City ClubIn 1891 three Milwaukee businessmen, General F. C. Winkler, George Koeppen and Henry Gugler, held several meetings with sixty other men at the old Plankinton House Hotel to organize the founding of a new social club. The purpose of the club was to promote and provide a venue for German-American understanding and fellowship, a reflection of the large German immigration to Milwaukee at the end of the nineteenth century.
The first home of the new club, called the ‘Deutscher’ or ‘German’ Club, was in the Stadt Theater, the site of the present Pabst Theatre. In early 1895 a fire broke out and severely damaged the clubrooms, which meant a new home had to be found.
Several alternatives were considered, including disbanding the club which was in a poor financial state. When the vacant Mitchell Mansion on Grand Avenue (now Wisconsin Avenue) was brought to the attention of club members shortly after the death of Alexander Mitchell, all thoughts of dissolution vanished.
The Deutscher Club began renting its new quarters in early 1895, and on May 1st the Club held its opening night party in the Mitchell home with over 450 attendees, without any of the rooms which were eventually added.
In 1898 an offer to purchase the mansion for $165,000 was made and accepted. During World War I the club was renamed the Wisconsin Club.
Country ClubThe Wisconsin Club’s Country Club dates back to 1927 when it was founded and named Brynwood Country Club. It began as an exclusive club for Jewish members who had been excluded from joining other private clubs in the area.
In November 2009, the Wisconsin Club assumed management and overall operations of the Country Club. Then, in September 2011, the Wisconsin Club purchased the Country Club.