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A county in Wisconsin.
Kenosha (ScStr) was renamed Plymouth (q.v.) on 15 May 1869.
(AK-190: dp. 7,450; 1. 338'7''; b. 50'; dr. 21'1"; s. 12 k. cpl. 85; a. 1 3'', 6 20mm.; el. Alamosa)
Kenosha (AK-190) was launched 25 August 1944 by Walter Butler Shipbuilding Co., Superior, Wis., under a Maritime Commission contract; sponsored by Miss Marion Crowley; acquired by the Navy I August 1945; and commissioned 7 September 1945, Lt. S. Bernsen in command.
After shakedown out of Galveston, Tex., Kenosha arrived Gulfport, Miss., 19 October to load cargo for the Marianas. The cargo ship departed Gulfport 25 November, cleared the Panama Canal, and arrived Guam via Pearl Harbor 10 January 1946. Upon discharging her cargo, she loaded cargo for the Marines and sailed for the East Coast, arriving Lynnhaven Roads, Va., 7 March. On 3 April Kenosha arrived Baltimore and decommissioned there 16 April 1946. She was returned to a Norwegian shipping firm in 1947, and renamed Rio Dale. She was renamed Torian in 1959.
History of Department
1841 - City was known as the Village of Southport. The population was 642. The streets and highways were lanes of mud in wet weather. Records show the first "Marshall" being Waters Townslee.
1850 - Southport changed to Kenosha, with one Constable. City of Kenosha was incorporated.
1880 - Population 5,039 with two police officers, one days and one nights. Their duty was to fill the four kerosene street lamps in Kenosha.
1890 - Population 6,532, five officers on the department. Jobs were strictly political. Civil Service in the year 1907. Communications, "Roundsmen", traveled on bikes delivering messages from headquarters to the officers walking their beat. The police salary was raised to $55 a month. The new big thing, was the city decided the police should have uniforms, but they would have to pay for them themselves. The city would buy the other equipment and it would remain the property of the city. The council also voted to give them $20 a piece to buy an overcoat.
1903 - The Police and Fire Commission was created
1910 - Population 21,371, thirteen officers on the department. Station house located above the Fire Department downtown. Two horse patrol wagons. Police Chief had his own horse and buggy. Switchboard at station and police call boxes were installed.
1913 - Motor driven patrol wagon was put into service. October 12th, the police had their first ambulance call. A man was hit by a motorcycle. They were able to exceed 45 mph.
1920 - Recall System, lights and bells installed.
1923 - First Police Woman was hired. Motorized patrol wagon, three touring cars and five motorcycles. Identification Expert hired, thousands of prints and photographs taken in the first year.
1925 - Police Department temporarily moved to corner of 8th Avenue and 56th Street.
1930 - Population 50,262, seventy three men, two women served on the police department.
1934 - John Dillinger days, Police Department acquired an armored car. Second to Milwaukee in one way radio communication.
1957 - 91 Police Officers assigned to the Kenosha Police Department
1958 - First teletype hookup and Polygraph or lie detector
1962 - 105 Officers and 4 civilians
1965 - 115 officers and 15 civilian workers. Matching the increase in numbers of officers, law enforcement in Kenosha has advanced quite rapidly in the Sciences of the Law Enforcement Field.
1968 - The Canine Unit began with 3 dogs assigned to 3rd shift
1979 - 153 officers and 29 civilians.
1982 - Moved to the new Public Safety Building at 1000 55th Street.
1986 - Joined with the community to start Kenosha Area Crime Stoppers
1992 - 163 officers and 12 civilians.
1994 - 168 officers and 12 civilians.
1996 - Population 85,685, 172 officers and 12 civilians. In car computers installed.
1998 - Population 87,000, first computerized Polygraph system. 99.9% accurate, bicycle unit started
2000 - Population 88,000, 180 officers, completed new networking system within the whole department
2004 - First digital in squad video systems installed into 31 patrol cars. Officers begin carrying TASER electronic control devices. Population 92,000
2005 - Digital radio system went on the air, first P25 digital radio system in Wisconsin
2006 - Digital video system installed in all interview rooms
2008 - Launched Kenosha's Most Wanted on the KPD website, population 96,000, canine unit consisting of 2 dogs started back up with funding from the community
2010 - Full renovation of police department with new front lobby, patrol operations, detective bureau and administrative wing
2013 - First purchase of Ford Interceptor squad cars, slowly phasing out Chevrolet Impala squads
Kenosha County Historical Society's C.E. Dewey Lantern Slide Collection
The C.E. Dewey Collection is comprised of 1,232 glass lantern slides. Cortland Ernest Dewey collected Kenosha County photographs, images, drawings, and maps and also provided detailed descriptions of these materials from old settlers, their descendents, and news stories. In 1933 the images compiled by C.E. Dewey were the stimulus for a cooperative project between the Kenosha County Historical Society, Mr. Dewey, and the University Extension Division of the University of Wisconsin at Madison. The University Extension was offered the loan and use of these valuable regional pictures for duplication purposes.
