wisconsin pg. 183-199 1851 1 Loose 7
Sectional Pocket Map of Wisconsin 1852 1 Loose 8
The Antiquities of Wisconsin 1855 1 Loose 9
Wild Rice and The Microscope Sept/Oct 1855 Wisconsin and Iowa Farmer 1 Loose 10
Opening an Ancient Mound near Madison, Wisconsin Jan. 2, 1860 (2 photocopies) 1 11
Address of Hon. I.A. Lapham and Hon. Edward Salomon for State Historical Society Jan. 24, 1866 1 12
On the Climate of the Country Bordering Upon the Great North American Lakes 1868 (photocopy) 1 13
The Great Fires of 1871 in the Northwest 1872 (1 photocopy, 2 typed copies, & 1 original) 1 14
Age of Forest Trees in Wisconsin 1874 (photocopy) 1 15
A Catalogue of the Plants of Minnesota 1875 1 16
A Catalogue of Plants and Shells Found in Vicinity of Milwaukee on West Side of Lake Michigan 1836 1 17
A Catalogue of Plants and Shells Found in the Vicinity of Milwaukee on the West Side of Lake Michigan. Increase Lapham,1836 4 8
A Paper on the Number, Locality and Times of Removal of the Indians of                                           Wisconsin. Increase Lapham, 1870 reprint 1966 4 8
Report of the Disastrous Effects of the Destruction of Forest Trees Now Going on so Rapidly in the State of Wisconsin. Increase Lapham, 1867 reprint 1967 4 8
Wisconsin: Its Geography and Topography, History, Geology and Mineralogy. Increase Lapham, 1846 4 8
“Ft. Atkinson Panther Effigy Last Known ‘Intaglio’ Indian Mound” 1961 4 8
“The Builders of Franklin County, Ohio” 1951 4 8
“Two Wisconsin Map Makers” 1946 4 8
“People in Public Works: Increase A. Lapham” 1988 4 8
“Notice of the Louisville and Shippingsport Canal” 1828 (photocopy) 4 8
“Aztalan – 1967″ 4 8
“ New Light on the Beginnings of the Weather Bureau form the Papers of Increase A. Lapham” 1931 (photocopy) 4 8

Lapham Biographies and Biographical Sketches

Box Number

Folder Number

Clark, James Increase A. Lapham: Scientist and Scholar 1957 (3 copies) 2 1
Cox, Henry The Weather and Climate of Chicago (photocopy) 2 2
Dr. Lapham’s Third Street Garden Nov. 8, 1896 (photocopy) 2 3
History of Milwaukee 1881 2 4
I. A. Lapham: Originator of the Weather Bureau July 9, 1891 (photocopy) 2 5
Lembke, Ruth Increase Lapham – A Real Man for All Season 1975 2 6
Mann, Charles Increase Allen Lapham: A Memorial (1 original, 1 photocopy) 2 7
Morris, Larry First Weatherman Faced Ridicule Sept. 14, 1978 2 8
Scott, Walter E. An Appreciation of Increase Allen Lapham 2 9
Scott, Walter E. Increase Allen Lapham (Dictionary of Wisconsin Biography) 2 10
Scott, Walter E. Lapham’s Study of Wisconsin Aut 1968 2 11
Sherman, S.S. Increase Allen Lapham: A Biographical Sketch 1876 2 12
Biographical Sketches of Increase Allen Lapham and Other Distinguished Citizens of Wisconsin 1891 2 13
Quaife, Mile M. Increase Allen Lapham 1917 2 14
Wincell, N.H. Increase Allen Lapham 1894 2 15
I Study Wisconsin – Pure & Simple Pleasures Oct. 7. 1990 2 16
Lapham bibliography on cards prepared by Walter Scott 3 3
National Union Catalog pre-1956 imprints 3 3

Miscellaneous Publications

Box Number

Folder Number

Brown, John C. Forests and Moisture; or Effects of Forests on Humidity of Climate 1877 (Lapham autograph) 3 Loose
Foster, J. W. Descriptions of Certain Stone and Copper Implements Used by the Mound Builders (photocopy with use of Lapham illustrations) 3 Loose
Lackland, William Meteors, Aerolites, Storms and Atmospheric Phenomena 1870 (Lapham autograph) 3 Loose
U.S. War Dept. Annual Report 1870-1871 (Lapham is mentioned on p. 7, 14, 16 – Lapham autograph) 3 Loose
U.S. War Dept. The Practical Uses of Meterological Reports and Weather Maps 1871 3 Loose
Wallace, Anthony The Model Personality Structure of the Tuscarora Indians as Revealed by the Rorschack Test 1950 3 Loose
Wisconsin Territory House of Representatives Journal Dec. 4, 1843 to Jan. 31, 1844 (Lapham autograph) 3 Loose
Wisconsin Territory Laws of the Territory 1847 (Lapham autograph) 3 Loose

