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]

County
FIPS code
[6]
County seat
[7]
Established
[8]
Formed from
[9]
Etymology
[9]
Population
[7][4]
Area
[4]
Map


Adams County001Friendship1848Portage CountyJohn Quincy Adams
(1767-1848)
President of the United States
(1825-29)
20,875645.65 sq mi
(1,672 km2)
State map highlighting Adams County


Ashland County003Ashland1860unorganized territoryAshland
Henry Clay's
estate in
Kentucky
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
(1775-1828)
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
(1752-1812)
Revolutionary War general
34,6901,209.82 sq mi
(3,133 km2)
State map highlighting Clark County


Columbia County021Portage1846Portage CountyChristopher Columbus
(1451-1506)
navigator and explorer
56,833765.53 sq mi
(1,983 km2)
State map highlighting Columbia County


Crawford County023Prairie du Chien1818unorganized territoryWilliam Harris Crawford
(1772-1834)
United States Senator from Georgia
(1807-13)
and Secretary of the Treasury
1816-25
16,644570.66 sq mi
(1,478 km2)
State map highlighting Crawford County


Dane County025Madison1836unorganized territoryNathan Dane
(1752-1835)
delegate to the First Continental Congress
(1785-88)
488,0731,197.24 sq mi
(3,101 km2)
State map highlighting Dane County


Dodge County027Juneau1836unorganized territoryHenry Dodge
(1782-1867)
Territorial Governor of Wisconsin
(1848-57)
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
(1813-61)
United States Senator
1847-61
44,1591,304.14 sq mi
(3,378 km2)
State map highlighting Douglas County


Dunn County033Menomonie1854Chippewa CountyCharles Dunn
state senator
and
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
(1742-86)
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
(1767-1845)
President of the United States
1829–37
20,449987.72 sq mi
(2,558 km2)
State map highlighting Jackson County


Jefferson County055Jefferson1836Milwaukee CountyThomas Jefferson
(1743-1826)
President of the United States
(1801-09)
83,686556.47 sq mi
(1,441 km2)
State map highlighting Jefferson County


Juneau County057Mauston1856Adams CountySolomon Juneau
(1793-1856)
founder of what would become
Milwaukee
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
(1757-1834)
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
(1809-65)
President of the United States
1861-65
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
(1637-75)
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
(1758-1831)
President of the United States
(1817-25)
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
(1795-1849)
President of the United States
(1845-49)
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
(1824-86)
United States Congressman
(1883-86)
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
(1816-1900)
United States Representative
(1865-75)
and Senator
(1881-93)
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
(1885-88)
United States Secretary of the Interior
(1888-89)
and Senator from Wisconsin
(1891-97)
21,430856.60 sq mi
(2,219 km2)
State map highlighting Vilas County


Walworth County127Elkhorn1836unorganized territoryReuben Hyde Walworth
(1788-1867)
jurist from New York
102,228555.13 sq mi
(1,438 km2)
State map highlighting Walworth County


Washburn County129Shell Lake1883Burnett CountyCadwallader Washburn
(1818-82)
Governor of Wisconsin
(1872–74)
and Representative from Wisconsin
(1867–71)
15,911797.11 sq mi
(2,065 km2)
State map highlighting Washburn County


Washington County131West Bend1836unorganized territoryGeorge Washington
(1732-99)
American Revolutionary War leader
(1775–83)
and first President of the United States
(1789–97)
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
(1809-90)
state legislator
(1856-58)
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.

CountyDatesEtymologyFate
Bad Ax County?–?Renamed to Vernon County in 1862.[12]
Dallas County?–?Renamed to Barron County in 1869.[13]
Gates County?–?Renamed to Rusk County in 1905.[14]
La Pointe County?–?Renamed to Bayfield County in 1866.[15]
New County?–?Renamed to Langlade County in 1880[16]
Tuskola County?–?proposed county to come from Washington County in 1850[9]

See also[edit]

References[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. ^ History of Vernon County, Wisconsin. Viroqua, WI: Union Publishing. 1884. p. 132.  (Bad Ax County). Other editions available: ISBN 1178120341 and Google Books
  13. ^ "Dictionary of Wisconsin History". Wisconsin Historical Society. Retrieved 2013-02-27. 
  14. ^ Rusk County Museum
  15. ^ Wisconsin Historical Society-La Pointe County, Wisconsin (obsolete)
  16. ^ '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