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Local History Index

The Community of Duplainville

Compiled and Edited by Michael R. Reilly

Last Revised 03/03/2005

    Note: Duplainville is part of the Town of Pewaukee to the south but is an integral part of the Sussex-Lisbon area history and influence. (Note: see Duplainville home page on the internet) Pewaukee Area Historical Society Web Site


    Duplainville, Wisconsin, an unincorporated community within the Township of Pewaukee, is located about 15 miles west of Milwaukee at Milepost 102.2 on the CP main or Milepost 102.6 on the WC. It is between Waukesha and Sussex, Wisconsin. People arrived in the Duplainville area in 1848 attended Mass in Brookfield (There seems to have been a parish in Brookfield - St. Dominic -1842-1845, but there is no actual record prior to 1858. ). In 1855 they built a meeting house (church) in Duplainville where people attended Mass

    In about 1855, the Milwaukee Road built its track west from Brookfield Junction toward Portage and Minneapolis for a faster route than what had been over the Prairie du Chien Line to the Mississippi river or the Northern Lines thru North Milwaukee, Rugby Jct, Hartford, Horicon and Beaver Dam. In 1885-86, the Wisconsin Central Railroad built south from Rugby Jct to Chicago. Hence their tracks crossed in Duplainville. You could travel on spur lines to Templeton, Colgate, Menomonee Falls, Sussex and Waukesha by changing trains at Brookfield Junction.

    A tower was erected in the northwest quadrant of the diamond in 1890. William Alvord was the chief operator for many years.   He lived a short distance from the crossing.  With heavy winter snow, additional help was hired to keep the tracks and switches clear.  Although there were signals and gates at the Duplainville Road highway crossing, there were numerous accidents and some lives were lost.  The tower burned down on January 1, 1929.  A new brick building was then built. It was finally torn down in 1987 after a much needed connection track to the old Soo was built and CTC was installed. The diamond was then controlled from Milwaukee. During 1962, the Wisconsin Central, DSS&A and Soo Line combined to what is now known as the Soo Line.  After the SOO Line purchased the Milwaukee Road in 1985, the Old SOO ( former Wisconsin Central ) crossed the New SOO (former Milwaukee Rd. ) at Duplainville. The tower at Duplainville was closed in 1991 and razed the same year.

Postal History

Note - all dates listed below are from The Waukesha Freeman newspaper published then.

April 4, 1878 - Our lively, talkative Charlie Newbecker, the blacksmith and Postmaster, is crowed with business. page 2. (Editor's note: Charlie Newbecker, who recently moved into town (Waukesha) from Duplainville and began a blacksmith business. May 14, 1885)
    Mr. Chris.  Clasen (Classen), postmaster at Duplainville, who resigned his position a short time since, will be succeeded by J. Berganski, who was appointed a few days since. Mr. Clasen is a democrat, and has distributed letters at Duplainville a good many years. page 1. (Editor's note: Chris. Classon formerly of Meno. Falls has recently started a store... April 4, 1878)
March 12, 1891 - Our postmaster, J. Berganski, had a very narrow escape from being killed while trying to get aboard the train Sunday morning. Only the timely aid of Henry Clasen saved him. page 5
March 26, 1908 - Lawrence Hurtgen has been appointed postmaster at Duplainville. page 8
    Will Be Held at Waukesha on Saturday, January 4, 1913
    The United States civil service commission announces that on the date named above an examination will be held at Waukesha, Wis., as a result of which it is expected to make certification to fill a contemplated vacancy in the position of fourth class postmaster of class "b" at Duplainville, Wis., and other vacancies as they may occur at that office, unless it shall be decided in the interests of the service to
fill the vacancy by reinstatement. the compensation of the postmaster at this office was $93 for the last fiscal year.
    Age limit, 21 years and over on the date of the examination, with the exception that in a state where women are declared by statute to be of full age for all purposes at 18 years, women 18 years of age on the date of the examination will be admitted. Applicants must reside within the territory supplied by the postoffice for which the examination is announced. The examination is open to all citizens of the united States who can comply with the requirements.
    Application forms and full information concerning the requirements of the examination can be secured from the postmaster at Duplainville or the secretary of the board of civil service examiners at Waukesha or from the U. S. civil service commission, Washington, D. C.
    Applications should be properly executed and filed with the commission at Washington within seven days before the date of the examination, otherwise it may be impracticable to examine said applicants.

                        U.S. CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION

Feb 27, 1913 - Matthew. H (N.). Hurtgen appointed postmaster at Duplainville.
Feb 19, 1931 - Duplainville Will Lose Postoffice
    The post office at Duplainville will be discontinued on February 28, and all mails addressed to that office will be received at this post office (Waukesha), and disposed in accordance with the regulations according to Postmaster Louis Meininger.
    Patrons formerly receiving mail through the Duplainville postoffice should notify their correspondents of the discontinuance of the post office, and advise them of their new address, and through what post office they desire mail service on and after February 28, 1931, said Mr. Meininger.

    Duplainville has St. Peter & Paul cemetery. The Waukesha History Museum research room has a typewritten record of Saint  Peter and Paul's Cemetery Burials to 1940, compiled from tomb stones, that was  made by Mrs. E. Tallmadge. In 1859, Fr. Weiss of Fussville (Menomonee Falls) built a log cabin church in Duplainville as a mission of St. Anthony. From 1870 to 1879, Ss. Peter & Paul was serviced by Capuchin Fathers who came out on the train from Milwaukee. The present old church was built in 1876. In 1969 Fr. Robert Huettl was appointed full time pastor of Ss. Peter and Paul, and it became a parish in its own right. On 09-19-70 a facility was built on the corner of Duplainville Road and Green Road (Recently sold to Trinity Academy).

    Quad/Graphics printing company was founded in Duplainville in 1971 by Harry V. Quadracci, and incorporated on July 13, 1971. The company launched operations from a 20,000-square-foot abandoned warehouse, with a Baker Perkins "America IV" press and a borrowed saddle stitcher. In 1973 they found their first division, Duplainville Transport (now part of Quad/Transportation Services).


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Copyright Sussex-Lisbon Area Historical Society, Inc., , 2002 - 2016, Except as noted: All documents placed on the website remain the property of the contributors, who retain publication rights in accordance with US Copyright Laws and Regulations. In keeping with our policy of providing free information on the Internet, these documents may be used by anyone for their personal research. They may be used by non-commercial entities, when written permission is obtained from the contributor, so long as all notices and submitter information are included. These electronic pages may NOT be reproduced in any format for profit. Any other use, including copying files to other sites, requires permission from the contributors PRIOR to uploading to the other sites. The submitter has given permission to the website to store the file(s) for free access. Such permission may be revoked upon written notice to the website webmaster. Website's design, hosting, and maintenance are donated by Website Editor & Webmaster: Michael R. Reilly (Mike)