Milwaukee and Rock River Canal

Box Number

Folder Number

map of Milwaukee and Waukesha Counties 1836-37 showing Rock River Canal 3 1
petition of the President of the Milwaukee and Rock River Canal Co. April 1838 prepared by Increase Lapham Feb. 1838 3 1
U.S. Congress Rep. 852 Milwaukie and Rock River Canal Lands May 1842 3 1
A Documentary History of the Milwaukee and Rock River Canal 1840 3 1
A Man, A Plan, but no Canal: Kilbourn Aug. 6, 1972 3 1

Correspondence to and from I.A. Lapham

Box Number

Folder Number

Hoyt to I.A. Lapham Feb.28, 1870; April 9, 1870; Feb. 11, 1871; March 22, 1872 (photocopies) 3 2
I.A. Lapham to Darius Lapham: June21, 1836; July 7, 1836; Feb. 25, 1837; July 30, 1840; Mar. 29, 1846; Sept. 9, 1846 4 1
I.A. Lapham to Henry Lapham: Sept. 18, 1862; Sept. 4, 1865 4 1
I.A. Lapham to Seneca Lapham: July 27, 1836; Oct. 1, 1836 4 1
I.A. Lapham to W. W. Gillman: Oct. 17, 1865 4 1
I.A. Lapham to Charles K. Wells: Jan. 9, 1869 4 1
I.A. Lapham to Prof. C. B. Rafta: Oct. 16, 1846 4 1
I.A. Lapham to Ann M. Lapham: Jan. 15, 1847 4 1
I.A. Lapham to Wis. Senate and Assembly: n.d 4 1
I.A. Lapham to Miscellaneous 1836-1846 (28 items typed) 4 1
Catherine Beecher to I.A. Lapham Aug. 23, 1855; Oct. 3, 1855; June 11, 1861; Sept. 16, 1861 4 1
Anthony Green to I.A. Lapham: Feb. 20, 1857 4 1
W. H. Lapham to I.A. Lapham: Jan. 28, 1856 4 1
William L. Parsons to I.A. Lapham: May 21, 1861 4 1

Correspondence to and from Lapham family members & misc.

Box Number

Folder Number

To Walter E. Scott from Rena Durkan Amherst College May 24, 1956 3 2
Between Walter E. Scott and Wisconsin Historical Society Dec. 13, 1953; Feb. 2, 1956; March 1, 1957; March 2, 1957 concerning sketch for Wisconsin Biography about Lapham 3 2
Mrs. I. A. Lapham to Henry Lapham: July 20, 1862 4 2
Julia Lapham to Henry Lapham: Aug. 31, 1862; April 18, 1865; July 17, 1865 4 2
Horace Beach to Julia Lapham: Dec. 18, 1903 4 2
Charles King to Julia Lapham: July 31, 1907; Aug. 17, 1907 4 2
Mary Flanders to Miss Lapham (Julia or Mary): June 10, 1898 4 2
Lenore Helbert to Miss Lapham (Julia or Mary): Aug. 6, 1895 4 2
Sarah T. Smith to Miss Lapham (Julia or Mary): April 29, 1899 4 2
Cornelia R. Walrath to Miss Lapham (Julia or Mary): July 31, 1900 4 2
William Wright to Miss Lapham (Julia or Mary): March 6, 1891; April 8, 1891; April 11, 1899 4 2
Mary J. Lapham to President of Female Seminary: June 15, 1899 4 2
F. M. Benedict to Mary J. Lapham: Sept. 30, 1903 4 2
Mrs. E. Everett Holbrook to Mary J. Lapham: April 2, 1879/99?; April 8,                                            1879/99? 4 2
Seneca Lapham to Henry G. Lapham: April 4, 1862 4 2
Sarah K. Curtis to Laura Lapham Lindow: Jan. 26, ? 4 2
William Stimpson to George C. Stevens: July 31, 1871 4 2
George Stoner to Laura Lapham Lindow: April 12, 1909; April 17, 1909 4 2
Helen T. Whitney to Laura Lapham Lindow: March 30, 1910 4 2
Catherine E. Beecher to Trustees of Female Seminary: n.d. 4 2
Catherine E. Beecher to Mary E. Chapin: May 9, 1861 4 2
Lathrop Bullene to Josephine Bullene Brooks: Aug. 20, 1909 4 2
Mrs. James E. Doty to Mrs. William Mitchell: July 22, 1840 4 2
H. L. Chapman to Helen Lemmon: Oct. 3, 1905 4 2
Announcement of graduation to Mary Selleck & Mary Frances Smith: n.d. 4 2
Annie Shields to Mrs. Joseph Quarles: Jan. 3, 1906 4 2
E. L. Townsend to Rachel Townsend: Aug. 17, 1851 4 2
Rachel Townsend to Mrs. M. L. Loomis: Jan. 19, 1847 4 2
Byron Kilbourn to Legislature and Public: Jan. 20, 1849 (certifies accuracy of Lapham’s map of Wisconsin) 4 2
Lapham descendants: April 25, 1964; May 11, 1964 4 2

