Toepfer Mansion
4001 Mineral Point Rd.     Built 1906
The land between Westmorland Avenue and Glenway Street just south of Mineral Point Road was originally purchased from the government by Alanson Sweet, a member of Wisconsin’s Territorial Council, in November 1836, just days before Madison was named the territorial capital. The land cost $1.25 per acre.

Sweet, who represented Milwaukee County in the legislature, was one of James Duane Doty’s key allies in making Madison the capital. He was a stone mason and farmer, one of 12 men who signed the original charter of Chicago, and was an early settler of Milwaukee. He operated Milwaukee’s first wheat storage warehouse, ran the Bank of Milwaukee, ran a brick-making establishment, owned a fleet of ships on the Great Lakes, built Great Lakes lighthouses, and pushed for the creation of Door County (one of his captains discovered Bailey’s Harbor).

By the 1860s this land was part of Charles Baker’s Sunnyside Farm. The stone house next door was Baker’s barn. Otto Toepfer acquired the farm from Baker in 1899 and built this house in 1906.

Toepfer was born on January 1, 1872, in a farmhouse built by his father (now Otto’s Restaurant at 6405 Mineral Point Road). Toepfer was active in local politics, serving as a Town of Madison board member for 10 years and as a Dane County supervisor for 19 years. In 1916, Toepfer began developing his farm into residential streets and lots by creating the West Wingra Addition along Glenway Street.

In 1926, Toepfer sold a large part of his property to August O. Paunack, who began the Westmorland development. Toepfer sold this house to Paunack in 1930.

The house is three stories high, contains 3,927 square feet, and has seven bedrooms. There are stained glass windows off three rooms: the east closet, part of the den, and the vestibule. At the time it was built, it was the only house in the area.