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The History of the Formation of the City of Oak Creek:


The Town of Oak Creek was the underdog when it took on the City of Milwaukee in an incorporation battle in 1955.


The town sought to incorporate to stop Milwaukee from chewing away at its borders.  Town Attorney Anthony X. Basile drafted a law, which has become known as the Oak Creek Law, to allow the town to hold a referendum on the incorporation.  Basile introduced the law to the State Senate.  The bill was passed, and Oak Creek scheduled its referendum for Oct. 27, 1955.


The news of a possible incorporation was not received warmly by Milwaukee officials.  To block the referendum they had to serve legal papers to Oak Creek officials, but they never got the chance.


Oak Creek's officials went into hiding.  Some moved in with relatives and friends so they couldn't be found.  One hid in an attic.  A local tavern was used as a mail drop.


The referendum was held as scheduled.  The results: 2,107 voted for incorporation and 126 voted against it.  A town employee, who had to take the ballots to where City Clerk John W. Trost was hiding in Milwaukee, changed cars twice and drove through a field because he feared he was being followed.


Despite several legal actions by Milwaukee after the referendum, Oak Creek got its charter Dec. 15, 1955.




Attribution:   City of  Oak Creek website 12/2014








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