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The following is a "Booster" talk given by L. E. Randall of Burlington over Milwaukee radio station WTMJ in October 1927, as reported in the Standard Democrat of October 21, 1927.

Burlington, the City Ideal


        "Folk of our radio audience, in view of the fact that this is Burlington hour, it is only proper and fitting that I tell you a few things about the City Ideal.

        "Burlington is a city of some 4,000 odd souls, and by this I do not mean that all the souls of Burlington are odd, but they are just ordinary individuals like you and me. It is outstanding among the smaller cities of Wisconsin. Its fame as a business city, manufacturing center and city of homes extends to all corners of the country. It is located at the junction of the Fox and White rivers, is in the heart of the lake region of southeastern Wisconsin, and is noted for its scenic beauty and the beauty of its surroundings. With all big city conveniences, but without their labor troubles, and other bad features, Burlington is an ideal location for manufacturing purposes. It lies in the heart of the great southern Wisconsin dairy district, and is the trade center for a large and prosperous farming community. Its 4,000 population is composed of thrifty, progressive people, practically all of whom own their own homes and take pride in keeping them neat and up-to-date. It offers you a welcome whether you are looking for a home, business location or factory site.

        "Burlington has a bountiful supply of pure sparkling artesian water, the first essential to a healthful, happy city.

        "Burlington has 24 hour electric service giving an abundance of power for factories or labor saving equipment in the homes.

        "Burlington has all its principal streets paved, and all of the main roads leading out into the rich farming district are paved with concrete.

        "Burlington has two modern automobile fire trucks and other up-to-date equipment, affording the very best of fire protection.

        "Burlington has three banks, with combined resources of nearly $4,000,000, proving the wealth of the community and affording the very best of banking facilities.

        "Burlington has a progressive class of citizens, who join hands and work together when there is something to be accomplished for the benefit of individual, church, society or for the city at large.

        "Burlington takes great pride in its public school system. Our new $200,000 high school, having a capacity of over 400 students, would be a credit to any community. The teaching staff is an exceptionally strong one. A prominent state authority has named the high school the best in the state. The school offers a variety of courses, and for years has been on the accredited list of western colleges. Burlington also has splendid Lutheran and Catholic parochial schools, outstanding among which is the new St. Mary's Catholic high school, which has just been completed at a cost of over $100,000.

        "Burlington has a God-loving population, who have erected imposing structures in which they worship. Catholic, Lutheran, German and English Methodist, Congregational, Christian Science and Episcopal congregations hold regular services, and a friendly co-operative spirit exists among them.

       "Burlington has a public library, containing 5,140 volumes. Its reading room contains most current magazines.

        "Burlington has a splendid array of manufacturing plants that make and send to the four corners of the world a diversity of products. They include horse blankets, ladies' and men's coats and underwear, mackinaws, rugs, plumbers' brass goods, automobile parts, baskets, veneers, lightning rods, automobile accessories, brick and tile, soft drinks, condensed and evaporated milk, butter, ice cream, sauerkraut, pickles, etc. The industries are owned by local capital and the men at their heads are interested in the growth and development of the city. Employment is given to a large number of men and women and it is seldom that the demand for workmen is filled.

        "Burlington is a popular summer resort for southern Chicago and Milwaukee people. Brown's lake, 12 miles from the city, has four large hotels that yearly accommodate thousands of visitors. Bohner's lake, 3 miles south of the city, is especially noted as a family retreat. The many lakes in this vicinity have their shores covered with summer homes and the city is a very busy tourist center during the summer months.

        "On July 1, 1927, a survey of twenty-nine cities in the Chicago district showed that Burlington has 86.8 feet of business frontage for each 100 people, as compared to Gary, Indiana, with 45.5 feet and Kenosha, Wisconsin, with 54 feet, Evanston, Ill., with 55.8 feet. Of all the 29 cities surveyed, Burlington business frontage exceeded all others by 20.4 feet, with no vacant space or buildings.

        "The electors of Burlington have recently approved a bond issue for park development and we will soon have a park system that is second to none.

        "The gas plant at Burlington furnishes gas for heat, lighting and cooking exclusively to the cities of Lake Geneva, Elkhorn, Delavan, Springfield and Lyons, and still further extensions are being planned.

        "Burlington is located on the Soo line railroad, the C. M. & St. P. railroad and T. M. E. R. & L. electric railroad. It is 70 miles from Chicago, thirty miles from Milwaukee, 30 miles from Racine and 30 miles from Kenosha. It has Chicago freight rates on all shipments to and from points beyond that city. It has 29 passenger trains daily and 10 electric cars daily each way to and from Milwaukee. It offers every advantage and opportunity for new industries to locate here that every fair minded business concern would desire.

        "The only way to convince yourself of the beauties of Burlington, its resources and advantages is to visit the city because the latch string is always out.

        "And now for the most recent achievements.

        "The completion of the city hall and library building, a credit to any city.

        "The fine new terminal building erected by the Wisconsin Gas & Electric Co., the duplicate of which cannot be found in cities ten times the size of Burlington.

        "The Tichlofen row of store buildings on Pine street; a fine lot of buildings, all of them occupied.

        "The complete remodeling of the interior of the Hotel Badger and the improvements at Hotel Burlington, giving this city unsurpassed hotel facilities.

        "The installation of the ornamental lighting system in the business district, and the rebuilding of the street lighting system, making Burlington the best lighted city in the state.

        "The completion of the 18-hole golf course at the lake, giving a recreation center for this sport which is so rapidly gaining in popularity.

        "The new Hansen Oil Co. building, the new Agner garage, the new Oberg theatre, the remodeling of the Orpheum theatre, the rebuilding and improving of the dance hall and dining room at the Antlers hotel at Brown's lake, and the new Bazal improvements of the old city hall are all milestones in our progress.

        "Burlington values are permanent. It has enjoyed a constant, steady growth and stands head and shoulders above other cities of this size in municipal improvements and the conveniences that make a happy, contented home.

        "To sum up in conclusion, Burlington has a population of 4,000, Soo Line and C. M. & St. P. railways, T. M. E. R. & L. electric railway, Chicago freight rates, nine factories, three milk plants that turn over 200,000 lbs. of milk daily, eight churches, seven schools, three banks with $4,000,000 resources, miles of paved streets, stores of every kind, nine garages, three theatres, modern hotels, artesian water supply, two motor fire trucks, complete sewer system, public library, 24-bed hospital with ambulance, two newspapers, building and loan association, Bell telephone system, free camp site, gas and electric service, two golf courses, an athletic association and a fast semi-professional baseball team with an ideal athletic park for their games. It is situated at the junction of the Fox and White rivers. It is 12 miles from Brown's lake, an ideal summer resort. In fact Burlington is the CITY IDEAL for your factory, business or home."

For More Information Contact:

Burlington Historical Society
232 North Perkins Blvd., Burlington, WI 53105
Tel: (262) 767-2884
Internet: info@burlingtonhistory.org

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