Cortland Ernest Dewey was born in Paris Township in Kenosha County on March 21, 1861, the son of Mr. and Mrs. Cortland A. Dewey. In 1868 his parents moved to the City of Kenosha where his father established a hardware business. He was educated in Kenosha elementary schools and the high school. At the age of seventeen he entered the hardware business with his father. He was actively engaged in the Dewey Hardware Company, a landmark in the city's downtown area from 1878 to 1938. The business was located on the northwest corner of Park (57th Street) and Main Streets (6th Avenue).
In the 1890s, Mr. Dewey added an Eastman Kodak Company department to the hardware store. He supplied photographic materials to professionals as well as amateurs and was an avid photographer himself. This photo department was significant because it enabled Mr. Dewey to establish contacts to acquire photographs from the locals. He was a member of the old volunteer firemen known as the Gem Hose Company, served in the Wisconsin State Assembly, was President of the Civic Council of Kenosha and a long-standing member of the Elks Lodge. A leader in community activities, Mr. Dewey was known for his interests in the Kenosha County Historical Society, an organization in which he served as President from 1933 until his death in 1945.
As the present parishioners of St. Peter’s Church commemorate the Centennial Anniversary, we are grateful to Almighty God and our Lithuanian forefathers, who as immigrants, came to America and established this parish on July 30, 1903.
In the year 1898, two groups of immigrants, one Lithuanian and one Polish, met to form the St. Casimir’s Roman Catholic Lithuanian-Polish Benevolent Society and were granted a state charter in the fall of 1898. Both groups grew rapidly and each wanted to retain their own group, and on March 8, 1900, the group took the name of St. Peter’s Catholic Lithuanian Benevolent Society, with Mass and meetings held at St. George’s Catholic Church.
A meeting of incorporation was held on July 30, 1903 by more than one hundred Lithuanians who formed the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Parish with services held alternately between St. George and St. Casimir Churches. About a year later, the name was changed to St. Peter’s Parish. Even if the third generation of AmericanLithuanians may not be able to speak the language, they are proud of the heritage brought by their grandparents and kept active by their own parents!
An opportunity arose to purchase a layout of buildings for a church, school, convent, and rectory from Frieden’s Lutheran Congregation, located on 51st St. between 7th and 8th Avenue, on April 21, 1908 for $24,500. The first holy Mass was celebrated April 26, and the parish was then assigned its first permanent priest, the newly ordained Rev. Jos. Klonauskas. St. Francis 3rd Order Society was organized on Feb. 6, 1923, and originally donated the huge mission crucifix, about the main altar in the present church. The Marian Fathers of St. Casimir Province of Chicago, IL, began their administration at St. Peter’s with Rev. L. Draugelis, M.I.C. in 1926.
The Golden Jubilee was celebrated on Sunday, May 24, 1953 with a 9:30 .am. Solemn High Mass of Thanksgiving presided by Auxiliary Bishop Roman Atkielski, Celebrant Rev. Anthony Miciunas, MIC, with Rev. Jos. Pauliukonis, MIC and Rev. Peter Grabauskas, priest son of parish, and homily by Rev. M. Urbonavicius, MIC. “Exultate Deo” Mass was sung by St. Peter’s choir directed by Frank Bujan. A 5 p.m. Banquet, Program and Dance was held at Polonia Hall (corner of 50th St. and 7th Ave.)
In July 1953, an unheard of event on old parish grounds was taken by a Catholic Church to raise funds. Included was “carnival” with rides and “games of chance” (by a traveling company). With parishioners in charge of ticket sales for rides and booths, it was a huge success, but a grueling 5 days work! This was the beginning of our Annual Parish Summer Festival. Our summer festival has been very successful in providing income for our parish, as well as providing enjoyment and memories for those who attend the festivities. The festival is popularly known for the Polka Mass and the Lithuanian food, such as Kugelis (grated potato bake), Virtnei (dumplings), Kilbasa (sausage), and Kopustai (sauerkraut).
St. Peter’s parishioners were always generous with donations to meet the maintenance and repair needs of the buildings. The first campaign for a financial needs appeal of $60,000 was made in 1955 under Fr. Anthony Miciunas. The money was used to meet the quota of $24,200 to build St. Joseph’s High School and to help with parish needs. St.Peter’s was the first parish to pay its quota!
