How 15 Wisconsin Cities Got Their Names

Jean-Nicolet-Landing-in-Green-Bay

Jean Nicolet landing in Green Bay

If someone asked you how your city got its name, would you know the answer?

I wouldn’t have – until now.

I was never a big history fan. But as I dug into the origin of these 15 Northeast Wisconsin city names, I was intrigued. Learning about real people who came hundreds of years before us is actually pretty exciting! Maybe you’ll think so too.

1. Green Bay, Wisconsin

Image Credit: Wikipedia

The exact details of how Green Bay, Wisconsin’s oldest and third largest city, got its name are somewhat of a mystery. Thankfully, Jesuit missionaries left behind some good clues in their diaries.

Explorers like Samuel Champlain – who founded what’s now Canada, and Jean Nicolet – the first to land in Green Bay, translated the Indian word Winnebago or ouinipeg, to Baye des Puans. That means “the bay of stinkards” in French.

Some historians believe the French translation was an expression of dislike for the Indians. Since the French also nicknamed the tribe Les Pauns, or “stinkards.” They also called the area the “nation of stinkards.”

Explorers who came after Nicolet, and many historians, say La Bay des Pauns meant the algae-filled, muddy and stagnant waters of the bay.

Either way – Green Bay was known as “The Bay of Stinkards” on early maps – thanks to the French. When the British gained control, they changed it to Green Bay because of its dark green waters. I’m just glad it’s home to the Green Bay Packers and not to the Bay of Stinking Packers.

2. Appleton, Wisconsin

Lawrence-University, Appleton

All of what is now Appleton, and beyond, was named after the Fox River’s rushing rapids. It was called Grand Chute.

In 1847, Amos Lawrence – a Boston merchant – chartered and funded the construction of Lawrence University. His relative, Samuel Appleton – a wealthy businessman – donated $10,000 to the institution, and the city was named Appleton in his honor.

For years, books in the Lawrence library were marked with a portrait of Mr. Appleton. The original painting that was used to make the bookplates still hangs in the Boston Atheneum.

3. De Pere, Wisconsin

How De Pere Wisconsin got its name

Someone told me De Pere got its name because two men who stood in the Fox river shouted, “It’s deep here!” Turns out someone told good jokes.

French Jesuit priests on a mission led by Father Claude Allouez named the city. On the Fox River’s rough rapids, they named the area Rapides Des Peres. That translates to “rapids of the fathers.”

The city eventually became known as De Pere, and was just the community on the east side of the river. It wasn’t until 1890 that West De Pere joined in and became one community. That’s probably why there’s a rivalry between the two. At least it seemed like there was as a “Redbird” highschooler.

4. Kaukauna, Wisconsin

WisconsinHistory.org

WisconsinHistory.org

Kaukauna, pronounced “Kakalin” by early French settlers came from the Menominee word, Ogag-kane or O-Gau-Gau-Ning, which means “the place where the fish stop.”

Menominee Indians gave it that name because of the massive amounts of fish they found beneath the falls. The area was also known as the Grand Kakalin. It’s where the river fell 52-feet. Because of the forceful rushing rapids, travelers were forced to carry their canoes around it.

In 1851, when George Lawe built the street system and one of the first bridges over the Fox River, the name changed to Kaukauna.

5. Egg Harbor, Wisconsin

How Egg Harbor, Wisconsin got its name

On a mission to deliver furs, traders coming from Green Bay – on their way to Mackinac Island – decided to make a stop at the harbor to rest for the night. Suddenly, all the men, in a small fleet of six trading ships, started racing to see who could reach the shore first – just for fun. They actually had fun back then. As they got closer to the shore, they began throwing hardtack at each other. Hardtack is like a cracker – and was a necessary staple back then.

As the fun got fierce, and hardtack was running low, they switched their ammo to eggs!  The men couldn’t stop laughing and the egg battle became so intense that the shore was literally covered in eggshells. The next morning, they named the “battlefield” Egg Harbor.

