List of counties in Wisconsin

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BayfieldAshlandIronDouglasWashburnVilasBurnettSawyerPricePolkDoorFlorenceLincolnBarronRuskOneidaForestTaylorMarinetteLangladeGrantLafayetteGreenRockWalworthIowaKenoshaRacineDaneJeffersonWashingtonDodgeSaukWaukeshaMilwaukeeOzaukeeColumbiaCrawfordRichlandMenomineeShawanoMarathonChippewaDunnPepinBuffaloPierceJuneauWausharaPortageGreen LakeCalumetMarquetteKewauneeSheboyganManitowocVernonOutagamieWaupacaTrempealeauSt. CroixEau ClaireFond du LacJacksonClarkLa CrosseMonroeOcontoAdamsWoodBrownWinnebago
Wisconsin counties (clickable map)

The state of Wisconsin in the United States has 72 counties. The land that eventually became Wisconsin was transferred from British to American control with the 1783 signing of the Treaty of Paris.[1] It was an unorganized part of the Northwest Territory until 1802 when all of the land from St. Louis north to the Canadian border was organized as St. Clair County.[1] When Illinois was admitted to the union in 1818, Wisconsin became part of the Territory of Michigan and divided into two counties: Brown County in the northeast along Lake Michigan and Crawford County in the southwest along the Mississippi River.[1] Iowa County was formed in 1829 from the Crawford County land south of the Wisconsin River.[1] Brown County's southern portion was used to form Milwaukee County in 1834.[1] The state of Wisconsin was created from Wisconsin Territory on May 29, 1848, with 28 counties.

Counties in Wisconsin are governed by county boards, headed by a chairperson. Counties with a population of 500,000 or more must also have a county executive. Smaller counties may have either a county executive or a county administrator.[2] As of 2011, 13 counties had elected county executives: Brown, Chippewa, Dane, Fond du Lac, Kenosha, Manitowoc, Milwaukee, Outagamie, Portage, Racine, Sawyer, Waukesha, and Winnebago. 23 had an appointed county administrator, 34 had an appointed administrative coordinator, and 2 had neither an executive nor an administrator. Waukesha County had both an executive and an administrator.[3]

Each county has a county seat, often a populous or centrally located community, where the county's governmental offices are located. Some of the services provided by the county include: law enforcement, circuit courts, social services, vital records and deed registration, road maintenance, and snow removal. County officials include sheriffs, district attorneys, clerks, treasurers, coroners, surveyors, registers of deeds, and clerks of circuit court; these officers are elected for four-year terms. In most counties, elected coroners have been replaced by appointed medical examiners. State law permits counties to appoint a registered land surveyor in place of electing a surveyor.

The most populous county in the state is Milwaukee County at 947,735 people at the 2010 census.[4] Its population is bolstered by the city of Milwaukee's 594,833 people.[4] The county with the least population is Menominee County with 4232 residents; the Menominee Indian Reservation is co-extensive with the county.[4] Pepin County is the smallest in area, with 231.98 square miles (600.8 km2); Marathon is the largest, having 1,544.91 square miles (4,001.3 km2).[4]

The Federal Information Processing Standard (FIPS) code, which is used by the United States government to uniquely identify states and counties, is provided with each entry.[5] Wisconsin's code is 55, which when combined with any county code would be written as 55XXX. The FIPS code for each county links to census data for that county.[6]

List of counties[edit]

FIPS code
County seat
Formed from

Adams County001Friendship1848Portage CountyJohn Quincy Adams
President of the United States
20,875645.65 sq mi
(1,672 km2)
State map highlighting Adams County

Ashland County003Ashland1860unorganized territoryAshland
Henry Clay's
estate in
16,1571,045.04 sq mi
(2,707 km2)
State map highlighting Ashland County

Barron County005Barron1859Polk CountyHenry D. Barron
state senator
and circuit court judge.
45,870862.71 sq mi
(2,234 km2)
State map highlighting Barron County

Bayfield County007Washburn1845Ashland CountyHenry Bayfield
Royal naval officer and
first to survey
Great Lakes area
15,0141,477.86 sq mi
(3,828 km2)
State map highlighting Bayfield County

