Rufus King: Civic and political leader in the development of the city of Milwaukee

Kathleen A. Code Gomez, Marquette University


Rufus King (1814-1876), soldier, editor, diplomat, and civic leader, was a member of the illustrious Yankee-Yorker family which had contributed much to the development of the newly formed United States. King left New York in 1845 to settle in the village of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where he became editor of one of the Milwaukee Sentinel. In addition to his role as editor, King quickly became involved in all aspects of civic and political life in Milwaukee. This historical study has focused on King's achievements in the field of education, particularly as they relate to the establishment of public schools and practices, and the school superintendency in the public school system of Milwaukee. As the first school board president and later as first superintendent of the Milwaukee Public Schools, Rufus King was able to participate in the formulation and practices for the infant school system, including teacher selection, examination, and retention; the development of a uniform curriculum and methods for textbook selection; and an ambitious building program. Through an examination of King's accomplishments, insights may be gained into the development of public schools and educational practices in nineteenth-century Milwaukee, and in other parts of the United States.

Recommended Citation

Gomez, Kathleen A. Code, "Rufus King: Civic and political leader in the development of the city of Milwaukee" (1996). Dissertations (1962 - 2010) Access via Proquest Digital Dissertations. AAI9634265.