Lapham Personal Papers

Box Number

Folder Number

Appointment of I..A. Lapham as Deputy Surveyor by John Hathaway, Dec. 1, 1836 4 3
Appointment of I..A. Lapham as Registrar of Claims by William Prentiss, April 10, 1837 4 3
Commission of I. A. Lapham as engineer on the Milwaukee and Rock River Canal, Feb. 18, 1841 4 3
Commission of I. A. Lapham as Notary Public, Jan. 21, 1842 4 3
Copy of deed to land in 2nd Ward given to City of Milwaukee for a school by Increase and Anna Lapham, Oct. 7, 1846 4 3
Copy of statement presenting deed to Common Council, Oct. 8, 1846 4 3
Resolution of thanks from Common Council to Increase Lapham for donation of land for purpose of a high school, Oct. 22, 1846 4 3
Resolution forming trustees of the high school to include Increase Lapham, March, 8, 1849 4 3
Lease and rent receipts for lot 4 in block 113 in the 9th Ward, dated May 1, 1867 and May 1, 1870 rents being paid to Increase Lapham 4 3
Articles of association, agreement of land claimants, drawn up by Byron Kilbourn, Aug. 31, 1835. 4 3
Milwaukee claim laws, rules and regulations covering the establishment of land claims in Milwaukee County, March 13, 1837.  Lapham listed as secretary. 4 3
Claim certificate relating to Thomas Conly and Milwaukee Claimants Union 1838 4 3
General tax receipt for lot 3 in block 36 on the west side of the river, 1838 4 3
Receipt for fifty $1000 bonds issued by the Territory of Wisconsin in relation to the Milwaukee and Rock River Canal, 1841 4 3

Historical Sketches of early Wisconsin

Box Number

Folder Number

De Pere. Written by Frances Lawton Dunham, March 30, 1905 (11 handwritten pages) 4 4
Pioneer Editor. No author (6 handwritten pages) 4 4
Landmarks of Fox Lake. Mrs. John Lemmon (3 typed pages) 4 4
Kenosha. No author (2 handwritten pages) 4 4
Kenosha. Mrs. Emory J. Grant (10 handwritten pages) 4 4
A New Year’s Call. Lucretia A. May, May 9, 1908 (7 handwritten pages) 4 4
Milwaukee. Lapham’s handwriting (1 page) 4 4
Items Given to Mrs. J. V. Quarles by an Old Settler of Milwaukee Whose Father Came to Milwaukee in 1836. (5 handwritten pages) 4 4
Report of Wisconsin History Commission Jan. 9, 1909. Laura Lapham Lindow (4 handwritten pages) 4 4
Wisconsin History Commission Reports. (12 pages of original and photocopies) 4 4
Milwaukee County. Increase Lapham, Jan. 1861 (38 handwritten pages) 4 4
Milwaukee Schools. (1 handwritten page) 4 4
Extract From the Testimony of Cornelius Doxtater, An Oneida Indian, Explaining the Old Indian Custom of Marriages. (2 typed pages) 4 4
Wisconsin. Lapham’s handwriting (1 page) 4 4

Milwaukee Female Seminary

Box Number

Folder Number

A Four Minute Fagot. Mary Lapham (5 handwritten pages) 4 5
“Reminiscences of Eliza Walhurst Wiley, May 11, 1899″. Letter addressed to Mary Lapham (8 pages) 4 5
“Reminiscences”. (11 pages handwritten) 4 5
Stock subscription of school (1 page handwritten) 4 5

Survey of Lake Michigan and Milwaukee River

Box Number

Folder Number

Original survey of Lake Michigan shore and Milwaukee River 1835-1836, Milwaukee and Ozaukee Counties done by William P. Bunt, Henry Nicholson, & Austin and Alvin Bunt (54 pages photocopy) 4 6

Clippings and Photos

Box Number

Folder Number

Clippings 1854-1916 4 7
Lapham portrait in State Capitol 4 7
Aztalan State Park 1962 4 7

Miscellaneous Material

Box Number

Folder Number

Magnetical chart…of the United States 1839 (Wisconsin-Illinois portion                                              photocopy) 3 4
American Railroad Time (labeled very rare – photocopy) 3 4
Estimate of the Funds Required to Complete Various Civil Works Under                                             Engineer Dept…. Jan. 7, 1840 (photocopy) 3 4
Survey of a Route for a Railroad from Milwaukie…to the Mississippi Jan. 7, 1840 (photocopy) 3 4
Roads in Wisconsin Jan. 7, 1840 (photocopy) 3 4
Lead Mines – Upper Mississippi Feb. 16, 1843 (photocopy) 3 4
The Propagation of Fish Nov. 1869 (photocopy) 3 4
photo of old Lapham house at Oconomowoc 3 4
Scott’s notes and clippings on Lapham 3 4
table of contents for Picture Book of Scientist Friends by Lapham? (photocopy) 3 4
Scrapbook with clippings on Wisconsin Birds Lapham Case Shelf