Whiskey

High-proof whiskey

A prank played on a whiskey-loving visitor in Milwaukee's early days gave a new meaning to the term "strong drink." Illustration by Carl Swanson

A prank played on a whiskey-loving visitor in Milwaukee’s early days gave a new meaning to the term “strong drink.” Illustration by Carl Swanson

Early settler James S. Buck wrote the four-volume Pioneer History of Milwaukee [1881], which chronicled events both great and small – plus a few Buck found too funny not to share. For example, many historians recorded the construction of Milwaukee’s first courthouse, but only Buck gave us “The Courthouse Trouser Disaster.”

In the summer of 1845, John Shields, a fellow resident of the boarding house at which Buck was staying, ran afoul of the historian – and paid the price.

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