The heart and soul of America is a combination of farmers working fields to feed the nation and manufacturing titans constructing buildings, streets, and cars.
Oak Creek, Wisconsin, has lived up to its “City of Balance” moniker through the decades by meshing agriculture with industry to produce a bustling municipality while still maintaining a small city attitude.
It is a unique place where pro-union liberals teamed with anti-establishment conservatives to save their city from being annexed and wiped off the map in 1955. The tax base built by the Wisconsin Electric power plant and General Motors’ AC Spark Plug provided necessary funds to develop neighborhoods, upgrade schools, and offer first-rate civic services for the residents.
Contributions from apple-growing families to skilled trade workers enabled the southernmost suburb of Milwaukee to evolve from a largely rural town to the fastest growing city in the state.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR(S)
Jim Cech is a lifelong resident of Oak Creek who worked as a broadcaster for several Milwaukee and Chicago radio stations during the 1990s. He has been employed at the headquarters of Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance since 2004 and holds degrees in communications and secondary education from UW Milwaukee. After narrowly losing a bid to become the city’s seventh mayor, Jim became active in the Historical Society and began serving on the Traffic and Safety Committee. He is married to Amy and they have twin daughters, Cassy and Tia. His previously published books are Oak Creek: Fifty Years of Progress in 2005 and Backstage Pass in 2009.