Gilbert Knapp

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Gilbert Knapp (3 December 1798 – 31 July 1887) was a member of the Wisconsin State Assembly and the founder of Port Gilbert (now Racine, Wisconsin). He is memorialized by the Captain Gilbert Knapp Monument at 1751 Michigan Boulevard in Racine[1] and a plaque on the Gilbert Knapp Elementary School at 2701 17th Street.[2]


Knapp was born on December 3, 1798 in Chatham, Massachusetts.[3] After serving as a privateer in the War of 1812, Knapp joined the United States Revenue Cutter Service, becoming a captain.

In 1821, he married Maria Annan. They had four children before she died in 1828. In 1831, Knapp married Maria's sister. She died the following year. Knapp then married Almira Meach in 1837.

In 1835, Knapp founded Port Gilbert (now Racine, Wisconsin).[4] He died there on July 31, 1887.

Political career[edit]

Knapp was a member of the upper house of the legislature of the Wisconsin Territory from 1836 to 1838. After the territory became a state, Knapp served in the Assembly in 1861. He was a Democrat.


  1. ^ Tour of Racine
  2. ^ "Tablet to Honor Racine's Founder at Knapp School". The Racine Journal-Times. February 13, 1936. p. 4. Retrieved August 14, 2014 – via  open access publication – free to read
  3. ^ "Wisconsin—Death of Capt. Gilbert Knapp". Chicago Daily Tribune. August 1, 1887. p. 8. Retrieved June 18, 2015 – via  open access publication – free to read
  4. ^ "Knapp, Gilbert 1798 - 1887". Wisconsin Historical Society. Retrieved 2013-10-15. 

External links[edit]

Capt Gilbert G. Knapp at Find a Grave