Thomas E. Brittingham - May 18, 1860 - May 2, 1924
Interred at Forest Hill Cemetery
In 1889 he formed Brittingham & Hixson Lumber Co., and ultimately owned 126 lumber yards,
thousands of acres of timber, oil wells, and interests in financial institutions throughout
He was a UW regent, chairman of the Forest Hill Cemetery Commission, chair of the state parks
board and a curator of the Wisconsin Historical Society. A philanthropist, he was one of the
major benefactors and guiding spirits of the Madison Park and Pleasure Drive Association.
In 1905 contributed $16,000 to dredge Monona Bay and create Brittingham Park. He later paid
for two boathouses. one that is a Madison Landmark today
, and one that was razed in the 1960s.
He also contributed to Neighborhood House and Madison General Hospital, and paid for the base
of Bascom Hill's Lincoln statue, which was donated by its sculptor, Adolph Weinmann.
Brittingham left his house, "Dunmuvin," at 6021 Highlands Ave., to the UW. It is now used as
the official residence of the president. He created one foundation to benefit the UW and
another to benefit the city.
His son, Thomas Jr. (March 2, 1899-April 16, 1960), was a director or president of five
companies, including Lumber Industries and the Metropolitan Merchandise Mart, and held an
individual seat on the New York Stock Exchange. He was president of the Wisconsin Alumni
Research Foundation, and grew an $8 million share of the WARF fund to $29 million by putting
90 percent of the portfolio in stocks, contrary to most conservative college investing. He
was president of the UW Alumni Association from 1951 to 1952.
Brittingham on Langdon Street
A lumber baron, was responsible for giving the Lincoln statue to the university. His son,
Tom Jr., was responsible for building the Alumni House and for establishing the
artist-in-residence program that brought John Steuart Curry to the university. He was also
involved in the building of the Elvehjem Museum of Art. A gallery in the museum bears the