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On This Day: February 24

1863 - (Civil War) Expedition in Mississippi

The 28th and 29th Wisconsin Infantry regiments and 12th Wisconsin Light Artillery took part in an expedition to Yazoo Pass by Moon Lake in Mississippi.

1894 - Milwaukee City Hall Built

On this date the cornerstone of Milwaukee's City Hall was laid. After much deliberation, the city chose the plans of architect Henry C. Koch and Company and the contracting firm of Paul Reisen to complete the project. The cost of the building itself totaled $945,311. An additional $71,624 was spent on fixtures and furniture.

1909 - August Derleth Born

On this date August Derleth was born in Sauk City. A graduate of the University of Wisconsin, Derleth founded the Arkham House publishing company with Donald Wandrei in Sauk City in 1939 to publish works of fantasy, horror, and science fiction. He was literary editor of the Capital Times in Madison from 1941 to 1960, and the author of more than 100 books. Derleth wrote biographies of Zona Gale, Henry David Thoreau, Ralph Waldo Emerson, and many Wisconsin figures, as well as historical fiction, poetry, and childrens books. He published and edited stories by H. P. Lovecraft, author of supernatural horror stories, and also wrote "The Wisconsin" in the Rivers of America series. Though recognized nationally as a major author of fantasy and detective fiction, he is best known in Wisconsin for his series of novels about the fictional town of "Sac Prairie." August Derleth was a Guggenheim fellow in 1938 and in 1966 received the Governor of Wisconsin's award for distinguished service to the arts. Derleth died on July 4, 1971, in Sauk City. [Source: The August Derleth Society]

1912 - Margaret Reinardy Anderson Born

On this date Margaret Reinardy was born in Burlington, Wisconsin. She graduated from UW Law School in 1936. She practiced law in Stevens Point and worked on the legal staff of the Committee for Public Welfare for Gov. Phil La Follette. Despite having run unsuccessfully for district attorney in 1942 as a Republican candidate, Reinardy was appointed as the acting district attorney in 1945, when Herman J. Glinski vacated the seat. She was married to Kenneth Anderson, a lawyer who ran against incumbent Melvin Laird in the 1954 and 1956 Congressional elections. He died during the 1956 campaign and Anderson was appointed unopposed by the Democratic Party to fill her husband's vacancy. She lost to Laird. Margaret Reinardy Anderson passed away in Stevens Point on Jan. 26, 1965, at the age of 52. [Source: State Bar of Wisconsin]

1972 - Socialist Leader Otto Hauser Dies

On this date former Baptist minister and Milwaukee Socialist leader, Otto Robert Hauser, died in Madison. Hauser was born in Tubingen, Germany, on May 11, 1886 and immigrated to the United States in 1906. In Chicago, he found employment with Marshall Field & Co., and attended the University of Chicago Theological Seminary. In 1915 he accepted a call to the First German Baptist Church in Milwaukee where he remained until late 1927, when he resigned to enter politics. In 1916 Hauser joined the Socialist Party. He held a variety of posts in the party including serving as director of the "Milwaukee Leader." Between 1932 and 1940, Hauser was secretary to Milwaukee's Socialist mayor, Daniel W. Hoan. In 1945 Hauser helped to organize American Relief for Germany, and served as the organization's president from 1945 to 1951. Hauser's fundraising efforts enabled American Relief for Germany to send approximately $3.5 million in aid. In appreciation, the German Federal Republic awarded him the Cross of Merit in 1956. [Source: University of Wisconsin--Archives Department]