Franklin is a microcosm of how a sparsely populated farming community may progress into a small city. German and Irish settlers established Franklin’s earliest business enterprises – taverns, blacksmiths, farm supply stores, and the annual Labor Day fair, which remains the largest of its kind in Milwaukee County. In 1956, Franklin moved from a township to a city, featuring a single patrolman and an all-volunteer fire department. For entertainment, Franklinites availed themselves of the 41 Twin Outdoor Theater or Saturday night races at Hales Corner Speedway, Little League diamonds in St. Martins or behind the fire station, and dance halls at Heiden’s or the White Dove. A new era began when Franklin High School opened its doors to 350 students in 1962. Today, at 36 square miles – Milwaukee’s largest suburb- it is noteworthy that Franklin still has room for a functioning stone quarry and the Tuckaway Country Club.

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