In the early years of its founding Milwaukee, Wisconsin was a city of well-defined neighborhoods divided by the natural barriers of the Milwaukee, Kinnickinnic, and Menomonee rivers. In the early 19th century these neighborhoods were developed into very distinct communities by their founders.
These men were intensely competitive, and used the natural tendencies of immigrants to group together for their own purposes. Solomon Juneau was the first to arrive and made it his mission to run all competitors into the ground. He purchased all of the land from the Milwaukee River east to Lake Michigan and from Juneau Avenue south to the Menomonee River in 1835.
His main competitors were a Yankee named Byron Kilbourn who setup west of the Milwaukee River, and George Walker who setup in the south, but screwed up his title to the land.
These men hated each other to such an extent that the streets of their settlements were purposely mis-aligned and to this day many bridges in the city cross rivers at odd angles. The anger between these men filtered down to their constituents and tensions grew.
In 1845 this simmering hostility erupted into conflict when angry mobs destroyed three of the bridges between the communities. No one was killed but followers of Juneau did roll a cannon up to the wreckage of one of the downed crossings and threaten to escalate the situation.
Cooler heads prevailed and in 1846 Juneau, Kilbourn, and Walker signed a pact merging the neighborhoods into a single city. After that everyone got busy making wheat, beer, and leather until Laverne and Shirley showed up.