6. Milwaukee, Wisconsin

milwaukee-river, Wisconsin

Mahn-ah-wauk, or Milwaukee as we know it, was an Indian word that meant common council grounds. It was the sacred and neutral spot by the river where tribes met once a year to talk out problems, pig out and smoke together. It was a party that lasted weeks. They never fought there. It was an honored place.

Milwaukee has been referred to as the “gathering place by the water,” “the good land,” and “the beautiful, pleasant land.” Of course, when early white explorers got to Milwaukee, there were all sorts of funky pronunciations. Milwacky is one of my favorites. For years, it was written Milwaukie. Then at some point during the 1800s a newspaper printed it Milwaukee – and the spelling stuck.

7. Madison, Wisconsin

Madison

Wisconsin’s second largest city was once known as the Four Lakes region.

Determined to build the city of the Four lakes, James Duane Doty, a federal judge, land speculator and governor, purchased more than 1,000 acres of land between lakes Mendota and Monona.

When it was developed in 1836, it was named Madison in honor our fourth president and founding father, James Madison who died that same year.

President Madison has had many towns and cities named after him. He was the Father of the Constitution. He helped organize the federal government under George Washington. And as secretary of state, under Thomas Jefferson, he engineered the Louisiana Purchase.

Doty also named the streets of Madison after the 39 other signers of the US Constitution. Before that year ended, Madison was voted Wisconsin’s capital.

8. Kenosha, Wisconsin

How Kenosha Wisconsin Got Its Name

The Indian word Kee-neau-sha-Kau-ning means “place of the pike.” It was the southernmost part of the lake and a jackpot for catching fish. Enough to supply food for months.

When white settlers arrived, they took over the land and the community became known as Pike. When the area turned into an important Great Lakes shipping port, the name switched to Southport. On the southeast side of Kenosha, you’ll still see a school, park and businesses with Southport still in their names.

In 1850, its name changed one last time to Kenosha. “K-Town” – as locals call it – once again represents the Indian’s word for pike – but with an English twist.

9. Racine, Wisconsin

How Racine, Wisconsin got its name

The city was originally called Chippecotton or Kipikawi, which means root. Indians named it that because the area of the river, that emptied into Lake Michigan, was all tangled up with snags and roots.

Racine is actually the French word for root.

In 1834, the original white settler, Captain Gilbert Knapp, claimed most of the land in the area. He and a couple guys from Chicago and New York helped build a town there. The area was called Port Gilbert in honor of Captain Knapp, but that name didn’t stick. In 1841 the community became known as Racine.

Racine is the Badger State’s 5th largest city and I’ve heard it’s where you can find the least expensive homes in Wisconsin. It’s also the place where malted milk balls and the first garbage disposal were invented!

10. Sheboygan, Wisconsin

Sheboygan, Wisconsin - how it got its name

An Indian chief who has many sons, wanted a daughter desperately. Everytime another son was born, he would say “ugh! She-boy-again.”

That’s just the local legend. The real theories behind the name, stem from the Indian word – Shawb-wa-way-kum.

Some people think it means the loud noise that was heard at the mouth of the Sheboygan River. Others argue that the loud noise was describing the cadence of the drums during tribal events.

A different theory says the Indian word meant “path between the lakes.” Since the city sits between Lake Winnebago and Lake Michigan.

Either way – Cheboigan is the way it appeared on early maps until it was changed to “The City of Sheboygan.” Nowadays, it’s recognized as the bratwurst capital of the world as well as the place to find lots of cheese, chairs and children.

11. Oshkosh, Wisconsin

ChiefOshkoshThe city of Oshkosh was named after Oiscoss, or Oshkosh, the chief of the Menominee tribe. Oiscoss was also known as “Claw” or “the brave.” He was a peacemaker and a warrior with many skills.

He wanted his tribe to be treated fairly by the government. He fought in the War of 1812 and the Black Hawk War of 1832. He also lead his people to the reservation after negotiating with the Americans to keep a portion of their land.

Oshkosh became a 400-pound overweight alcoholic later in life. Unfortunately, the alcohol got the best of him, and he died after a drunken brawl.