Fr. Michael Urbonavicius, pastor, called a parish meeting on March 27, 1960 to vote whether to remain at the old location and to build additions to the old buildings these plans were rejected by the majority.
The new pastor, Fr. Anthony Miciunas, who served from 1960-63, sent questionnaires to each parishioner regarding the future status of our parish as to the relocations of St.Peter’s Parish. Future plans for growth led the relocation project. Serving as pastor at the old and new parish (1963-66), Rev. Vincent Andriuska announced the start of a $5 monthly collection on each first Sunday for a “special building fund.”
Organizations were asked to sponsor projects to raise funds. Committees were organized to formulate plans necessary to conduct the building and financial campaign. In 1964, parish visits were made to raise $150,000 in pledges Memorials for stained glass windows ($800), church pews ($200), station of the cross ($40) and participation in a “Fair Share Plan.” Special prayers were offered to the Infant of Prague, that we still have on the altar today, to assist us with our financial difficulties.
Plans to build were approved in June 1964 by Archbishop Cousins for the cost of $550,000. Groundbreaking took place on Sunday, August 30th at 4:00 p.m. with Bishop Vincent Brizgys officiating followed by Benediction Services and reception at the old hall. The cost totaled more than $635,000! Henry Slaby of Milwaukee was the architect with construction by Ray Camosy Company.
On Sunday, October 31, 1965 at 3:00 p.m. the Blessing of the Cornerstone with Benediction Services took place, followed by an “Open House” of the parish building and reception. The dedication of St. Peter’s buildings took place on April 24, 1966 with a 12:05 p.m. Mass followed by a banquet presided by Archbishop Cousins.
Those who came along to the new church felt very comfortable in seeing that the beautiful altars, statues, and organ were transferred from the old church. We had joined ranks with the new parishioners to work together as a truly Christian family in the growth of St. Peter’s Parish.
The first wedding in the new parish took place on Oct. 10, 1965 at 11:00 a.m. The first Confirmation took place on May 22, 1966 at 2:00 p.m. in the new church.
In February 1966 the parish debt stood at $469,000, and in 1967 it was $450,000.
The 1969 June Parish Festival and October Annual Bazaar could not be held due to a “citizen’s complaint filed for having a raffle.” The parish was in debt $400,000. The parishioners rallied by donating the anticipated sales of the raffle books!
The Saturday November 8, 1969 evening mass began to fulfill the Sunday obligation at St. Peter’s.
The parish celebrated the 30th Ordination Anniversary of Fr. Stanley Saplis, MIC, on Sunday, August 4, 1974 with a 4:00 p.m. Mass and a dinner at Maplecrest Country Club.
For the deaf and hearing impaired in our city, Sr. Frances, OSF, started a Mass in sign language in 1976.
The Diamond Jubilee celebration began on Saturday, April 22, 1978 began with a dinner-dance at the Eagles Grand Ballroom. Archbishop Rembert Weakland celebrated a 3:00 p.m. mass on Sunday, April 23rd to commemorate the Jubilee. Rev. Stanley Saplis, and Fr. Jerome Zalonis, along with former pastors, concelebrated the Mass.
Parish History 1978-2003. The foundation of the events and activities of the past seventy-five years is our faith, high ideals, and commitment to Catholic values. All of which have been amply demonstrated by the many changes through the active parishioner’s decisions and events since the 75th commemoration and history of St.Peter’s Parish.
The former Parish Committee was replaced by a Parish Council and its committees in November 1979. The Parish Committee was instituted standing committees. They were Prayer and Worship, Christian Formation, Human Concerns and Administrative/Finance Services. Each of these committees has a chairperson and a representative from the Council at their meetings.
Michael Witkauskas was ordained a permanent Deacon for St. Peter’s on June 13, 1981 at the Cathedral.
Our 100-year-old organ began to fail and many dollars were spent in trying to repair and maintain it. When it stopped several times during Mass in 1985, it was time to consider a replacement. Starting in July 1985, work began to develop a plan for the replacement of our organ. After many months of discussions a campaign for the Organ Fund began. Representative of St. Peter’s Parish began to visit parishes and organ companies in Illinois and Wisconsin to determine what types of organ would be best for our church. On September 29, 1987, Rev. Anthony Miciunas, MIC, arrived as our new pastor. The following month Fr. Anthony was presented with our plans for a new organ. An Organ Fund Steering Committee was formed and soon a letter of appeal for donations was sent to all parishioners and organizations, as well as contact being made with local businesses and industries.
