Dean History: Joseph Dean Sr- Dean - WI

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Dean Medical Group's History

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Dean History: Joseph Dean Sr

Joseph Dean Sr.Joseph Dean Sr.: Civil War Veteran


Joseph Dean (Sr.), the eldest son of Thomas and Elizabeth, was born in Manchester, England, on February 15, 1849. He came to Milwaukee with his parents in 1850, and a year later the Dean family moved to Madison. 

In 1864 at the age of 15, Joseph enlisted in the Union Army’s Company F of the Fifth Wisconsin Infantry. He served as a nurse in City Point, Virginia, until the end of the Civil War. 

Business man and family man

After the war, Joseph became a carpenter-contractor and later his father’s business partner. A “History of Dane County, Wisconsin” from 1880 described them as “industrious and useful citizens.” Like his father, Joseph also served as alderman for Madison’s fourth ward.

In 1872, Joseph married Mary Ann Donovan, the second of three children of Patrick Donovan and Mary O’Brien. Her family had emigrated from Ireland to  Madison in 1858 when Mary Ann was 6 years old. Her older brother, Anthony, became a highly respected municipal judge in Madison.

Joseph and Mary Ann Dean had nine children, including Joseph (“Dr. Joe”), the founder of the Dean Clinic, and his brother, James, who also became a physician and Dr. Joe’s first partner in the clinic.

Capitol carpenter

After the death of his father in 1892, Joseph Sr. continued in the business with J.J. Silbernagel under the firm’s name, Silbernagel and Dean. In 1910, Joseph worked as a carpenter in the construction and maintenance of the new state Capitol. He later became the superintendent of the Capitol’s carpenters, a position he held until his final illness.

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