Madison in Dane County, Wisconsin — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
Governor Leonard Farwell lived here, in his octagonal mansion
The Madison Heritage Series
Farwell built Williamson and Winnebago streets and East Washington Avenue, and straightened the Yahara River between lakes Mendota and Monona. He dammed Lake Mendota to harness power for the first mill. He supported and created local businesses and tirelessly promoted Madison as a place to live and work. During the “Farwell Boom,” Madison’s population skyrocketed, from 600 in 1846 to 11,000 in 1857.
Serving a brief but productive term as Wisconsin’s youngest governor, from 1852 to 1854, Farwell abolished the death penalty and created an influential immigration agency that attracted Europeans, especially Germans, to Wisconsin.
Leonard Farwell’s elegant 1854 mansion occupied a lakefront block bounded by Spaight and Brearly streets. Measuring almost 9,000 square feet, its opening was a grand social event in Madison. But Farwell lost the house and most of his investments in the 1857 depression. Appointed to a federal post in 1863, Farwell was present at Abraham Lincoln’s assassination and warned the vice president to
The mansion became a Civil War soldiers’ hospital, a soldiers’ orphans’ home and a Lutheran seminary. The house was demolished in 1895 to make room for a subdivision.
Erected 2001 by City of Madison.
Location. 43° 4.759′ N, 89° 21.971′ W. Marker is in Madison, Wisconsin, in Dane County. Marker is at the intersection of South Brearly Street and Spaight Street, on the right when traveling south on South Brearly Street. Click for map. Marker is in this post office area: Madison WI 53703, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Harvey Hospital (here, next to this marker); Shipley-Shuttleworth House (within shouting distance of this marker); Cutter House (about 600 feet away, measured in a direct line); Lougee House (about 700 feet away); Orton Park (about 700 feet away); Curtis-Kittleson House (about 700 feet away); Hyer - Jaquish Hotel (approx. 0.2 miles away); B.B. Clarke (approx. 0.2 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Madison.
More about this marker. This marker is part of the The Madison Heritage Series, Sharing Our Legacy, created for Madison's sesquicentennial. The marker was sponsored by the Madison Community Foundation.
Also see . . .
1. Movers & Shapers. Article names Farwell as one of the 10 most influential people in Madison history. (Submitted on July 12, 2010, by William J. Toman of Green Lake, Wisconsin.)
2. Friends of Historic Third Lake Ridge. More stories and photos of the Farwell Mansion and its neighborhood. (Submitted on July 12, 2010, by William J. Toman of Green Lake, Wisconsin.)
3. Tenney Park Lock and Dam. Marker with more information on Farwell's dam. (Submitted on July 12, 2010, by William J. Toman of Green Lake, Wisconsin.)
Categories. • Industry & Commerce • Notable Buildings • Notable Persons • Politics •
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by William J. Toman of Green Lake, Wisconsin. This page has been viewed 923 times since then and 36 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on , by William J. Toman of Green Lake, Wisconsin. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.