On August 31, 1990, Rev. Daniel Cambra, MIC, was installed as pastor by Bishop Brust with a beautiful ceremony at a 9:30 a.m. Mass. Also that year, Father Dan announced that we had 656 registered families with 58 new families welcomed.
For many years, Prayer and Worship Committee was known as the Liturgy Committee. This group is very active in the parish organizing and planning a liturgical calendar, planning many parish celebrations, and organizing our church decorations.
The Engagement Enrichment Program is conducted 1-3 times a year at St. Peter’s. The attendance is generally 30-40 couples. The presentations address common issues, which married couples face such as in-laws, two career marriages, raising children, and budgeting.
In 1980, parishes began to meet to discuss how to implement the Renew Program. In November Bishop Richard Sklba, from the Archdiocese, came to speak on “Vision for the Church of the Eighties.” The southeastern Wisconsin section of Renew held an evening of prayer at St. George to organize small Renew groups within St. Peter’s parish. By August 1982, 9 small groups totaling 95 people signed up to participate for six weeks. As part of Renew group meeting, a charity was chosen to support by our parish. The Soup Kitchen, which first met at the German American Home on 52nd St, was chosen,and St. Peter’s parishioners prepared food and delivered it to those who came to the home. With the need to expand the project in 1983, interfaith churches slowly began to volunteer in preparing and serving food to the needy at Deming School (17th Ave. and 62nd St.). A few years ago, the building was renovated and renamed the “Shalom Center.” St. Peter’s continues to support the Shalom Center today with volunteers and donations. Renew was reintroduced in 1997 as the Renew 2000 series for spiritual study groups. It is designed as a vehicle to learn and share our faith and to discuss how these sessions influence our lives.
Magnificently Mature group was formed in April 1987. The group currently meets on the second Monday of each month with lunch being served, bingo or cards are played, and socializing, or listening to an informative program/speaker enjoys the afternoon. Current attendance is around 35 to 40.
The Scrip Program began in 1994. The program acts as a fund raising effort for our parish through the purchasing of pre-paid store certificates. This successful program, run by volunteers, has generated significant donations for our church and school.
The Human Concerns Committee was organized in 1981 and continues to serve the parish and local community. Visiting sick parishioners at home and in nursing homes, organizing prayer groups for special intentions gathering and distributing food for the needy, are some of the works of this group. Recently during the Christmas and Easter seasons, flower plants were delivered to nursing homes and shut-ins from our parish. Grocery donations and the “Sharing Tree” gifts were given to needy families during the holiday season. Groceries donated in the church lobby’s cart are delivered to the Shalom Center. The committee raises income from the sale of coffee, donuts, and sweet rolls on Sunday after Masses, known for years as the “Koffee Klatch.” The Inns Project was started about 10 years ago with several volunteers representing St. Peter’s. Inns are held every night of the week at different churches, and provide shelter for the homeless. The volunteers set up the bedding mats, help with cleansing articles and serve food.
The Holy Name Society’s began in 1930, and was formed by the men of St. Peter’s parish to support the church and its activities. The name was changed to St. Peter’s Men’s Club on September 20, 1970. This club was outstanding in maintaining remodeling the parish buildings and was most generous through its sponsored parish activities and financial aid. It dissolved about 1987. St. Peter’s Catholic Women’s League was organized on September 26, 1945. Its aim was to help the clergy and nuns with the church and school work. Through fund raising efforts the Women’s League purchased the oak “sedelia” in 1950 and the Christmas Manger in 1972. Continuing fundraising events help support our parish today. Currently, there are 96 members.
Undoubtedly, one of the greatest of God’s Blessings showered upon St. Peter’s parish is its parochial school. In spite of it limited number of parishioners and resources, St. Peter’s parish managed to start its school early and it has progressed ever since. St. Peter’s school was opened in September 1915 with six grades, and the first graduating class came out in 1917. Because of the shortage of Lithuanian nuns, the first teachers at St.Peter’s were the School Sisters of Notre Dame. The Sisters of St. Francis came to St.Peter’s in 1945. St. Peter’s Home and School Association was organized on November 17, 1949 and continues today as a supporting group for the school and its teachers. Through the efforts of its members money is raised to offset the costs associated with educating the children at St. Peter’s School.
The school term (1965-66), at the new building, opened with five nuns, and two layteachers.
Sr. Assumpta, O.S.F., who spent ten consecutive years at St. Peter’s, took catechism class registration for public school children. By 1969, a request for lay teachers to volunteer to teach CCD classes, school enrollment was 174 compared to 226 the previous year.
