Milwaukee’s Socialist History
Milwaukee’s socialist history begins in the early 20th century with a wave of socialist party candidates being elected into Milwaukee area positions. The City of Milwaukee elected three Socialist Mayors from 1910-1960. Emil Seidel was elected from 1910-1912, Daniel Hoan from 1916-1940 and Frank Zeidler from 1948-1960. The term “Sewer Socialist”, while used negatively among socialists, became synonymous for a specific Milwaukee version of pragmatic socialism. The Milwaukee County local Socialist Party (SPMC) during this time represented a large percentage of the Socialist Party of Wisconsin’s (SPWI) membership. From roughly 1973 thru the mid to late 1980s, the Socialist Party USA headquarters shared an office with SPWI and SPMC was located in downtown Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
We have created a list below of our archival collections that are related to this history. They are from our City of Milwaukee Archives, Local History Manuscript Collections, and Milwaukee Historic Photo Collections. Please also check our Library catalog CountyCat for additional published resources.
Milwaukee’s Socialist Mayors:
Local Milwaukee Socialists:
Other collections with Socialist materials:
Milwaukee Socialism: An Exploration of the Milwaukee Public Library’s Archives
Using the Collections
These collections are viewed by appointment only in the Frank P. Zeidler Room of the Central Library. All materials are requested and appointments are scheduled here. Same day access cannot be guaranteed.