You’ll find a monument dedicated to Chief Oshkosh along Pratt Trail in Menominee Park, Oshkosh.

12. Waukesha, Wisconsin

downtown waukeshaThe Indians first gave it the name Tchee-gas-cou-tak – meaning burnt, fire land. There were many forests and prairies along the Fox River and fires were frequent.

That’s probably why Waukesha was known as Prairieville or Prairie Village in the early days.

When Morris Cutler, the first white settler arrived in Waukesha, he met chief Leatherstrap or Wau-tsha – also spelled – Wauk-tsha. He was a friendly and dignified leader. He was tall, athletic and very proud of his wardrobe.

In 1847, Prariville was changed to Waukesha in honor of him. For years, people thought the origin of the name Waukesha meant fox, or little foxes. But, they were confusing the Indian word wagosh, meaning fox, with Wau-tsha.

Waukesha has also been nicknamed “spring city” because of its very clean and great tasting natural spring water, believed to have medicinal healing power.  According to Wikipedia, the spring waters were what attracted Richard Sears, founder of Sears and Roebuck to live in Waukesha. Unfortunately, most of this wonderful water has been destroyed by pollution. But on the bright side, the city has been ranked #36 on Money Magazine’s list of 100 Best Places to Live in the U.S.

13. Kewaunee, Wisconsin

Wisconsinhistoricalmarkers.blogspot.com

Image Credit: Wisconsinhistoricalmarkers.blogspot.com

When the Indians were out fishing on Lake Michigan, they’d sometimes get caught in clouds of low fog.

That’s when they would yell, Ke-wau-nee – Ke-wau-nee, which means “we are lost!” Then, they’d listen to the response of others on shore to help direct them through the mist.

On early maps, navigators documented the Kewaunee River as the Woods River. But when land developer and civil engineer, Joshua Hathaway, came to lay out the town in the 1830s, he rescued the Indian name. He wrote Kewaunee on his maps and reference notes – and Kewaunee it stayed.

14. Manitowoc, Wisconsin

manitowoc

The Indians named Manitowoc after the mysterious spirit that they often saw near the mouth of the river. Manitou was the Indian word for spirit. And woe meant home, which is why it’s called “home of the spirit.” We just don’t know for sure if the natives thought the area was home to the good or the evil spirit.

Some say it meant “good spirit land” and others say it meant “devil’s den.”

Father Cosme’s wrote in his journal from 1699, that Father Marais and some Frenchmen planted a wooden cross on the bank of the river. A cross probably a good sign it’s a good spirit. Right?

In 1838, when legislature separated Manitowoc County from Brown County, they declared its meaning as the “home of the great spirit.” Let’s just hope in this case, “great” spirit means “good.”

15. Freedom, Wisconsin

Image Credit: witowns.com

Image Credit: witowns.com

Freedom, Wisconsin is technically not a city, but the story of how the town got its name is kinda neat.
 
Before it was Freedom, the village was called Sagola, an Indian word that means “good morning.” But, the name changed when James Jackson, an African American ex-slave escaped there to be free.
 
The town council asked James if they could name the area “Jackson” after him. But Jackson suggested they call it “Freedom,” to recognize the place where he finally got his freedom. It’s pretty neat that Jackson wanted the town to have a name he cherished even more than his own.

If you happen to know the story of how your city was named – leave a comment and add it to our list! But, before you do – you have to see this video of Texans trying to pronounce Wisconsin city names. I crack up every time I watch it!

