In the early 1900s Waukesha County, Wisconsin was a big resort area and vacation spot for people living in Chicago.Among the people who visited Oconomowoc's for a little rest and relaxation were Chicago's most notorious gangsters, such as Baby Face Nelson, Bugs Moran, John Dillinger and Al Capone. Wisconsin's heavily wooded areas were perfect for laying low after a job.
Waukesha County is a county in the U.S. state of Wisconsin. As of the 2010 census, the population was 389,891, making it the third-most populous county in Wisconsin. Its county seat is Waukesha.
Lester Joseph Gillis, known by the alias George Nelson, better known as Baby Face Nelson, was an American bank robber in the 1930s. Gillis was given the nickname Baby Face due to his youthful appearance and small stature, although few dared call him "Baby Face" to his face. Criminal associates instead called him "Jimmy". Nelson entered into a partnership with John Dillinger, helping him escape from prison during the famed Crown Point, Indiana Jail escape, and was later labeled along with the remaining gang members as public enemy number one.
Adelard Cunin, better known as George "Bugs" Moran, was a Chicago Prohibition-era gangster. He was incarcerated three times before his 21st birthday. Seven members of his gang were gunned down in a warehouse in the Saint Valentine's Day Massacre of February 14, 1929, supposedly on the orders of his rival Al Capone.
The main gangster activity in Waukesha County in the early 1900s usually involved alcohol of some sort: smuggling it in from Canada (usually on a seaplane that would land in one of Waukesha’s many lakes),distilling liquor in a hidden still, or loading it on to trucks and shipping it around the country, distilling liquor in a hidden still. During Prohibition this was all highly illegal. Despite all the illicit activity gangsters were often seen in a positive light. "A lot of (gangsters) had Robin Hood stories attached to them, like Pretty Boy Floyd and Bonnie and Clyde," said Mr. Jeffrey Pickron, a University of Wisconsin–Oshkosh history professor. "And a lot of these gangsters stories would talk about how they stole from the rich and gave the money to the poor." Gangsters had money, they lived exciting lives, and they lived by their own rules. It’s not that surprising that public opinion of “criminals” was somewhat high. Gangsters were constantly doing things that made them endearing to others. “There are plenty of stories, for example, of gangsters pulling into a service station, buying $1 worth of gas and giving the attendant a $20 tip.” They had a freedom that normal people during the Great Depression just didn’t have.
The University of Wisconsin Oshkosh is the third-largest university in Wisconsin, United States. As part of the University of Wisconsin System, UW Oshkosh offers bachelor, master, and doctoral degrees in an annual on- and off-campus enrollment of nearly 14,000.
Al Capone owned a vacation home right off on Bluemound Road in Brookfield, Wisconsin. He picked this spot because there were no police departments in the area, instead it was patrolled by county sheriff deputies, most of whom were paid off to turn a blind eye.The 37-acre lake on the property was used as a landing spot for seaplanes that were smuggling alcohol from Canada during Prohibition; it was then smuggled around the country. The land on which the house was built had a watch tower used as a lookout for unfriendlies, whether they were other gangsters or G-men, and Capone kept a flock of geese on the property to warn if something was approaching. There is a tunnel built into his home that runs from the house to the garage so that Capone could make a speedy getaway if need be.
Brookfield is a city located in Waukesha County, Wisconsin, United States in the Milwaukee metropolitan area. It had a population of 37,920 in the 2010 census. Brookfield is the third largest city in Waukesha County.
In 1930 one of Capone's bookkeepers, a man by the name of Jack Zuta, defected to George “Bugs” Moran’s gang. Knowing that Capone did not like disloyalty, Zuta decided to lay low under the name “J.H. Goodman” at the Lake View Resort on Upper Lake Nemahbin in the town of Summit. Knowing it was only a matter of time before Capone's hit squad caught up with him, Zuta made a desperate call from an Oconomowoc drug store, begging for body guards to escort him down to Chicago. Unfortunately for him, he was overheard.Around sunset on August 1, 1930 Capone's hitsquad walked into the Lake View resort, threw open the back door, shot Zuta, and walked out the way they came in.
John U. "Jack" Zuta was an accountant and political "fixer" for the Chicago Outfit.
Oconomowoc Lake is a village in Waukesha County, Wisconsin, United States. Located just outside the City of Oconomowoc, the village includes the residential area encircling Oconomowoc Lake.
Waukesha is a city in and the county seat of Waukesha County, Wisconsin, United States. It is part of the Milwaukee metropolitan area. Its population was 70,718 at the 2010 census. The city is adjacent to the Town of Waukesha.
Oconomowoc is a town in Waukesha County, Wisconsin, United States. The population was 7,451 at the 2000 census. The City of Oconomowoc and the Villages of Chenequa and Lac La Belle are located partially in the town. The unincorporated communities of Mapleton, Monterey, and Okauchee Lake, are located in the town. The unincorporated community of Stone Bank is located partially in the town.