Brown County009Green Bay1818MichilimackinacMajor General Jacob Brown
commanding general of the
United States Army
during the War of 1812
248,007529.71 sq mi
(1,372 km2)
State map highlighting Brown County

Buffalo County011Alma1853Trempealeau CountyThe Buffalo River
which flows through the county.
13,587671.64 sq mi
(1,740 km2)
State map highlighting Buffalo County

Burnett County013Siren1856Polk CountyThomas P. Burnett
state legislator
15,457821.85 sq mi
(2,129 km2)
State map highlighting Burnett County

Calumet County015Chilton1836unorganized territoryThe French word for a Menominee
peace pipe.
48,971318.24 sq mi
(824 km2)
State map highlighting Calumet County

Chippewa County017Chippewa Falls1845Crawford CountyThe Ojibwe nation of
Native Americans
(historically referred to as Chippewa)
62,4151,008.37 sq mi
(2,612 km2)
State map highlighting Chippewa County

Clark County019Neillsville1853Crawford CountyGeorge Rogers Clark
Revolutionary War general
34,6901,209.82 sq mi
(3,133 km2)
State map highlighting Clark County

Columbia County021Portage1846Portage CountyChristopher Columbus
navigator and explorer
56,833765.53 sq mi
(1,983 km2)
State map highlighting Columbia County

Crawford County023Prairie du Chien1818unorganized territoryWilliam Harris Crawford
United States Senator from Georgia
and Secretary of the Treasury
16,644570.66 sq mi
(1,478 km2)
State map highlighting Crawford County

Dane County025Madison1836unorganized territoryNathan Dane
delegate to the First Continental Congress
488,0731,197.24 sq mi
(3,101 km2)
State map highlighting Dane County

Dodge County027Juneau1836unorganized territoryHenry Dodge
Territorial Governor of Wisconsin
88,759875.63 sq mi
(2,268 km2)
State map highlighting Dodge County

Door County029Sturgeon Bay1851Brown CountyA dangerous water passage near
Door Peninsula
known as
Porte des Morts or
"door of the dead"
in French
27,785481.98 sq mi
(1,248 km2)
State map highlighting Door County

Douglas County031Superior1854unorganized territoryStephen Douglas
United States Senator
44,1591,304.14 sq mi
(3,378 km2)
State map highlighting Douglas County

Dunn County033Menomonie1854Chippewa CountyCharles Dunn
state senator
chief justice
of Wisconsin Territory
43,857850.11 sq mi
(2,202 km2)
State map highlighting Dunn County

Eau Claire County035Eau Claire1856Chippewa CountyCity of Eau Claire
French for
"clear water"
98,736637.98 sq mi
(1,652 km2)
State map highlighting Eau Claire County

Florence County037Florence (CDP)1881Marinette and Oconto CountiesFlorence Julst
the first white woman
to settle in the area
4,423488.20 sq mi
(1,264 km2)
State map highlighting Florence County

Fond du Lac County039Fond du Lac1836unorganized territoryFrench for
"foot of the lake"
101,633719.55 sq mi
(1,864 km2)
State map highlighting Fond du Lac County

Forest County041Crandon1885Langlade and Oconto CountiesForest which covered
the area when it was settled
9,3041,014.07 sq mi
(2,626 km2)
State map highlighting Forest County

Grant County043Lancaster1836unorganized territoryProbably a trader named Grant
who made contact with area natives in 1810
but about whom little
else is known
51,2081,146.85 sq mi
(2,970 km2)
State map highlighting Grant County

Green County045Monroe1836unorganized territoryNathanael Greene
quartermaster general during
the American Revolutionary War
36,842583.96 sq mi
(1,512 km2)
State map highlighting Green County

Green Lake County047Green Lake1858Marquette DistrictGreen Lake
located within the county
19,051349.44 sq mi
(905 km2)
State map highlighting Green Lake County

Iowa County049Dodgeville1829unorganized territoryIowa tribe of
Native American
23,687762.58 sq mi
(1,975 km2)
State map highlighting Iowa County

Iron County051Hurley1893Ashland and Oneida CountiesLocal iron deposits5,916758.17 sq mi
(1,964 km2)
State map highlighting Iron County

