EARLY STREET RAILWAYS IN MILWAUKEE

Four street railway companies were eventually consolidated into a single streetcar system in Milwaukee.


MILWAUKEE CITY RAILWAY CO.

Incorporated 1865, and acquired River & Lake Shore City Railway Co. Reorganized 1888 as Milwaukee City Railroad Co., and acquired in 1890 by Milwaukee Street Railway Co.


CREAM CITY RAILROAD CO.

Incorporated 1874. Reorganized 1890 as Cream City Railway Co., and acquired in 1891 by Milwaukee Street Railway Co.


WEST SIDE STREET RAILWAY CO.

Incorporated 1875. Reorganized 1888 as West Side Railway Co., and reorganized again 1890 as West Side Railroad Co. Stock acquired in 1990 by North American Co., holding company of Milwaukee Street Railway Co., and consolidated with Milwaukee Street Railway Co. in 1893.


MILWAUKEE ELECTRIC RAILWAY CO.

Incorporated 1887 as Milwaukee Cable Railway Co., renamed 1889 to reflect decision to adopt electric traction instead. Reorganized 1893 as Milwaukee Electric Street Railway Co., and acquired in 1894 by Milwaukee Street Railway Co.


SUBURBAN STEAM DUMMY RAILWAYS

Milwaukee & Whitefish Bay Railway Co. - existed north of Milwaukee, connecting with the Cream City Railroad Co. Steam dummy line operated 1888-1898, controlled by Milwaukee Street Railway Co. after 1891. Merged into Milwaukee Street Railway Co. system in 1894, southern portion of line abandoned and northern portion of line incorporated into streetcar system.

Milwaukee & Wauwatosa Motor Railway Co. - existed west of Milwaukee, connecting with the Wells Street line. Steam dummy line operated 1892-1898. Acquired by North American Co. in 1897, and electrified and integrated into Wells Street line in 1898.


NORTH AMERICAN COMPANY

In 1890, the North American Company was formed as a holding company, controlled by Henry Villard. Villard's goal was to create an electric utility empire in Milwaukee. The Milwaukee Street Railway Co. was formed as a wholly owned subsidiary, and by 1894 completed acquisition of all streetcar companies. Also in 1894, the last horse cars were replaced with electric streetcars. Finally in 1896, the Milwaukee Street Railway Co. was reorganized as The Milwaukee Electric Railway and Light Company, remaining as a subsidiary of the North American Co. The North American Co. formed a subsidiary North American Edison Co. in 1922, controlling The Milwaukee Electric Railway and Light Company and successor companies until 1947.


Go to Chicago Transit & Railfan Web Site