Sprague Bicycles


Wilson A. Sprague Bicycles

Wisconsin is a notably cycling friendly state, and the Sugar River State Trail (a rail to trail project for hikers and cyclists), is a breathtaking route that connects Brodhead to New Glarus. Being an avid cyclist myself, I have ridden it countless times.

Needless to say, this ad for Sprague Bicycles caught my eye when I was searching through archived newspapers.

It was thrilling to see a love for the bike going back to the 19th century, and its relevance as a mode of transportation here in Brodhead.

Little did I know this curious ad would unlock a vault of interesting information...

Burr Sprague, father to Wilson

History Uncovered

In researching Sprague Bicycles, I discovered that Wilson Abbott Will Sprague, was son of Burr Sprague ... a notable figure in Wisconsin history.

Burr Sprague moved to Wisconsin in 1848, and ultimately settled in Brodhead.

Burr was a lawyer, as well as editor and publisher of the Brodhead Independent Observer. He was also postmaster for Brodhead and Orfordville, judge of the Green County Court, and superintendent of Brodhead public schools.

As if that was not enough, Sprague served for 3 cumulative years in the State Assembly as a Republican.

Wilson, the youngest of Burr's three children, was born in 1871. He went on to marry Marguerite Kezia Bryce in 1895, and had two children: daughter Jessie B. and Burr Sprague Jr.

"K. K. Hellerud, Brodhead merchant, still delivers groceries on his bicycle, which has seen constant service since 1899."
~ Journal Staff Photo