“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
New Berlin in Waukesha County, Wisconsin — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)

Cheney-Faulkner Cooper Home

Built 1840

Cheney-Faulkner Cooper Home Marker image. Click for full size.
By Paul F, August 13, 2010
1. Cheney-Faulkner Cooper Home Marker
Inscription. In this house the First Free Will Baptist Church in Wis. was organized on July 11, 1840. Here also, prior to 1843, was opened the first school in this area. Rev. Rufus Cheney directed the founding of both church and school. Both met here until 1945. Thomas Faulkner, his son-in-law, was elected county surveyor 1857. Milton Cooper was a noted orchardist.
Erected 1956 by Waukesha County Historical Society. (Marker Number 21-02.)
Location. 42° 56.341′ N, 88° 9.508′ W. Marker is in New Berlin, Wisconsin, in Waukesha County. Marker is on County Route Y half a mile north of Interstate 43, on the right when traveling north. Click for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 5810 S. Racine Avenue, New Berlin WI 53146, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 4 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Childhood Home of Wisconsin Governor Julius P. Heil (1876-1949) (approx. 0.3 miles away); Freewill Baptist Church (approx. 0.4 miles away); Linnie Lac (approx. 0.7 miles away); Muskego Beach Amusement Park (approx. 2.5 miles away); "Cornfalfa" Farms (approx. 2.6 miles away);
Cheney-Faulkner Cooper Home Marker image. Click for full size.
By Paul F, August 13, 2010
2. Cheney-Faulkner Cooper Home Marker
Marker as seen from the road, partially obscured by overgrowth.
The Electric Interurban Muskego Centre Station (approx. 2.8 miles away); Old Muskego Town Hall (approx. 2.9 miles away); Muskego (approx. 3.1 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in New Berlin.
Regarding Cheney-Faulkner Cooper Home. Home is located well off the road and is a private residence.
Additional comments.
1. Additional History about the Cheney-Faulkner Cooper Home
This home in New Berlin, in an area once called Prospect Hill, was built in 1840 by Reverend Rufus Cheney who arrived from Antrium, N.H. in 1837.

Walnut trees on the property were sawed nearby in Linnie Lac at Wedges Sawmill and used for building.

The house was quite large for that time with a cellar, attic, two big rooms with fireplaces back to back, a small kitchen, a bake oven built into the chimney, and three bedrooms.

There was an Indian reservation across the road, so the Native Americans often came for trading or handouts. Since at this time there was no church for the reverend to serve, he set up the first Freewill Baptist Church in his parlor on July 11,1840. The school for Prospect
Cheney-Faulkner Cooper Home as it looked in 1958 image. Click for full size.
By Linda Hansen, circa 1958
3. Cheney-Faulkner Cooper Home as it looked in 1958
Note the original, 1956 Historical Marker.
Hill also began here.

When Cheney's wife died, he married Lydia Moore, mother-in-law of Thomas Faulkner.

Thomas Faulkner married Rufus Cheney's daughter, Nancy. A financial arrangement was made between Thomas and the Cheneys, to have both families live there until Cheney's' death. Then it would belong to the Faulkners.

Thomas was a farmer, surveyor, teacher, and cabinet maker.

During the years Thomas and his family lived here, he started an orchard on 39 acres and it grew to 450 trees by the time the property was sold.

In 119 years only two families lived in this house. Governor Julius Heil, who lived nearby, stopped by often.

In 1927 Milton and Neoda Cooper bought the farm from Rufus Faulkner and raised their six children. The house was damaged by fire in 1964.

In 1997 the house was declared a City of New Berlin Historical landmark. It was cited twice by the U.S. Department of Interiors Historic Sites Survey. You can still see this house standing on Racine Avenue just below Prospect Hill.
    — Submitted August 10, 2012, by Linda Hansen of Waukesha, Wisconsin.

Categories. Churches, Etc.Settlements & Settlers
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Paul Fehrenbach of Germantown, Wisconsin. This page has been viewed 737 times since then and 74 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on , by Paul Fehrenbach of Germantown, Wisconsin.   3. submitted on , by Linda Hansen of Waukesha, Wisconsin. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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