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The city is adjacent to the Town of West Allis, to which it is connected by a line. The area that would become West Allis was first settled in 1834, with the platting of the town of Independence. The community had been named after Independence Hall in Philadelphia and developed around a tavern located at what would today be 22nd Street and Greenfield Avenue. In 1840, Milwaukee County purchased land there for an agricultural fairgrounds; this site became known as "West Grounds". By 1850, a post office was established under the name "West Allis", after Elias West from East Troy (who served as Wisconsin's second territorial governor) and Andrew Miller from New York City (a prominent businessman who helped finance railroad development). A rail line constructed through town brought industry including several paper mills; these operations were later absorbed by Kimberly-Clark Corporation. In 1892, when most residents voted on whether to incorporate into a village or not, 537 votes were cast in favor while only 38 were cast against incorporation.