Jackson County053Black River Falls1853La Crosse CountyAndrew Jackson
President of the United States
20,449987.72 sq mi
(2,558 km2)
State map highlighting Jackson County

Jefferson County055Jefferson1836Milwaukee CountyThomas Jefferson
President of the United States
83,686556.47 sq mi
(1,441 km2)
State map highlighting Jefferson County

Juneau County057Mauston1856Adams CountySolomon Juneau
founder of what would become
26,664766.93 sq mi
(1,986 km2)
State map highlighting Juneau County

Kenosha County059Kenosha1850Racine CountyNative American word
meaning "place of the pike"
166,426271.99 sq mi
(704 km2)
State map highlighting Kenosha County

Kewaunee County061Kewaunee1852Manitowoc CountyEither a Potawatomi
word meaning
"river of the lost"
or an Ojibwe word meaning
"prairie hen"
"wild duck" or
"to go around"
20,574342.52 sq mi
(887 km2)
State map highlighting Kewaunee County

La Crosse County063La Crosse1851unorganized territoryNative American
game of lacrosse
114,638451.69 sq mi
(1,170 km2)
State map highlighting La Crosse County

Lafayette County065Darlington1846Iowa CountyGilbert du Motier
marquis de La Fayette
a French general
in the American Revolutionary War
16,836633.59 sq mi
(1,641 km2)
State map highlighting Lafayette County

Langlade County067Antigo1879unorganized territoryCharles de Langlade
(1729 – c.1800)
American Revolutionary War veteran
and United States Indian Agent
in Green Bay
19,977870.64 sq mi
(2,255 km2)
State map highlighting Langlade County

Lincoln County069Merrill1874Marathon CountyAbraham Lincoln
President of the United States
28,743878.97 sq mi
(2,277 km2)
State map highlighting Lincoln County

Manitowoc County071Manitowoc1836unorganized territoryMunedoo-owk, a Ojibwe word meaning "the place of the good spirit"81,442589.08 sq mi
(1,526 km2)
State map highlighting Manitowoc County

Marathon County073Wausau1850Portage CountyMarathon, Greece134,0631,544.98 sq mi
(4,001 km2)
State map highlighting Marathon County

Marinette County075Marinette1879Oconto CountyMarie Antoinette Chevalier, Native American wife of early an fur trapper41,7491,399.35 sq mi
(3,624 km2)
State map highlighting Marinette County

Marquette County077Montello1836Marquette DistrictFather Pere Jacques Marquette
missionary and explorer
15,404455.60 sq mi
(1,180 km2)
State map highlighting Marquette County

Menominee County078Keshena1959Menominee Indian Reservation,Shawano, and Oconto CountiesMenominee nation of Native Americans4,232357.61 sq mi
(926 km2)
State map highlighting Menominee County

Milwaukee County079Milwaukee1834unorganized territoryMahnawaukee-Seepe
a Native American word meaning
"gathering place by the river"
947,735241.40 sq mi
(625 km2)
State map highlighting Milwaukee County

Monroe County081Sparta1854La Crosse CountyJames Monroe
President of the United States
44,673900.78 sq mi
(2,333 km2)
State map highlighting Monroe County

Oconto County083Oconto1851unorganized territoryA Native American settlement and the Oconto River, whose name means "plentiful with fish"37,660997.99 sq mi
(2,585 km2)
State map highlighting Oconto County

Oneida County085Rhinelander1885Lincoln CountyOneida nation of Native Americans35,9981,112.97 sq mi
(2,883 km2)
State map highlighting Oneida County

Outagamie County087Appleton1851Brown CountyOutagamie nation of
Native Americans
176,695637.52 sq mi
(1,651 km2)
State map highlighting Outagamie County

Ozaukee County089Port Washington1853Milwaukee CountyThe Ojibwe word for the Sauk nation86,395233.08 sq mi
(604 km2)
State map highlighting Ozaukee County

Pepin County091Durand1858Dunn CountyPierre and Jean Pepin du Chardonnets, explorers7,469231.98 sq mi
(601 km2)
State map highlighting Pepin County

Pierce County093Ellsworth1853Saint Croix CountyFranklin Pierce (1804-69), President of the United States (1853-57)41,019573.75 sq mi
(1,486 km2)
State map highlighting Pierce County

