Local history room

Local History Collection

Cudahy Family Library has an extensive collection of materials chronicling the history of Cudahy, Wisconsin. We take great pride in preserving the past for the Cudahy's future generations. The Local History collection is housed in the Local History Room of the Cudahy Family Library and is open by appointment only. To make a reservation, please contact the Reference Desk at (414) 769-2244 during business hours.

Click here to view Cudahy Family Library's Local History Policy.

City Directories

Our collection includes city directories from the Milwaukee County area. The directories from Cudahy and Town of Lake are also available on microfilm.

  • Cudahy    1921 - 1966
  • South Milwaukee    1942 - 1962
  • Lake (Town of)    1938 - 1950
  • Bresser's (Milwaukee metro area)    1970 - current
  • Wrights/PORS (Milwaukee)    1947 - current


Bird's Eye View of Cudahy

Document File

Local History Files Index

A collection of newspaper clippings, reports, scrapbooks, pamphlets, booklets, flyers, newsletters, and handouts on a variety of Cudahy subjects. Topics include coverage on:

  • City departments
  • Local businesses and people
  • Local organizations
  • Local schools
  • Historical events
  • Census data

Note: Duplicate copies of some of the pamphlet material in this file are also available in the Library's Vertical File Collection under the heading "Cudahy, Wisconsin -- History."

Dretzka's Department Store

Picture File

Local History Photographs Index

This companion to our clipping file is a collection of old photographs, arranged by subject. A card catalog is available for easy access and searching.

We have a small collection of films and videotapes in the collection, which are gradually being digitized. View the digitized videos on the library's YouTube channel: https://tinyurl.com/rbrvqx4


Our collection includes copies of the Cudahy High School Yearbook, The Arrow. You can view the 1923 - 1967 copies on microfilm, or look at print copies from 1923 to the present year. We are missing 1998. Donations of this yearbook would be greatly appreciated by the Cudahy Family Library and highly beneficial to the members of the community.

Our collection also has two student alumni directories. The Cudahy High School Alumni Directory contains information on graduates from 1924 to 2006. The Wisconsin Lutheran High School Alumni Directory is a compilation of information on those as early as the class of 1903 to the class of 2003.

Kosciusko School


Our collection consists of paper and microfilm copies of local newspapers, with the primary emphasis on Cudahy's own Reminder/Enterprise.

Print Newspaper Archives

  • Free Press    1980 - 1981
  • Advisor Press    1982 - 1987
  • Reminder/Enterprise (complete)    1933 - 1945
  • Reminder/Enterprise (incomplete)    1959 - present

Microfilm Newspaper Archives

  • Milwaukee Courier    11/1/1843 - 6/7/1847
  • Milwaukee Journal    3/23/1921 - 4/29/1921
  • New Day    6/12/1920 - 7/22/1922
  • Reminder/Enterprise    1912 - 1998
  • South Milwaukee Journal    1893 - 1932
  • Cudahy Times    10/29/1893 - 3/21/1894
  • The Tracer    9/1943 - 2/1946

glisch tavern
Glisch's Tavern


A small collection of local maps, including zoning and political district maps of Cudahy. Highlights include:

  • 1867 Lake Township Map
  • 1877 Milwaukee County Map
  • 1881 Milwaukee County Map
  • 1893 Milwaukee County Plat Map
  • 1908 City of Cudahy Map
  • 1929 Town of Lake Map
  • 1931 City of Cudahy Map
  • 1937-1954 Sanborn Fire Insurance Map

Assessment Records

The Library houses the City of Cudahy's original real estate and personal property assessment records from 1894 - 1972.

Our collection also includes photographic negatives of properties within the City limits from the 1950s - 1960s, as well as some photographs of the properties.

Assessor's Office Negatives Index

Patrick Cudahy Company Archives

Gifts from Judge Richard D. Cudahy and the Patrick Cudahy Company make this collection a truly unique archive. Highlights include:

  • Original articles of the Company's incorporation
  • Company Minute Books 1893 - 1967
  • Issues of Peacock Feathers, the Company newsletter 1919 - 1951
  • Sample product labels
  • Photographs of the plant and employees

Cudahy Family

Books written about the Cudahy Family in our collection include:

  • The Cudahys: An Irish-American Success Story
  • The Education of Edward Cudahy
  • Patrick Cudahy, His Life
  • The Armies March, a Personal Report by John Cudahy
  • Experiences of Mr. and Mrs. Patrick Cudahy on a Journey to a Portion of the Oldest Historical Parts of the World During the First Four Months of 1906


Some of our video / film materials have been digitized and uploaded to the Cudahy Family Library YouTube channel. Be sure to subscribe to be notified as new videos are added.

Audio Files

Listen to interviews with pioneer citizens on our SoundCloud account. Transcriptions of the interviews are also available below.
Caroline Levandosky - interview and transcription
Michael Heffron - interview and transcription

For additional information:

Cudahy Facts and Figures

Cudahy Historical Society
P.O. Box 332
Cudahy, WI 53110
Cudahy Depot (414) 747-1892

Milwaukee County Historical Society
910 N. Third St.
Milwaukee, WI 53203
(414) 273-8288

Materials in our Local History Collection do not circulate. They are available for reference use only. An appointment is needed to view the collection.

The Library has a scanner, black and white photocopier, a microfilm reader/printer available for quality copies of reference materials.
The Cudahy Family Library gladly accepts donations of local history items for our collections.
2007 Recipient of Governor's Award for Archival Achievement