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wisconsin-history---early-map

Wisconsin in 1718, Guillaume de L’Isle map

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References:

  1. ci.green-bay.wi.us
  2. uwgb.edu
  3. wisconsinhistory.org
  4. wikipedia.org – Ho-Chunk
  5. wikipedia.org – Lake Michigan
  6. eggharbordoorcounty.org – Image Credit
  7. kaukaunalibrary.org
  8. wisconsinhistory.org – Image Credit
  9. History of Milwuakee Wisconsin – The Western Historical Company
  10. host.madison.com
  11. wisconsinhistory.org
  12. Wisconsin, A Guide to the Badger State
  13. history.rays-place.com
  14. images.library.wisc.edu
  15. meadpubliclibrary.org
  16. History, Winnebago County, Wisconsin: Its Cities, Towns, Resources, People By Publius Virgilius Lawson
  17. The Wisconsin Archeologist, Volumes 1-2, Edited by Charles Edward Brown
  18. waukeshadirect.info
  19. The Great Wisconsin Touring Book: 30 Spectacular Auto Trips, By Gary G. Knowles
  20. co.kewaunee.wi.gov
  21. townoffreedom.org
  22. Origins of the French and English Names for the Bay of Green Bay

Comments

  1. countryflower says:

    thanks you for sharing the wonderful history of our towns. Fabulous

    • It was a pleasure! Thank YOU for reading ; )

      • Hi Ashley. Thank you for giving me credit at the Freedom spot! (many times I see my pics out there let’s just say…”borrowed”. There are more, by the way, at my Wisconsin Towns site (www.witowns.com) under the Our Wisconsin Towns tab. Maybe a little cross-linking is in order here?? 🙂

        • You’re welcome, Jeff! As a graphic designer, I know what it’s like to be “ripped off” with no credit given. ; ) I like the idea of cross-links. Thanks for your comment and feel free to keep in touch.

  2. Interesting stuff! Love the video too ha!!

  3. I love this! Thank you! (From another redbird…)

  4. the story we always heard about Oconto was that an Indian was sitting on the bank of the river sleeping under and oak tree It got windy and an acorn fell from the tree and landed on his toe, thus the name Oak-on-toe
    I think Lena was named after the wife of a Doctor of that time.

  5. Rhinelander was originally Pelican Rapids. It was renamed after the guy (F.W. Rhinelander) who put the railroad through town. Legend has it he never visited the town at all.

  6. I love the story about Freedom as this is my hometown! Thanks for sharing

  7. I grew up in Embarrass. I’ve never been totally clear on the origins, but it does lie on the Embarrass River (Waupaca County). I’m told the etymology is from “French embarrasser, lit. ‘to block, obstruct’, < embarras". The river does have some narrow spots and my guess there were natural barriers of fallen trees, etc. Right in town, there's an island, making the passage even more narrow.

  8. Ha! I was right! According to Wiki, “Many of the early lumberjacks in the town were French Canadians. When they tried to send logs down the river they found it almost impossible because of the many snags and other debris, so they named it the Riviere Embarrase, embarrase being a French word meaning to impede, to obstruct, or to entangle.”

  9. Jean-Clare (John Clare) La Plante says:

    Fond du Lac, like all good French terms has two meanings, “bottom of the lake” (as on a map), the one in Wisconsin, or “other end of the lake,” the one in Minnesota. I should know, being born and raised in Green Bay, and coming from French Canadian ancestry on both sides of the family … Rozelle (later changed to Russell) and La Plante, meaning both cabbage and sea weed, and was told that by both my great grand papas.

    • Very cool, Jean-Clare La Plante! Thank you!

    • Betsy Hartmann says:

      Maybe you are related to me, Jean-Clare! My Great Great Grandfather was Alexander Edward Rousseau and his wife was Eleanor LaPlante. Both of Brown County. Eleanor was born in the Bay Settlement. Her father was Hyacinth Jesse Sauve dit LaPlante.

      • Patricia Weaver says:

        As a LaPlante I’m curious, do you know who Hyacinth Jesse Save dit LaPante’s parents were. Hyacinth was my Great Great Great Grandfather. Any help is appreciated. Thanks

        • Betsy Hartmann says:

          Patricia, Hyacinth is also my 3X Great Grandfather! His parents were Pierre Antoine Sauve dit LaPlante (1762-1843) and Amable Sabourin (1767- 1837). My cousin, Cyndi, has traced our lineage all the way back to our 8X Great Grandparents born in the 1600’s in France! She has it recorded on Ancestry.com. Hyacinth’s daughter, Eleanor, is my Great, Great Grandmother and her daughter, Frances Catherine, is my Great Grandmother. Frances’ daughter, Arletta Eleanor “Lettie”, is my Grandmother.

