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Early explorers called the Milwaukee River and surrounding lands various names: Melleorki, Milwacky, Mahn-a-waukie, Milwarck, and Milwaucki.For many years, printed records gave the name as "Milwaukie".In 1818, the French Canadian explorer Solomon Juneau settled in the area, and in 1846, Juneau's town combined with two neighboring towns to incorporate as the city of Milwaukee.Large numbers of German immigrants helped increase the city's population during the 1840s, with Poles and other immigrants arriving in the following decades. The city is experiencing its largest construction boom since the 1960s.French missionaries and traders first passed through the area in the late 17th and 18th centuries.Alexis Laframboise, in 1785, coming from Michilimackinac (now in Michigan) settled a trading post; therefore, he is the first European descent resident of the Milwaukee region.The name "Milwaukee" comes from an Algonquian word Millioke, meaning "Good", "Beautiful" and "Pleasant Land" (cf.
Further, Kilbourn distributed maps of the area which only showed Kilbourntown, implying Juneautown did not exist or the river's east side was uninhabited and thus undesirable. Early that year it became known Juneau and Kilbourn intended to lay out competing town-sites and by the years' end both had purchased their lands from the government and made their first sales.Ranked by estimated 2014 population, Milwaukee was the 31st largest city in the United States.Milwaukee is the main cultural and economic center of the Milwaukee metropolitan area.Milwaukee began to grow as a city as high numbers of immigrants, mainly German, made their way to Wisconsin during the 1840s and 1850s.Scholars classify German immigration to the United States in three major waves, and Wisconsin received a significant number of immigrants from all three.
By 1840, the three towns had grown quite a bit, along with their rivalries.