Jacksonport: The Gubernatorial Great Escape

Although Jacksonport is a small town, it can claim three Wisconsin governors whose families have strong roots there. That’s why representatives of the Reynolds, Lucey and Doyle families will be at the Jacksonport Town Hall, 3365 Cty V, on Sept. 12, 7 pm, to share their memories. Panelists will include Molly Reynolds and her first cousin Kay Noel representing the Reynolds family, Paul Lucey and Catey Doyle.

The Reynolds family is among Jacksonport’s pioneers, going back to the mid-19th century. During his distinguished career, John W. Reynolds Sr. (1874-1958) served as the state’s attorney general. His son, John W. Reynolds Jr. (1921-2002), was a governor and was instrumental in bringing the Lucey and Doyle families to Jacksonport.

John Reynolds

Patrick Lucey (1918-2014), who became governor in 1971, started visiting Jacksonport years before that. His son Paul recalled that “John and Patty Reynolds first invited Pat and Jean Lucey and family to visit Jacksonport in approximately 1957. We have been coming up annually ever since.”

Patrick Lucey

Catey Doyle, sister of Gov. Jim Doyle Jr. (b. 1945), similarly recalled the influence of John Reynolds in bringing her family to Jacksonport, where her parents bought a log cabin in 1959 that she still owns. Jacksonport was therefore also the summer home of two U.S. District Court judges: James Edward Doyle Sr. and John Reynolds Jr., who was appointed to the federal bench following his term as governor. 

Jim Doyle

Molly Reynolds, who was a child during her father’s governorship, pointed out that the press referred to their hideaway in Jacksonport as  the “summer White House.”

The exchanges among members of the three families and those in the audience who knew one or more of Jacksonport’s governors will create a lively program that’s free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served. Donations will be welcomed for the museum-development fund of the Jacksonport Historical Society, which anticipates having a special area dedicated to the governors in the museum.

Related Organizations