Edward H. Kiefer

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Edward H. Kiefer
Member of the Wisconsin State Assembly
from the Milwaukee 15th district
In office
Preceded by Peter F. Leuch
Succeeded by August Dietrich
Member of the Wisconsin State Assembly
from the Milwaukee 10th district
In office
Preceded by Arthur Kahn
Succeeded by Frank J. Weber
Member of the Wisconsin State Assembly
from the Milwaukee 20th district
In office
Preceded by Norman R. Klug
Succeeded by Charles B. Perry
Member of the Wisconsin State Assembly
from the Milwaukee 18th district
In office
Preceded by Milton T. Murray
Succeeded by Frank Weinheimer
Personal details
Born (1874-05-01)May 1, 1874
Died April 14, 1951(1951-04-14) (aged 76)
Political party Socialist, Progressive
Residence Milwaukee
Profession Painter, politician

Edward H. Kiefer (May 1, 1874–April 14, 1951) was an American house painter who served seven terms (1911–1914 and 1931–40) as a member of the Wisconsin State Assembly representing Milwaukee.[1][2] He ran initially as a Social Democrat/Socialist, then became a Progressive.

Early life[edit]

Kiefer was born in Milwaukee in 1874 and was educated in the public and parochial schools of the city for three years. At age 9 he moved with his family to Morrison, Wisconsin, where he continued school. At 13 he returned to Milwaukee and attended school until age 15, when he became an apprentice painter, and practiced that trade for most of his life.[3] He was active in the Brotherhood of Painters, Decorators and Paperhangers and served a leader of that trade union in various capacities for decades, eventually becoming the business agent for his local union (Local 781).

Political career[edit]

Kiefer was first elected to the Wisconsin State Assembly in 1910 as a Social Democrat (the Socialist Party of Wisconsin preserved the old term for some years);[4] and was re-elected in 1912.[5] In 1914, he ran for the Wisconsin State Senate, but lost to Democrat David V. Jennings; his house seat was picked up by fellow Socialist Frank J. Weber.

Eighteen years later, Kiefer ran again for the Assembly under the banner of what was now the Socialist Party. He won that 1930 election,[6] and was re-elected in 1932[7] and 1934.[8]

In 1935, Kiefer introduced a resolution in the Assembly that the state call a new constitutional convention so that the Wisconsin Constitution could be revised "to meet present day social needs." Kiefer and other socialist legislators wished to have increased state involvement in private industry, public ownership of utilities, confiscation of individual income over $10,000, and establishment of a state bank.[9]

In 1936 he successfully ran for re-election as a Progressive (the Socialists and Progressives operated under a form of electoral fusion in this era)[10] and won again with that label in 1938.[11] Kiefer did not seek reelection to the Assembly in 1940, as he had already won a seat on the Milwaukee Common Council in 1939.[12] His simultaneous holding of both posts came under fire from Gov. Heil.[13]

Kiefer was twice elected as chairman of the Wisconsin central committee for the Wisconsin Progressive Party in 1940 and 1942. (By 1942 the cooperation agreement between the Socialists and Progressives was no longer in effect.)[14]

Personal life[edit]

He had five daughters and a son, including Isabella and Harold.[1]


  1. ^ a b "Ex-Alderman, Kiefer, Dead" Milwaukee Journal April 16, 1951.
  2. ^ Members of the Wisconsin Legislature, 1848-1999 Madison: State of Wisconsin Legislative Reference Bureau, 1999; p. 72 Archived December 9, 2006, at the Wayback Machine.
  3. ^ 1911 Wisconsin Blue Book, p. 773-74.
  4. ^ 1911 Wisconsin Blue Book 1910: Milwaukee 15th District: Edward H. Kiefer, Social Democrat, 1,800; Gerhard Aussen, Democrat, 18; Peter F. Leuch, Republican, 1,197.
  5. ^ 1913 Wisconsin Blue Book 1912: Milwaukee 10th District: Edward H. Kiefer, Social Democrat, 2,359; Lyman H. Browne, Democrat, 1,606; George A. Helden, Republican, 1,602.
  6. ^ 1931 Wisconsin Blue Book 1930: Milwaukee 20th District: Edward H. Kiefer, Socialist, 5,031; G.H. Wide, 1,118; Alfred E. Stiglbauer, 4,308.
  7. ^ 1933 Wisconsin Blue Book 1932: Milwaukee 18th District: Edward H. Kiefer, Socialist, 3,210; Arthut J. Bilder, Democrat, 3,181; Reinhart Kopp, Republican, 1,550; Hugh J. Smith, independent, 106.
  8. ^ 1935 Wisconsin Blue Book 1934: Milwaukee 18th District: Edward H. Kiefer, Socialist, 2,433; Aloys L. Eberle, Democrat, 2,250; Fred Jaeger, Progressive, 1,092; Arthur Krueger, Republican, 533; other 5.
  9. ^ "Constitution Revision Urged: Socialists Here to Advocate State Convention", Milwaukee Sentinel January 6, 1935.
  10. ^ 1937 Wisconsin Blue Book 1936: Milwaukee 18th District: Edward H. Kiefer, Progressive, 4,489; Aloys L. Eberle, Democrat, 3,810.
  11. ^ 1940 Wisconsin Blue Book 1938: Milwaukee 18th District: Edward H. Kiefer, Progressive, 3,080; Claire M. Merten, Republican, 2,207; Joseph J. Marten, Democrat, 1,057.
  12. ^ "Record Vote is Seen after Hot Campaign" Milwaukee Sentinel September 14, 1940.
  13. ^ "Heil Promises Dual Job Quiz" Milwaukee Journal April 19, 1940.
  14. ^ "Progressives Blast at Heil" Milwaukee Journal Sentinel September 30, 1942.