A letter from Sr. Irene, OSF, was sent in 1978 to begin looking for lay teachers, as the nuns would be leaving St. Peter’s shortly.
Two hundred and nine pupils were enrolled in the school in March 1975. With the 77-78 school year, tuition for one child was $175 $250 two children $300 three children and the book fee were $ 35. Lunchroom supervision was $10. In 1987 there were 165 students with nine teachers. In 1991 we had 62 students. In 1997, 85 pupils were enrolled.
St. Peter’s Scouting was first organized at St. Peter’s in May 1952 with Girl Scout Troop 82 being formed, and followed by the Boy Scout Troop 14 formed in January 1953. Scouting programs continue today through the efforts of dedicated leaders.
The first St. Peter’s Church Choir of 19 members was organized in 1907. Over the years this group has inspired us during mass and conducted many other functions such as Lithuanian Song Festivals and Concerts presented throughout Illinois and Wisconsin.
On March 27, 1966, it was announced that “all orations in the Mass will be in English,” hymnals to be used and parishioners encouraged the use of the English language in church services, the Church Choir disbanded. In July of 1981, an adult choir was organized and sang at the 11:00 a.m. Mass. This choir consisted of 22 members and started wearing choir robes donated by an anonymous parishioner.
Sign Singers for the hearing impaired began on February 2, 1981 at our Church, and a Children’s Choir was formed in September 1984. A favorite went during our parish festival, the first Polka Mass was held on Saturday, August 2, 1997, and continues today.
Many improvements were made to our parish in recent years, such as the installation of the wheelchair lift in 1991, construction of the south parking lot in 1995-96, and the church renovation in 1997 with the removal of the altar and pews from “old” St. Peter’s being replaced by donated altar and pews from St. Lucy’s, as well as the installation of carpeting in the church. Most recent improvements include replacing the garage for $10,500 by D&D Construction Co. () and re-roofing of all the buildings with added ventilators (1998) costing over $200,000. The new church roof included a steeple and a donated cross. To help pay for the cost of the new roof, a special “Raise the Roof Raffle” was held and $35,000 was raised through the efforts of our parishioners. In the spring of 2002, Carillon bells were purchased and installed through a generous donation. A new sign for the church was installed in 2003.
Rev. Daniel Cambra, MIC, had a God-given talent for beautiful spiritual homilies and an infectious laugh that put one at ease. A “shaker and mover” for eleven years as pastor at St. Peter’s, it was announced in November 2000, that Fr. Dan was appointed Vocation Director for the Marian Fathers Order, and would be leaving St. Peter’s.
Fr. Bill Hayward was appointed the new pastor at St. Peter’s January 1, 2001.
Rev. Bill Hayward, pastor, reported at the September 9, 2002 Parish council’s Annual Meeting this parish status: Registered parishioners – 2751 in 955 households 98 new families registered during
1920: Simmons Field opened in Kenosha with a seating capacity of 7,000, due to the Simmons Bedding Company's baseball team's need for a field. The park allowed for growth of the company's Simmons Bedmakers team and provided a suitable venue for the city&rsquos flourishing baseball rivalries. The 1919 Chicago White Sox — the team later known as the Black Sox — even made plans to play against the Simmons team during the summer of 1920. However, a fire destroyed the wood grandstand in the stadium's inaugural season. Rumors persist to this day that members of the rival Nash Motor Company team started the Simmons Field fire.
1930: The grandstand was re-built after the fire in 1920.
1947: The Simmons Company sold the field and Kenosha made it available for use by the city's women's professional baseball team, the Kenosha Comets, in 1948. The Comets, of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League (AAGPBL), the league made famous by the 1992 film "A League of Their Own", had played in Kenosha at Lakefront Stadium since the league was founded in 1943. The team played at Simmons Field from 1948 until their final season in 1951.
1950s-1980s: For decades following, Simmons Field was used by little leagues, amateur leagues, and for exhibition games. Notable baseball players to play at the stadium included Warren Spahn, Bob Feller and Satchel Paige. During this era, the Kenosha Pirates, a local semi-pro team, also played at Simmons Field.
1984: Bob Lee, Kenosha native and former minor league pitcher, transformed Simmons Field when he purchased the Minnesota Twins Single-A Midwest League affiliate and moved the team. The move provided for approximately $350,000 worth of improvements to Simmons Field, including a new clubhouse, new in-ground dugouts, new wood outfield fence, new electronic scoreboard, concession facilities, and aluminum bleachers along the third base line.
