Grobschmidt Park, Grobschmidt Pool: Why are so many Milwaukeea-area areas named after this household? | WUWM 89.7 FM

For this week’s Bubbler Talk, query asker Jessica Wineberg needs to know:

Who was Grobschmidt and why does he have a county park and pool named after him?

Grobschmidt Park is situated in Franklin, Wisconsin and a 15-minute drive away is Gobschmidt Pool in South Milwaukee. Nevertheless, throughout my search to seek out the reply to Jessica’s query, I used to be led to a pedestrian bridge off Milwaukee’s lakefront, which can be related to the Grobschmidt title.

Although all these completely different areas aren’t named after the identical particular person, they’re named after members of the identical household.

Left to proper: Franklin Historic Society’s Jim Luckey, Buddies of Grobschmidt Park’s Tom Niemic and Bubbler Discuss query asker Jessica Wineberg at Grobschmidt Park.

Jessica is a trails coordinator for the Milwaukee County Parks. “I used to be attempting to do my job. And I received slightly confused ‘trigger we’ve two [Grobschmidts],” she explains. “And I used to be questioning who’s Grobschmidt and what did he try this was so nice that we received two parks named after who I might presume is a he.”

I met Jessica at a Grobschmidt Park entrance on S. thirty fifth St. off of W. School Ave. There was not a lot to have a look at — only a signal, a picnic desk and a little bit of grass. However the path tucked within the brush led to a small physique of water, referred to as Mud Lake.

“There is a two-mile loop path across the lake, and also you undergo a sedge meadow, a forest. The good wildlife citing I had was discovering a prairie crayfish — they burrow in little holes they usually’re comfortable when it rains. Who knew crayfish dwell in prairies,” she says.

To search out out who the Grobschmidt of Grobschmidt Park was, I requested the Franklin Historic Society, however struck on the market. So I talked to Tom Niemic, who’s president of Buddies of Grobschmidt Park.


Tom figures he donates 100 hours a yr widening trails and eradicating buckthorn and different invasive vegetation, however does this park promoter have the Grobschmidt intel? “I believe he was a farmer and sooner or later he rented land to Robert and Charlotte Ensor,” he says.

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I tracked down a relative of the Ensors, their niece Edna Gullifer.

Edna recollects, “We walked that land very often, [my aunt] would present us the place the little home was — simply the inspiration was left — and the way she favored the wealthy black soil for gardening. That they had pears and apples within the orchard close by.”

But, Edna couldn’t fill within the Grobschmidt clean, both.

However archives from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel did. A 1958 article states the Milwaukee County Parks Fee approved employees to attempt to purchase land round Mud Lake to create a park.

There have been a number of landowners, together with William Grobschmidt who had been a farmer, in addition to a gravel vendor, financial institution president and from 1935-1953 a Milwaukee County Parks board member.

In 1963, the brand new park was christened in his honor.


The Milwaukee County Parks System’s Chester W. Grobschmidt Pool is situated behind South Milwaukee Metropolis Corridor.

William Grobschmidt additionally was mayor of South Milwaukee within the Twenties. So certainly the county’s Grobschmidt swimming pool behind South Milwaukee Metropolis Corridor was named for him.

However that’s improper, based on David Kieck.


David Kieck adopted Chester Grobschmidt’s (far left picture) almost 30 years of service as South Milwaukee mayor.

David is a former mayor of South Milwaukee and served after Mayor Chester Grobschmidt. That’s William Grobschmidt’s cousin, and the second Grobschmidt in our story.

David says Chester, everybody on the town calls him Chet by the best way, started his time as mayor in 1966.

“I had the privilege of following Mayor Chet [who] served our neighborhood for 28 years. He’s an individual you’d need to emulate as a result of he made individuals comfortable. He impressed me to serve the neighborhood,” he shares.

Seems when the pool in South Milwaukee was named, Milwaukee County was tipping its symbolic hat to Chet. Town additionally named its senior heart after him. I hoped to talk with the nonetheless very very important former mayor however the timing was not proper for the 100-plus-year-old.


To today if you discuss to the residents locally, they bear in mind Chet, says former South Milwaukee Mayor David Kieck.

However I did join along with his daughter-in-law, Barb, who was married to the late Rick Grobschmidt, the third Grobschmidt in our story. Rick additionally has a web site named in his honor.

Rick, Chet’s son, grew up in South Milwaukee, taught at its highschool and served almost twenty years within the state Legislature. He died in 2016.

“[Rick] simply beloved individuals and he was an excellent listener, a collaborator, mediator. He would resolve points,” Barb says.

Barb on Bridge.jpeg

Courtesy of Barbara Grobschmidt


After a 4 yr effort, Barb Grobschmidt is thrilled her husband Rick’s legacy is memorialized on the pedestrian bridge inside Lakeshore State Park in downtown Milwaukee.

When Rick died, Barb says his followers in state authorities helped her begin engaged on a memorial befitting his spirit. “We approached the Meeting and Senate in 2017, [which] was lower than a yr after he died, and one of many state senators recommended the bridge —[it] is simply gorgeous,” she says.

Two men. One standing and other in a wheelchair.

Courtesy of Barbara Groschmidt


Chet Grobschmidt on the celebration of his son’s legacy at Lakeshore State Park in October 2021. To his left is then South Milwaukee Mayor Erik Brooks.

It’s the pedestrian bridge inside Lakeshore State Park, simply north o the Summerfest grounds alongside Lake Michigan. Barb says it appeared good as a result of Rick helped spearhead the park. “It did get going with Tommy Thompson and Rick. Rick met with individuals on each side of the aisle and received assist,” she recollects.

The memorial required laws, which then-Gov. Scott Walker signed. However Barb says it will be almost 4 years earlier than the plaque would adorn the gorgeous bridge.

“I used to be anxious — with Rick’s father being 101 [years old] that it get carried out. We squeezed it in October on the sixteenth [2021] and it was an attractive day. It appeared like an ideal metaphor with the shiny vivid bridge. I imagined as we stepped ahead that Rick is there to hold us throughout, as he was a real bridge builder” Barb says.

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