Oconomowoc is a city in Waukesha County, Wisconsin, United States. The name was derived from Coo-no-mo-wauk, the Potawatomi term for "waterfall." The population was 15,712 at the 2010 census. The city is partially adjacent to the Town of Oconomowoc and near the village of Oconomowoc Lake, Wisconsin.
Pewaukee is a city in Waukesha County, Wisconsin. The population was 13,195 at the 2010 census. The Village of Pewaukee, which was incorporated out of the town before it incorporated as a city, is surrounded by the city.
Lake Winnebago is a shallow freshwater lake in the north central United States, located in east central Wisconsin. At 137,700 acres it is the largest lake entirely within the state, covering an area of about 30 miles by 10 miles, with 88 miles of shoreline, an average depth of 15.5 feet, and a maximum depth of 21 feet.. It has many shallow reefs along the west shore, and a drop-off type shoreline on the east. There are several islands along the west shore.
The Wisconsin and Southern Railroad is a Class II regional railroad in southern Wisconsin and northeastern Illinois currently operated by Watco Companies. It operates former Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul and Pacific Railroad and Chicago and North Western Transportation Company (C&NW) trackage, mostly acquired by the state of Wisconsin in the 1980s.
The Milwaukee metropolitan area is a major metropolitan area located in Southeastern Wisconsin, consisting of the city of Milwaukee and the surrounding area. There are several definitions of the area, including the Milwaukee–Waukesha–West Allis metropolitan area and the Milwaukee–Racine–Waukesha combined statistical area. It is the largest metropolitan area in Wisconsin, and the 39th largest metropolitan area in the United States.
Stone Bank is an unincorporated community located in Waukesha County, Wisconsin, contained within the Towns of Oconomowoc and Merton, United States.
State Trunk Highway 16 is a Wisconsin state highway running from Pewaukee across the state to La Crosse. Much of its route in the state parallels the former mainline of the Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul and Pacific Railroad. The highway parallels Interstate 90 (I-90) or I-94 for most of its length in the state. It serves local traffic in nearby cities including La Crosse, Tomah, Wisconsin Dells, Portage, Columbus, Watertown, Oconomowoc and Waukesha. The highway is mainly two-lane surface road or urban multi-lane expressway from La Crosse to Oconomowoc, and it is a freeway east of Oconomowoc.
The Kettle Moraine State Forest is a state forest in southeastern Wisconsin. The chief feature of the reserve is the Kettle Moraine, a highly glaciated area. The area contains very hilly terrain and glacial landforms, such as kettles, kames and eskers. The 56,000-acre (23,000 ha) forest is divided into two large and three small units, which are spread across a hundred miles.
Pabst Farms is a 1,500-acre (6.1 km2) development on former farmland in Oconomowoc, Wisconsin, about 35 miles (56 km) west of Milwaukee. The location currently hosts the YMCA, multiple super markets such as Pick n Save, restaurants and hotels. The planned development will include thousands of homes and significant office space, as well as a small amount of parkland.
William Grant Callow was an American jurist who served as a justice of the Wisconsin Supreme Court from 1977 to 1992.
The Watertown Subdivision or Watertown Sub is a railway line in Wisconsin operated by Canadian Pacific Railway (CP) through its primary United States subsidiary, the Soo Line Railroad. It meets CP's Tomah Subdivision in the west in Portage and runs to Milwaukee in the east where it meets the C&M Subdivision. The Tomah Subdivision had previously been operated by the Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul and Pacific Railroad (CMStP&P), though the Soo Line Railroad took it over when the Milwaukee Road folded. Canadian Pacific gained ownership via taking over the SOO Line.
Oconomowoc High School is a public high school located in Oconomowoc, Wisconsin. Its mascot is the Raccoon. It is part of the Oconomowoc Area School District. As of the 2017–2018 school year, it had 1,709 students.
Benjamin Franklin Goss was an American farmer, printer and merchant from Pewaukee, Wisconsin who served two terms in the Wisconsin State Assembly from Waukesha County: one in 1855 as a Whig, and the other in 1893 as a Democrat. In the interim, he had spent some time in Illinois, Iowa, and Kansas, and served as an officer in the American Civil War. In his later years, his greatest fame was as an amateur ornithologist.
La Belle Cemetery is in Oconomowoc, Wisconsin. Built in 1851, and originally called Henshall Place, it was the first cemetery recorded in Oconomowoc. The cemetery then moved to Walnut Street. In 1864, the Wisconsin Legislature approved the removal of all the bodies from Oconomowoc Cemetery on Walnut Street to the current La Belle Cemetery grounds. The land that is now the grounds for the La Belle Cemetery was first owned by Charles Sheldon, which he donated when the Oconomowoc Cemetery became too crowded.
The Waukesha Beach Railway operated from 1895 until 1949 as an interurban railway from Waukesha to Pewaukee Lake in Wisconsin.