Polk County095Balsam Lake1853Saint Croix CountyJames Polk
President of the United States
44,205913.96 sq mi
(2,367 km2)
State map highlighting Polk County

Portage County097Stevens Point1836unorganized territoryPassage between the Fox and Wisconsin Rivers70,019800.68 sq mi
(2,074 km2)
State map highlighting Portage County

Price County099Phillips1879Chippewa and Lincoln CountiesWilliam T. Price
United States Congressman
14,1591,254.38 sq mi
(3,249 km2)
State map highlighting Price County

Racine County101Racine1836unorganized territoryRacine, the French word for "root", after the Root River, which flows through the county195,408332.5 sq mi
(861 km2)
State map highlighting Racine County

Richland County103Richland Center1842Iowa CountyThe rich soil of the area18,021586.15 sq mi
(1,518 km2)
State map highlighting Richland County

Rock County105Janesville1836unorganized territoryRock River, which flows through the county160,331718.14 sq mi
(1,860 km2)
State map highlighting Rock County

Rusk County107Ladysmith1901Chippewa CountyJeremiah McLain Rusk (1830-93), Governor of Wisconsin 1882-8914,755913.59 sq mi
(2,366 km2)
State map highlighting Rusk County

Sauk County111Baraboo1840unorganized territorySauk nation of Native Americans61,976830.9 sq mi
(2,152 km2)
State map highlighting Sauk County

Sawyer County113Hayward1883Oconto CountyPhiletus Sawyer
United States Representative
and Senator
from Wisconsin
16,5571,257.31 sq mi
(3,256 km2)
State map highlighting Sawyer County

Shawano County115Shawano1853Oconto CountyA Ojibwe word meaning "southern"41,949893.06 sq mi
(2,313 km2)
State map highlighting Shawano County

Sheboygan County117Sheboygan1836unorganized territoryShawb-wa-way-kun, a Native American word meaning "great noise underground"115,507511.27 sq mi
(1,324 km2)
State map highlighting Sheboygan County

St. Croix County109Hudson1840unorganized territoryAn early French explorer named St. Croix, about whom little is known84,345722.33 sq mi
(1,871 km2)
State map highlighting St. Croix County

Taylor County119Medford1875Clark, Lincoln, Marathon and Chippewa CountiesWilliam Robert Taylor (1820-1909), Governor of Wisconsin 1874-7620,689974.88 sq mi
(2,525 km2)
State map highlighting Taylor County

Trempealeau County121Whitehall1854Crawford and La Crosse CountiesTrempealeau Mountain (from the French for "mountain with its foot in the water"), a bluff located in a bend of the Trempealeau River,[10] which flows through the county28,816732.97 sq mi
(1,898 km2)
State map highlighting Trempealeau County

Vernon County123Viroqua1851Richland and Crawford CountiesMount Vernon, home of George Washington29,773791.58 sq mi
(2,050 km2)
State map highlighting Vernon County

Vilas County125Eagle River1893Oneida CountyWilliam Vilas (1840-1908)
officer in the Civil War
United States Postmaster General
United States Secretary of the Interior
and Senator from Wisconsin
21,430856.60 sq mi
(2,219 km2)
State map highlighting Vilas County

Walworth County127Elkhorn1836unorganized territoryReuben Hyde Walworth
jurist from New York
102,228555.13 sq mi
(1,438 km2)
State map highlighting Walworth County

Washburn County129Shell Lake1883Burnett CountyCadwallader Washburn
Governor of Wisconsin
and Representative from Wisconsin
15,911797.11 sq mi
(2,065 km2)
State map highlighting Washburn County

Washington County131West Bend1836unorganized territoryGeorge Washington
American Revolutionary War leader
and first President of the United States
131,887430.70 sq mi
(1,116 km2)
State map highlighting Washington County

Waukesha County133Waukesha1846Milwaukee CountyWaugooshance
a Pottawatomi word meaning
"little foxes"
389,891549.57 sq mi
(1,423 km2)
State map highlighting Waukesha County

Waupaca County135Waupaca1851Brown and Winnebago Countieswau-pa-ka-ho-nak
a Menominee word
meaning "white sand bottom" or
"brave young hero"
52,410747.71 sq mi
(1,937 km2)
State map highlighting Waupaca County

