Public hearing to determine if George Marshall Clark’s lynching site will be added as landmark


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By Pardeep Kaleka, Editor, Milwaukee Independent

Northwest corner of Buffalo and Water Streets
Photo by Lee Matz


The editors of the Milwaukee Independent nominated the site where George Marshall Clark was lynched in 1861, at the northwest corner of Buffalo and Water streets, for designation as a historically significant landmark. The nomination is one of three finalists under consideration.

The Milwaukee County Historical Society is designated as the official agent of Milwaukee County to serve as an advisory body on landmarks. The purpose of landmarks is to list, record, protect, preserve, and enhance places, sites, areas, buildings, structures and other objects in the County of Milwaukee that have special character, special historical architectural, or cultural value.

The public was invited to nominate new properties to be considered for 2018 Milwaukee County Landmark status. The deadline ended on May 25, and since then a review board has inspected and evaluated the proposed sites, selecting three to review for this year.

Milwaukee County Landmarks Committee – Notice of Public Hearing

The Milwaukee County Landmarks Committee will hold a public hearing at 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday, August 8, at the Historical Society, 910 N. Old World 3rd Street. The subject of this hearing will be consideration of three sites nominated for designation as 2018 Milwaukee County Landmarks.

Persons interested in, or associated with, the potential landmarks may appear at the hearing to give testimony for or against the landmark designation. The sites are:

1) Woman’s Club of Wisconsin, 813 E. Kilbourn Avenue, being considered for historic and architectural significance.

2) North Milwaukee Village Hall, 5151 N. 35th Street, being considered for historic significance.

3) The site where George Marshall Clark was lynched in 1861, northwest corner of Buffalo and Water streets, being considered for historic significance…

Editor’s Note: Reggie Jackson and Dr. Fran Kaplan, representatives from America’s Black Holocaust Museum (ABHM) and Nurturing Diversity Partners, will testify in favor of this landmark at this public hearing.

ABHM representatives Jordan Davis and Maria Cunningham presented about Clark’s lynching at ABHM’s 2016 Founder’s Day Gathering for Racial Repair and Reconciliation.  You can visit their online exhibit about the lynching and its contrast with the rescue of fugitive slave Joshua Glover from the same Milwaukee jail at How a City Chooses to Remember Its Past.

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  1. Andrew Levin on September 10, 2021 at 1:36 PM

    Hi, I am a local US History teacher. In the end did Milwaukee decide to add the site as a landmark? Looking online, it looks like the answer is no, though it does appear that a headstone has been placed on Clark’s grave finally.

    • dr_fran on September 10, 2021 at 2:10 PM

      The Milwaukee County Historical Society approved a landmark plaque for the site of the lynching of Clark. I believe the plaque is ready to be installed, however the coronavirus pandemic has intervened in the plans for now. I believe that once covid is over, the landmark will be placed. Thanks for inquiring!

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