Some Wustum information in chronological order:
- Biographies of George Wustum (Charles’s father) say he was born in Bavaria in 1815 and came to the United States in 1844, settling briefly in Troy, N.Y., before moving to Racine.
- Wustum Museum is two houses – a frame house built in 1844, and a brick Italianate-style house added to the front of that farm house in 1856.
- Mr. Wustum was married Feb. 1, 1879, to Miss Jennie Electa Stewart, daughter of Alexander and Martha (Dunlap) Stewart.
- 1881, went to Montana and turned his attention to lumber and stock interests.
- The Anaconda standard., November 06, 1892, Page 7, Image 7: Mrs. C. A. Wustum and her niece, Miss Etta North, left on Thursday night for a twelve months’ visit in Racine, Wis., where Mr. Wustum will join them christmas. Mr. and Mrs. Wustum have been residents of this city since its inception. [Anaconda Standard was a newspaper in Anaconda, Montana.]
- The Anaconda standard., October 22, 1893, Page 6, Image 6: Mrs. Charles A. Wustum was here this week from Racine, Wis., looking after her property here.
- While living at Billings he erected a number of handsome, substantial buildings and owned the finest home there, and he was the founder of the Montana Lumber Company and chairman of the executive committee that was instrumental in the creation of Yellowstone county. He was the godfather of the county, giving it its name. He owned a large horse and cattle ranch of some three thousand acres there, and held his interests until 1901, when he sold out.
- The house was rented out until 1904, when Charles wound up his Montana business dealings and moved back to Racine.
- December 22, 1910: Charles Wustum writes his will, directing that his money be used for the Charles Wustum Old Peoples Home.
- March 21, 1916, Charles Wustum dies.
- The Charles Wustums had no children of their own. They did have an adopted son, Arthur, and a niece, Etta North. After Charles’ death in 1916, Jennie and Etta continued to live in the house.
- December 8, 1924, Jennie Wustum writes her will, directing that her money go to the foundation of an art museum.
In 1938, Jennie E. Wustum honored her husband’s memory by donating their house, property and a small trust fund to the city of Racine, Wisconsin.
- Jennie died in 1938. After turning over the keys to the house in 1939, Etta North moved into the Hotel Racine at Sixth and Main streets.
- The Charles A. Wustum Museum was founded in 1941. Jennie E. Wustum, widow of Charles A. Wustum, donated their house, property and small trust fund to the City of Racine, Wisconsin. She had wanted to create an art museum and park that would benefit future generations of the Racine community. In 1941, her donation formally became the Charles A. Wustum Museum of Fine Arts through the cooperative efforts of the City of Racine and the Racine Art Association (now the Racine Art Museum Association, Inc.)
Biography of Charles A. Wustum (from Commemorative Biographical Record of Prominent and Representative Men of Racine and Kenosha Counties, Wisconsin)
Charles A. Wustum was reared until the age of fifteen years in Racine, and he attended the common schools and the Dan Howard Commercial College, and then entered the Chicago University, where he continued three years. His first business connection was with his brother Sebastian, and they operated a market at the corner of 18th street and Wabash avenue, in Chicago, until February, 1878. They then bought the “Home Stake” gold mine, in the Black Hills, at Lead, S. Dak., which they sold in the second year to George Hearst of San Francisco, father of the present Congressman and newspaper publisher. On disposing of their mine. Sebastian returned to Chicago and later to Racine, but Charles A. did not close out his interest in mining property, as he afterward owned and worked the “Pacacho” gold mine. at Central City, S. Dak.. which he later sold and then, in 1881, went to Montana and turned his attention to lumber and stock interests. Montana was yet a Territory and Charles A. Wustum built the first frame house at Billings, which is now the county-seat of Yellowstone county. He served four years as postmaster at Billings under President Cleveland and was one of the dominant men of that locality. While living at Billings he erected a number of handsome, substantial buildings and owned the finest home there, and he was the founder of the Montana Lumber Company and chairman of the executive committee that was instrumental in the creation of Yellowstone county. He was the godfather of the county, giving it its name. He owned a large horse and cattle ranch of some three thousand acres there, and held his interests until 1901, when he sold out. His father and younger brother, George, Jr., had died, and his father left him a farm in the west end of his estate. Charles A. accepted the west end farm, and bought another on the east end, and combined three farms comprising 325 acres just at the edge of Racine, on which he has built an elegant home. He owns city property in addition to his interests mentioned, and he has stock in various enterprises.
Mr. Wustum was married Feb. 1, 1879, to Miss Jennie Electa Stewart, daughter of Alexander and Martha (Dunlap) Stewart. Mr. and Mrs. Wustum are members of the Episcopal Church. He belongs to Lodge No. 52, B. P. O. E.; to Racine Lodge, No. 18, A. F. & A. M.; Orient Chapter, No. 12, R. A. :M.; Racine Commandery, NO.7, K. T., and is a 32nd degree Scottish Rite Mason. He belongs to Milwaukee Valley Consistory, Nobles of the Mystic Shrine, and he and his wife are also members of the Eastern Star. Politically he is a Democrat.
One thought on “Wustums”
It’s very interesting to learn the history of people who gave Racine adults and children a very useful and inspiring home for art viewing and classes.