Early Beginnings
Potawatomi Indian villages once stood on land that is now Glendale. Their burial mounds in Kletzsch Park attest to the civilization that once flourished there. In 1833, the Potawatomi and Winnebago tribes ceded their land to the United States government and moved west to the banks of the Mississippi. Before then, only a handful of settlers, traders and trappers occupied the area. Soon after, more settlers, spurred on by the prospect of cheap land, rich soil, and a favorable climate, began to arrive from the east. European immigrants, mostly German, settled in places like Good Hope, located at the present intersection of West Good Hope Road and North Green Bay Avenue. Jefferson Davis, before becoming president of the Confederacy, once camped in Good Hope while working on a government road project.

In 1836, the Town of Milwaukee became a part of Milwaukee County in Wisconsin Territory. It had been part of the Michigan Territory. The Town of Milwaukee's first public school was built in the late 1840s on the east side of the Milwaukee River, adjacent to the old Sauk Indian Trail. The one-room school measured 18 by 22 feet and was constructed of logs. When Wisconsin became the nation's 30th state in 1848, the area was solidly fixed as a part of the Town of Milwaukee and remained that way until after World War II.


Before the Town of Milwaukee built its first meeting hall in 1872, town fathers met in a gristmill on the west bank of the Milwaukee River, near the waterfall in present day Kletzsch Park. Minutes were read in both English and German. The City has thoughtfully preserved the first Town of Milwaukee Hall. The 1872 landmark structure stands amid the modern complex of government buildings on North Milwaukee River Parkway.

A tiny graveyard, Milwaukee Union Cemetery, 5980 North Port Washington Road, is also preserved. Some 100 graves, many unmarked, are the City's link with the early settlers who came to the frontier in search of a better life.

The City of Milwaukee resisted Glendale's first efforts to incorporate in 1946. Glendale won a lengthy court battle after the census of 1950, and incorporated as a city on December 28, 1950, with a population of 3,100. At the time of incorporation, Glendale was a growing community with early commercial development, heavy industry, some agriculture, and residential neighborhoods of single-family homes.

Present Day
Today, Glendale's population nears 13,000. As Glendale plans for the future, the heritage of the past is treasured and preserved and the City remains a dynamic commercial and business center, as well as a delightful place to live.