Waushara County137Wautoma1851Marquette CountyA Native American
word meaning
"good earth"
24,496626.15 sq mi
(1,622 km2)
State map highlighting Waushara County

Winnebago County139Oshkosh1840land of the Menominee
and Ho Chunk Native Americans[11]
Winnebago nation of Native Americans166,994434.49 sq mi
(1,125 km2)
State map highlighting Winnebago County

Wood County141Wisconsin Rapids1856Portage CountyJoseph Wood
state legislator
74,749793.12 sq mi
(2,054 km2)
State map highlighting Wood County

Renamed and proposed counties[edit]

Five counties in Wisconsin have been renamed and one was proposed.

Bad Ax(e) County1851–1862The Bad Axe River, Battle of Bad Axe
(County variably named with 'Ax' or 'Axe' depending on source)
Renamed to Vernon County in 1862.[13]
Dallas County1859–1869George M. Dallas
Vice President of the United States
Renamed to Barron County in 1869.[14]
Gates County1901–1905Milwaukee land speculator James L. Gates[15]Renamed to Rusk County in 1905.[16]
La Pointe County1845–1866Renamed to Bayfield County in 1866.[17]
New County1879–1880A new county formed from part of Oconto CountyRenamed to Langlade County in 1880[18]
Tuskola County?–?proposed county to come from Washington County in 1850[9]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e Curtiss-Wedge, Franklyn (1919). History of Buffalo and Pepin Counties, Wisconsin, Volume 1. Higginson Book Company. pp. 3–4. 
  2. ^ Wisconsin Legislative Reference Bureau. State of Wisconsin 2011-2012 Blue Book, p. 736. ISBN 978-0-9752820-1-4
  3. ^ Wisconsin Legislative Reference Bureau. State of Wisconsin 2011-2012 Blue Book, p. 732. ISBN 978-0-9752820-1-4
  4. ^ a b c d e f "Wisconsin QuickFacts". U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved 2013-03-04.  (2010 Census)
  5. ^ "FIPS Publish 6-4". National Institute of Standards and Technology. Retrieved 2008-02-11. 
  6. ^ a b "EPA County FIPS Code Listing". US Environmental Protection Agency. Retrieved 2008-02-11. 
  7. ^ a b "NACo - Find a county". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2008-02-11. 
  8. ^ Wisconsin Legislative Reference Bureau. State of Wisconsin 2011-2012 Blue Book, p. 731. ISBN 978-0-9752820-1-4
  9. ^ a b c Carver, Jonathon (1910). Proceedings of the State Historical Society of Wisconsin at its Fifty-Seventh Annual Meeting (1st ed.). Madison WI: Democrat Printing Company.  (WV County Founding Dates and Etymology). Other editions available at ISBN ISBN 1130567257 and Google Books
  10. ^ Elkins, Winston (1985). Trempealeau and the Mississippi River Dam. Trempealeau County, WI: Trempealeau County Historical Society. 
  11. ^ Lawson, Publius (1908). History, Winnebago County, Wisconsin: Its Cities, Towns, Resources, People. Chicago, IL: C.F Cooper and Company. pp. 175–177.  (Winnebago County Origins). Other editions available at ISBN 1241509107 and Google Books
  12. ^ "Interactive Map of Wisconsin County Formation History". Retrieved 2014-09-15. 
  13. ^ History of Vernon County, Wisconsin. Viroqua, WI: Union Publishing. 1884. p. 132.  (Bad Ax County). Other editions available: ISBN 1178120341 and Google Books
  14. ^ "Dictionary of Wisconsin History". Wisconsin Historical Society. Retrieved 2013-02-27. 
  15. ^ Gannett, Henry (1905). The Origin of Certain Place Names in the United States. Govt. Print. Off. p. 135. 
  16. ^ Rusk County Museum
  17. ^ Wisconsin Historical Society-La Pointe County, Wisconsin (obsolete)
  18. ^ 'History of Langlade County, Wisconsin from U.S. Government Survey to Present Time, With Biographical Sketches,' Robert Dessueran, Bernier Bros Publishing Co., Antigo, Wisconsin: 1922, History of Langlade County, Chapter V: Organization of Langlade County, pg. 12