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Solomon Juneau

Solomon Laurent Juneau
Statue of Juneau in Juneau Park, Milwaukee
Born August 9, 1793
Repentigny, Lower Canada
Died November 14, 1856(1856-11-14) (aged 63)
Keshena, Wisconsin
Nationality Canadian
Other names Laurent-Salomon Juneau
Occupation Politician, fur trader, land agent
Known for Helped found the city of Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
Title 1st Mayor of Milwaukee
Term 1846-1847
Predecessor Office Established
Successor Horatio N. Wells
Spouse(s) Josette (m. 1820-1855)
Parent(s) François and Thérèse Galerneau Juneau
Relatives Joseph Juneau (nephew), founder of the city of Juneau, Alaska

Solomon Laurent Juneau, or Laurent-Salomon Juneau, (August 9, 1793 – November 14, 1856) was a fur trader, land speculator, and politician who helped found the city of Milwaukee, Wisconsin.[1][2][3] He was born in Repentigny, Quebec, Canada to François and (Marie-)Thérèse Galarneau Juneau.[4][5] His cousin was Joseph Juneau, who founded the city of Juneau, Alaska.[6]


  • Biography 1
    • Personal 1.1
  • See also 2
  • References 3
  • Further reading 4
  • External links 5


After landing at Walker's Point and Byron Kilbourn's Kilbourntown (present day Westown) to incorporate the City of Milwaukee. In 1831, Juneau began learning English and set in motion the naturalization and citizenship process. By 1835, he was selling plots of land in Juneautown. He built Milwaukee's first store, first inn, and was recognized for his leadership among newcomers to Milwaukee. In 1837 he started the Milwaukee Sentinel, which would become the oldest continuously operating business in Wisconsin. He was the first mayor of Milwaukee from 1846 until 1847 and its first Postmaster.

The same statue of Juneau in Milwaukee, c. 1890


In 1820, Juneau married Josette, the Metis daughter of Jacques Vieau, a fur trader who had built a trading post overlooking the Menomonee Valley years before. Josette was the oldest of 12 children, and was Menominee and French by ancestry.[7] Through her alliances to the tribe, and the relationships fostered through Juneau's business in fur trading, it is reported that he was popular with the Menominee.[8] After the treaty of 1848 between the United States and the Menominee, Juneau registered his wife and children as half-breeds of the Menominee Nation.

In 1854, Juneau and family relocated to Dodge County, Wisconsin, where they founded the village of Therese, named after Juneau's French-Canadian mother. Josette died there in 1855; Solomon died one year later in Keshena, Wisconsin, on a visit to the Menominee tribe. He died in the arms of Benjamin Hunkins, his "faithful friend and constant nurse."[9] Six Menominee chiefs served as pallbearers at his funeral. He is buried at Calvary Cemetery, Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Juneau's grandson Paul O. Husting would become a member of the United States Senate.[10] The property that is believed to have once been the site of Juneau's residence is now the site of the Mitchell Building, listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Short video of Juneau Monument in Milwaukee.

See also


  1. ^ University of Wisconsin - Green Bay
  2. ^ Solomon Juneau, Milwaukee’s Founding Father
  3. ^ Dictionary of Canadian Biography
  4. ^ Marshall, Bill. (2005). France and the Americas: Culture, Politics, and History. Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO, p. 635.
  5. ^ Connerton, Eugene J. & Léo-Paul Landry. (1971). Genealogy of the Juneau family 1600–1965. Author, p. 306.
  6. ^ Alaska Mining Hall of Fame
  7. ^ Gurda, J. (1999). "Josette and Solomon Juneau, Frontier valentines: Living proof that love can and did abide." Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Sunday, February 7, 1999.
  8. ^ Kellogg, L.P. (1961). "Juneau, Solomon Laurent." Dictionary of American Biography. Malone, Dumas, ed. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons.
  9. ^ Wisconsin magazine of history: Volume 41, number 2, winter, 1957-1958. Wisconsin Historical Society. Retrieved 31 August 2014. 
  10. ^ "Laurent Solomon Juneau". Political Graveyard. Retrieved 2011-10-27. 

Further reading

  • Mack, Edwin S. (1907). The Founding of Milwaukee. Madison: State Historical Society of Wisconsin. 
  • Fox, Isabella (1916). Solomon Juneau: a biography with sketches of the Juneau family. Milwaukee, Wis.: Evening Wisconsin Printing Co. 
  • Obituary. Milwaukee Sentinel. 28 January 1858.

External links

  • Solomon Laurent Juneau at Find-A-Grave
  • Dictionary of Canadian Biography OnlineBiography at the
  • Wisconsin Historical Society
  • Josette and Solomon Juneau
  • Urban spelunking: Solomon Juneau's cabin
Preceded by
Mayor of Milwaukee
Succeeded by
Horatio N. Wells
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