The Kenosha Twins played at Simmons Field for nine years, winning two Midwest League championships and producing more than a dozen major league players, including four players on the Minnesota Twins 1991 World Championship team. That World Championship team included American League Rookie of the Year Chuck Knoblauch and long-time Kenosha resident and previous UW-Parkside head coach, Jarvis Brown, who played for the Kenosha Twins in 1987 and 1988. Current Kenosha Kingfish Manager, Duffy Dyer, managed the team in 1984 and 1985, winning the Midwest League Championship in 1985. Current Carthage College head baseball coach Augie Schmidt also played at Simmons for the Twins in 1986, before retiring from professional baseball. Lee sold the team after the 1991 season and new ownership moved the team to Fort Wayne, Indiana after the 1992 season.
The Kenosha Kings, a local semi-pro team, also took up residence at Simmons Field in 1984. The Kings currently compete in the Wisconsin State League and won the league&rsquos championship in 2006. The Kings are currently in the longest run of consecutive seasons of any team to play at Simmons Field.
1990s: Simmons Field was home to amateur teams of high school and college talents, as well as the Kings. The locally-run Kenosha Chiefs semi-pro team also was the stadium&rsquos primary tenant in 1993, and the Kenosha Kroakers of the collegiate summer Northwoods League called Simmons home from 1994 to 1999.
1998: Green Bay Packers players also appeared at Simmons Field for a charity softball game that also drew thousands of fans.
1999: Chart-topping pop group 'N Sync played a charity softball game at Simmons in front of roughly 2,800 fans.
2000: AAGPBL players returned to Simmons Field for a reunion and dozens of the former players dedicated a plaque to commemorate the AAGPBL&rsquos time in Kenosha. The Kenosha Comets plaque remains standing at a newly renovated Historic Simmons Field today.
2003: Simmons Field was home to professional baseball team Dubois County Dragons, of the independent Frontier League, when they moved and became the Kenosha Mammoths. However, the Mammoths failed to attract large crowds and the team moved again after one season in Kenosha.
2007: The Kenosha Parks Department leased Simmons Field to the Kenosha Unified School District (KUSD). KUSD leased the field to the Kenosha Simmons Baseball Organization (KSBO), a non-profit group working to upgrade and restore the stadium. Initial improvements included a rebuilt infield, which was completed in the fall of 2007, and a new electronic scoreboard behind left field. The stadium was then purchased by the Kenosha Kingfish in 2013.
2008: The Men&rsquos Senior Baseball League (MSBL) of Kenosha organized the 2008 Women&rsquos Hall of Fame Classic. This event hosted a large contingency of the AAGPBL players in a rededication of Simmons Field to women&rsquos baseball. The event provided the best female baseball players in the country the opportunity to tryout for positions on the US team competing in the 2008 World Cup Games in Japan. The event was capped off with a five team international women&rsquos baseball tournament featuring the Aussie Hearts, Chicago Pioneers, Nashua Pride, New England Red Sox and Washington Stars. The tournament was won by the Aussie Hearts coached by Kenosha native Rob Novotny.
2013: Simmons Field has recently become home to the Kenosha Kingfish, playing their first season in the summer of 2014. The Kenosha Kingfish are one of 18 teams in the Northwoods League, featuring minor-league style entertainment and the top college baseball players from across the nation. The Kenosha Kingfish ownership group also owns three other teams in the Northwoods League, the Madison Mallards, the Wisconsin Rapids Rafters, and the Green Bay Bullfrogs. In partnership with the City of Kenosha, more than $1 million was invested to help restore the 83 year-old Simmons Field. The newly renovated stadium features over 2,100 major league stadium seats from Camden Yards, home of the Baltimore Orioles. The new facility also features several corporate hospitality areas, a party deck and a general admission lawn seating area. The Kenosha Kingfish had their inaugural season home opener on Saturday, May 31st, 2014.
2014: The Inaugural season was nothing short of successful for the Kenosha Kingfish. They finished 41-30 overall in the season, claiming the number three spot in the South Division, only a half game behind second place. The Kenosha and surrounding areas embraced the Kingfish like no other, helping the Kingfish take the number eight spot in the national ranking of attendance per games in summer collegiate leagues. The Kingfish averaged over 2,000 fans per game.
In addition to Historic Simons Field being home to the Kingfish, various high schools, recreational and amateur baseball teams, including Kenosha Christian Life, St. Joseph High School, MSBL Kenosha, the Kenosha Kings, and the Kenosha Merchants all play at the field as well.
Despite its changes through the years, Simmons Field retains its classic feel. The historic grandstand behind home plate looks much like it did during the days of the AAGPBL and still evokes memories of the baseball greats who played in front of it.
