How Oak Creek Was Born

Back in the 1950s, the City of Milwaukee was eating away at the borders of what was then the Township of Oak Creek.  The local community resented the encroachment of the much bigger neighbor to the north.  What to do?

In order to put an end to the City of Milwaukee annexation actions, the Township needed to become a City too.  One problem:  The town didn’t have the population even to qualify as a village, let alone a city.

Yet Town Attorney Anthony X. Basile was undaunted.  He drafted legislation to overcome the necessary hurdles for Oak Creek to become a city and introduced the law to the State Senate.  The bill ultimately passed.

When the City of Milwaukee got wind of this maneuvering, they sued.  Or at least they tried to.  To block the referendum, legal papers had to be filed on various Oak Creek officials.  So those officials did what smart men are supposed to do in the face of adversity – they ran and hid!

Some moved in with friends, another hid in an attic.  When the balloting was done and the referendum passed, a town employee delivered the ballots to Oak Creek City Clerk John Trost.  All it took to get there was changing cars twice and driving through a field in order to be certain he wasn’t being followed.

Ultimately, Oak Creek got its charter and became a city on December 15, 1955.  I don’t know what Christmas was like for Oak Creek officials that year, it may be that Santa skipped them.  It sure sounds like they were probably on the naughty list!

Related Posts

  • August 21, 2023

    The History of Oak Creek Schools

  • July 31, 2023

    The Orchards of Oak Creek

  • March 27, 2023

    Drexel Town Center

  • March 15, 2023

    Mid-20th Century History of Oak Creek