"Like most other American cities, Oshkosh started from a few houses... and has gradually grown to its present size. From generation to generation, new sections have been platted, new streets opened and named, new houses built and numbered. In most cases, little or no thought was give to the overall picture... Even we who have lived here for along time have been confused by similarity of street names and by lack of a uniform numbering system. Most of our street numbers start at zero from wherever the street begins, instead of one uniform starting line. As a result, particularly on the north side of the Fox River, there is no uniform 500 block, or 300 or 600 block. Every street has its own 500, 300 and 600 block with no relation to that of the streets on either side of it." (From a summary prepared by the Citizens Planning Committee in 1957.)
Early city directories list addresses like "North side of Merritt, two east of Bowen". Numbers were gradually introduced, becoming important when mail delivery was established in the fall of 1882. But many street names were similar, and there was no consistence in which side of streets was even and which was odd. Renumbering in the spring of 1907 affected most of the south side and many streets on the north side as well. However, it was not comprehensive enough.
In 1957, an Ordinance was adopted by the City of Oshkosh that resulted in extensive street name changes and house renumbering.