7817 Sheridan Rd.
Kenosha, WI 53143
Tensions Over Race and Policing in Kenosha, Wis., Began Long Before the Shooting of Jacob Blake
O n Sunday, when police in Kenosha, Wis., shot Jacob Blake several times in the back, the incident quickly became part of the long list of violent moments that have helped shape this year. Blake, a 29-year-old Black man, appeared about to enter a gray SUV in which his three children were sitting. Kenosha police have released few details about the event, but on Tuesday, the family&rsquos attorney, Benjamin Crump, tweeted that Blake was &ldquocurrently paralyzed from the waist down.&rdquo
As has been the case with a number of police shootings in recent months, a video of the event quickly spread online and prompted community members to take to the streets in Kenosha. Some initially peaceful demonstrations turned violent as law enforcement clashed with protesters. &ldquoIt has just been getting more and more tense with the police. They&rsquove been slightly more aggressive with us with each demonstration,&rdquo says Diamond Hartwell, 25, a Kenosha native and human rights activist.
Early on Wednesday, two people were killed during the ongoing unrest, Police said, in an episode that took place near a gas station where protesters and a group of armed men were arguing.
But the events of 2020 aren’t the only story of which Blake’s shooting is a part. What happened to Jacob Blake is also part of other long, troubling histories&mdashincluding those of race in Wisconsin and of police-community tensions in Kenosha specifically. And what protesters are taking to the streets to fight for, including accountability measures like body cameras and increased transparency from the police department, had been on the minds of many community members long before this year.
&ldquoMidwesterners don’t understand their history of racism, and so these things seem surprising. They seem to come out of nowhere or be new when they’re really a reflection of who we’ve always been,&rdquo says Christy Clark-Pujara, associate professor of history at the University of Wisconsin&ndashMadison&rsquos Department of Afro-American Studies. &ldquoIt’s not terribly surprising to me what happened in Kenosha.&rdquo
Wisconsin&rsquos history with race is complicated: Clark-Pujara describes the state as “racially progressive and oppressive at the same time.” Wisconsin was a place of refuge for many people who escaped slavery, who could find help getting to Canada from there, but the state also scrapped an early draft of its constitution that would have called for a referendum on Black male suffrage the version of the state constitution that passed in 1848 ended up allowing only white men to vote. “If you were trying to flee bondage and get through Wisconsin, you could find help. If you were trying to settle and live your life as a free Black person in Wisconsin, you were pushed to the margins,” says Clark-Pujara.
The number of people affected by that dynamic grew throughout the 19th and 20th centuries, especially as post-World War II job opportunities drew new Black residents to the state. Even so, as of 2019, the state’s population is overwhelmingly white.
A lack of understanding of this history, and of the ways in which white supremacy can be deeply rooted even in a region with a seemingly positive record on equality, has made the Midwest &ldquoa place of polite, passive-aggressive racism,&rdquo Clark-Pujara argues&mdashand, she says, that dynamic has contributed to the fact that “some of the worst disparities between white and Black people are in the Midwest.&rdquo
One report found that Midwestern states, including Wisconsin, made up 10 out of 11 of the states &ldquowith the largest ratio between black and white unemployment in 2017.&rdquo And five out of six of the country’s metropolitan regions where Black residents experience concentrated poverty at rates over 40%&mdasha measure of whether a large number of people in a certain area are poor&mdashare in the Midwest Milwaukee is among them. Kenosha, a city of 100,000 where Black residents represent 11.5% of the community, is halfway between Milwaukee and Chicago, two of the most segregated cities in the U.S.
And in some cases, the more recent versions of the forces that excluded Black people from the Wisconsin constitution were not “polite” or “passive-aggressive” at all.
&ldquoYou have this white supremacist contingent here in Kenosha, and for some reason, they feel very, very comfortable,&rdquo Dayvin Hallmon, a former Kenosha County Board Supervisor, tells TIME. For example, in 2016, a student at Kenosha’s Westosha Central High School dressed up as a Ku Klux Klan member for a class presentation. And last year, The Southern Poverty Law Center tracked 15 hate groups, including Neo-Nazi and white-nationalist organizations, with a presence in Wisconsin.
To Hallmon, these underlying currents of racism seemed to manifest, as they so often have in the U.S., in the relationship between the city’s Black population and its police force he says he recalls several incidents from his time there during which he felt that police were not looking out for Black people’s safety. (The Kenosha Police Department did not respond to requests for comment for this story.)
