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

First Workers' Compensation Law

First Workers' Compensation Law Marker image. Click for full size.
Courtesy of the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development
1. First Workers' Compensation Law Marker
Inscription.  The Wisconsin Workmen's Compensation Act of 1911 assured victims of work-relat­ed accidents or illnesses just compensation regardless of fault. With this law, enact­ed on May 3, 1911, Wisconsin became the first state to have a constitutional system for providing medical expenses, wage loss payments, or death benefits to employ­ees or their families. The law is regarded as a pioneering act of social legislation and a major accomplishment of Wisconsin's progressive movement.

On September 1, 1911, the date the law became fully effective, a mutual insurance company began operations in a one-room office in downtown Wausau. The company, which was formed by a group of central Wisconsin businessmen as a means of meeting their responsibilities under the new law, is today known throughout the world as Wausau Insurance Companies.

The purchaser of the first policy issued by the fledg­ling insurer was the Mosinee Paper Corporation, then known as Wausau Sulphate Fibre Company. That contract is recognized as the nation's first valid workers' compensation policy.
Erected 1985 by the Wisconsin
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Historical Society. (Marker Number 274.)
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Government & PoliticsNotable Events. In addition, it is included in the Wisconsin Historical Society series list. A significant historical month for this entry is May 1865.
Location. 44° 57.851′ N, 89° 37.542′ W. Marker is near Wausau, Wisconsin, in Marathon County. Marker can be reached from Mcindoe Street, on the right when traveling north. Marker was at a highway wayside that was permanently closed as a cost saving measure. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 410 Mcindoe Street, Wausau WI 54403, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Wausau Club (approx. 0.2 miles away); Pioneer Rehabilitation Center (approx. ¼ mile away); Heinemann Bros. Bee Hive Store (approx. 0.4 miles away); Third Marathon County Courthouse (approx. 0.4 miles away); The Federal Building (approx. 0.4 miles away); Big Bull Falls (approx. 0.4 miles away); Big Bull Falls • Birthplace of Wausau (approx. 0.4 miles away); Why is it called Big Bull Falls? (approx. half a mile away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Wausau.
More about this marker. Wausau Insurance Companies is now known as Liberty Mutual Insurance Company. Mosinee Paper Corporation is now known as Wausau-Mosinee Paper Corporation.
Also see . . .  Historical Summary of Workers' Compensation Laws. (Submitted on April 11, 2009.)
Additional commentary.
First Workers' Compensation Law Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Paul Fehrenbach, September 2, 2009
2. First Workers' Compensation Law Marker
The marker was originally in a wayside area along I-39/U.S. Hwy 51, south of Central Wisconsin Airport in Mosinee, Wisconsin. When the highway was upgraded, the wayside was closed, and the marker removed. It has been stored in the back hallway of the Marathon County Historical Society ever since.
1. Marker Found!
The First Workers' Compensation Law state historical marker has been found at the Marathon County Historical Society, 410 McIndoe St., Wausau, WI, 54401. Approximate location is 44°57.8'N, 89°37.5'W
    — Submitted March 29, 2010, by Paul Fehrenbach of Germantown, Wisconsin.
First Workers' Compensation Law Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Eric Kuntz, December 30, 2016
3. First Workers' Compensation Law Marker
Marker is now on display outside the entrance to the Woodson History Center.
Credits. This page was last revised on August 5, 2021. It was originally submitted on April 11, 2009, by Keith L of Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin. This page has been viewed 2,109 times since then and 156 times this year. It was the Marker of the Week April 4, 2010. Photos:   1. submitted on April 13, 2009.   2. submitted on March 29, 2010, by Paul Fehrenbach of Germantown, Wisconsin.   3. submitted on January 6, 2017, by Eric Kuntz of Beaver Dam, Wisconsin. • Kevin W. was the editor who published this page.

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Sep. 25, 2023