First Black-owned Wauwatosa home receives historical designation

August 27, 2020

Zeddie Hyler (right) had to overcome many obstacles in 1955 before becoming the first African American homeowner in Wauwatosa. The list of obstacles he successfully overcame included angry neighbors, vandalism and arson. Even before beginning to build, Hyler had to enlist a white friend to purchase the property in his name before Hyler could begin construction. The persistence paid off, according to a recent news report by WUWM 89.7 radio.

Hyler became the first Black man to build a home in Wauwatosa. When he died in 2004, he left the house to his nephew, Gerald Williamson (main photo) who believed the historical significance of the house should be officially recognized. Williamson’s objective was realized earlier this year when the Wauwatosa Common Council unanimously approved a resolution designating the location as a Wauwatosa Historic Property.