And tensions between Kenosha’s residents and its police have not been limited to the Black community. Notably, in 2004, 21-year-old Michael Bell Jr., who was white, was shot by police in front of his family, like Blake was. After a brief internal investigation of the incident absolved the officers, some in the community came to believe the police were trying to cover something up. Though the police department long stood by its officers in the case, Bell’s family later won a lawsuit against the city and helped push for a 2014 provision that changed the way deaths involving police are investigated in the state. &ldquoThat was one of the biggest things in recent times that majorly separated the public and the police department,&rdquo says Isaac Wallner, Kenosha resident and founder of the Human First Project, a grassroots advocacy group.
Incidents like these led to &ldquoa sense that something needed to be done,” Hallmon says, “but also a sense of &lsquothere’s nothing we can do, no one’s actually going to listen.&rsquo&rdquo
The hopelessness felt by the residents of his district led Hallmon to bring up a package of reform for the police department in 2016, which included body-worn cameras for police officers. The idea did not turn into a reality: In 2017, the city unanimously passed a resolution recommending the use of body cameras, but the measure still hasn&rsquot been implemented even today, with city officials citing cost as an issue. On Monday, Kenosha Mayor John Antaramian confirmed that body cameras won&rsquot be in the budget until 2022.
Two years after introducing those reform measures, Hallmon decided he’d had enough of Kenosha. &ldquoI felt like I had to do something to get myself back as a human being, because trying to stop everything that you see and the multiplicity of ways that I did it, it broke me and destroyed me as a person,&rdquo says Hallmon. &ldquoIt was either that or suicide.&rdquo
It is perhaps unsurprising, then, that as protests swept the nation and the world this year, Kenosha saw its histories of racial and community strain brought back to the forefront. On June 27, for example, Black Lives Matter counterprotesters interrupted a “Back the Badge” rally in support of law enforcement at the city’s Civic Center Park. Activist Diamond Hartwell was among the counterprotesters, working to record and deescalate situations. “[The police] were not on our side at all,” she says. “They were not protecting us.”
And so when Jacob Blake was shot, it was in a city that was already on edge&mdashwhere activists are still at work and hoping that the incident drives real change.
&ldquoThe greatest emotional toll is on Jacob and his family. He took the bullets, not us,&rdquo says Wallner. &ldquoIt&rsquos up to us. We the people have the power to make sure that people answer for his shooting and to make sure that nobody else has to go through that again.&rdquo
In late 1980, the Kenosha County Jail Administrator contacted KVNA to request that the agency work with the County to administer medical services to inmates. At that time, medical care required the costly process of transporting inmates to the area hospital for treatment. The initial contact between the Sheriff’s Department and KVNA began a continuing dialog to assist with the health care needs of inmates. This began one of the first correctional health programs in the state of Wisconsin which now provide 24/7 health care coverage at the downtown pretrial facility and 16/7 at the Detention Center.
Over the next ten years the agency reorganized and diversified to include services in the community such as caring for special needs children in the school system, providing respite care for the Cerebral Palsy Association, operating a day care center which included children with complex health care needs, establishing a medical equipment company and respiratory care program and conducting a county-wide flu shot program.
Providing private duty services, flu and pneumonia vaccinations, in-home and in office foot care ensure many important needs are met for the families in our community.
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38 Frontage Rd Mona, UT 84645
Hours: Mon-Thurs 7:30am-5:00pm (MST)
Phone: (435) 856-1000
Toll-Free: (800) 574-9200
Fax: (435) 856-1040
History Department to Offer Course on Kenosha Black History
SOMERS, Wis. - UW-Parkside History Department is offering a seven-week course beginning March 29 titled “Researching Kenosha’s Black History,” taught by Professor Edward Schmitt.
“For us to begin learning, healing, and making progress as a community after the painful events of the last year, it is crucial to understand the essential contributions and challenges of Black Kenoshans throughout the city's history,” said Professor Schmitt. “This course is a first step in collaboratively exploring and sharing that rich history more widely.”
Schmitt added that, for many, the shooting of Jacob Blake and events in the aftermath exposed for the first time the racial inequality in Kenosha. For others, it laid bare the problems that the city's Black community has long faced.
In the wake of Kenosha being thrust into the spotlight, the course will look at the importance of trying to understand the historical experience of Black Kenoshans and the ways the city has navigated the urban racial tensions endemic to communities across the United States.
Because there has been limited scholarly exploration of the African American experience in Kenosha, Parkside is offering the seven-week course in an online format and students will be working to collaboratively identify, share, and reflect on a broad range of sources and voices on this topic of vital consequence to not only our local community, but to the nation.
This course is open either for university credit or for those interested in auditing. To watch an informational video of the course, please click here.