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

Braley House

1875-76

 
 
Braley House Marker image. Click for full size.
By William J. Toman, July 29, 2010
1. Braley House Marker
Inscription.  The house of Judge Arthur B. Braley was a social and cultural center of the Mansion Hill area in the Nineteenth Century. The house was built of cream brick with incised stone lintels in the Late Gothic Revival style. Braley, a patron of the literary arts, was also active in Madison politics for more than thirty years as a government official and journalist.
 
Erected 1976 by Madison Landmarks Commission. (Marker Number 43.)
 
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Arts, Letters, MusicNotable Buildings. In addition, it is included in the Wisconsin, Madison Landmarks Commission series list.
 
Location. 43° 4.558′ N, 89° 23.501′ W. Marker is in Madison, Wisconsin, in Dane County. Marker can be reached from the intersection of North Henry Street and West Gilman Street, on the left when traveling north. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 422 N Henry Street, Madison WI 53703, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Vietnam War protesters and police clashed here (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line);
Braley House Marker image. Click for full size.
By William J. Toman, July 29, 2010
2. Braley House Marker
The marker is on the ground on the corner.
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Woman's Building (about 400 feet away); The Temperance Movement Battled Madison''s Breweries (about 500 feet away); Wootton - Mead House (about 500 feet away); Chi Phi Fraternity (about 500 feet away); Suhr House (about 600 feet away); Holy Redeemer School Building (about 600 feet away); Beecroft House (about 700 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Madison.
 
Regarding Braley House. According to the Madison Landmarks Commission, "This Gothic Revival style house was built for Judge Arthur B. and Philinda Braley. Judge Braley was born in New York state and studied law in New York and Delavan, Wisconsin. He came to Madison in 1848 and held the positions of police justice, city attorney and alderperson before being elected as a Dane county judge in 1874, a position which he held until his death in 1889. He was political editor of two local newspapers, a well respected writer, and a lover of Shakespeare. Famous 19th century poet, Ella Wheeler Wilcox, was a close personal friend of the Braleys and visited the house often. Wilcox wrote the famous poem which begins 'laugh and the
Braley House image. Click for full size.
By William J. Toman, July 29, 2010
3. Braley House
View from across West Gilman Street
world laughs with you, weep and you weep alone.'"

According to David V. Mollenhoff, Madison: A History of the Formative Years (2nd ed.), p. 224, Ella Wheeler Wilcox actually wrote that line at the Braley house, and recited it and several additional stanzas to the Braleys at breakfast. Judge Braley, "who was a Shakespearean scholar, told her that if she finished the poem at the same high standard, it would be a 'literary gem.' Two nights later she finished the poem. It was first published by the New York Sun on February 21, 1883, and in May 1883 appeared in a collection of Wheeler's poetry entitled Poems of Passion, which sold 60,000 copies."
 
Additional keywords. Architecture; Late Gothic Revival
 
Braley House image. Click for full size.
By William J. Toman, July 29, 2010
4. Braley House
View from across North Henry Street
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on March 24, 2021. It was originally submitted on July 29, 2010, by William J. Toman of Green Lake, Wisconsin. This page has been viewed 1,360 times since then and 26 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on July 29, 2010, by William J. Toman of Green Lake, Wisconsin. • Craig Swain was the editor who published this page.

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Jul. 27, 2021