Wisconsin History Day By Day

Related Web Sites:
History of the Villa Louis

History of Prairie du Chien

Read More About It

"Famous Wisconsin Women" by the Wisconsin Historical Society



Interesting Fact:

In the early twentieth century, Villa Louis was used to house orphans.

Study Questions:

  • What does the name Villa Louis mean?
  • Besides the fur trade, what other business enterprises was Hercules Dowsman involved in?
  • How long did the Dousman family own Villa Louis?

    Search these newspaper databases for additional stories about Villa Louis:

  • Wisconsin State Journal/The Capital Times
  • Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
  • BadgerLink Wisconsin Newsstand
  • Wisconsin Historical Society

    U.S. historical events that occurred on August 13:

    1934: The comic strip "Li'l Abner," by Al Capp, debuts.

  • August 13

    Historical Highlight
    The construction of a home for Hercules Dousman was started in 1843 at Prairie du Chien on the site of the old Fort Crawford. Dousman, a wealthy fur trader and Wisconsinís first millionaire, died in 1868. Dousmanís son, Louis, had the home demolished and replaced it with a more modern, luxurious Italianate style home in 1870-1871. It was named Villa Louis after his death.

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