  10. I always thought Oshkosh was a sneeze.

    • Jean-Clare (John Clare) La Plante says:

      Nearly everyone in my family worked on the railroad. When it was my turn, I often wound up on the Oshkosh switch engine. One of our train crew’s favorite places to stop for a quick break was at he old Chief Oshkosh and People’s breweries on the shore of Lake Winnebago, but it wasn’t for the beer. Rather, we would fill our one gallon, clear glass water jugs with the finger hole neck ring, on the engine and in the caboose, with the breweries’ ice cold well water that they used in making the beer. We trainmen often wondered why such delicious sweet water could be made into such lackluster brew. Col. Jack

  11. Chris Kuznacic says:

    Fond du Lac County was named for its situation at the end of Lake Winnebago. The name was bestowed by French fur traders in Canada as they referred to the “foot” or the “farthest point” of the lake. Fond du lac in french literally means “Bottom of the lake”.

  12. Michael Stollenwerk says:

    Here’s an excerpt from the Town of Ixonia’s website on how the town was named:

    “…a dispute resulted in the naming of town 8. To simplify matters it was agreed upon to put the letters of the alphabet on slips of paper and have young Mary Piper draw them until a name could be formed. As the result, “Ixonia” was the name given town 8 on January 21, 1846, and remains the only town bearing this name in the United States.”

  13. Kay Johannes says:

    Here is what the WI State Historical Society says is the origin of Random Lake, though I have heard there was a Mr. Random at one time. But this is more logical:

    Term: Random Lake [origin of place name]

    Definition: When the railroad first came to what is now Random Lake, the officials gave the place the name of Greenleaf, the financial agent of the company; but the name was soon changed so as to conform to that of the lake on the edge of which it was laid out… The lake was named by the government surveyors who made the original government survey of that section of the country in 1835. “Running a random line” is the surveying expression, and it is probably while the surveyors were running such a line through the thick woods (that) they accidentally came upon the lake.
    [Source: Buchen’s Historic Sheboygan County, p. 270.]

  14. How about the town of Stockholm, Wis..? It was founded by my ancestors who came over from Sweden back in the 1800’s. It isn’t much of a place, but, it still exists today.

  15. Chuck Erickson says:

    My birthplace is to my knowledge the only “Valders” in the US. When the Soo Line railroad came through the area circa 1896, the railroad executive asked the name of the place. No one knew, because it had no name. He said “Where are the people here from?” He was told they were mostly from the Valdres Valley in Norway. He mispelled the name and hence it became “Valders.”.

  16. I was born in Milwaukee but grew up in Shawano, named for Menominee Chief Sawanoh.
    http://shawanocountry.com/shawanocountry/area+info/history/default.asp

  17. How about Clintonville. It was originally Pigeon after the Pigeon River, which in turn was named so because the area was thick with Pigeons. Someone from the Postal Service was filling out paperwork and counldn’t think of the town’s name so he just wrote it in as Clintonville after the most prominent resident who’s last name was Clinton. I’ve heard he was the local post mater and/or owned the only shop in town. Anyway this effectively changed this cities name. It’s the first big moment in the city’s long history of being forgettable.

  18. Carol Banks says:

    I live in Menomonie–not the one with the double “e”–over by Eau Claire. As long as we’re at it, Eau Claire (which is French) means clear water, although I don’t know the history behind it. And, Menomonie, from what I understand, means “Where the wild rice grows.”

    • Supposedly, as french explorers traveled up (or down, depending on who you ask) the muddy waters of the Chippewa river, they came to what is now the Eau Claire river and exclaimed, “Voici l’eau claire!” (Here [is] clear water!”).

  19. Betsy Hartmann says:

    Of course there’s also the joke about the name of the city just south of Janesville….

    You know….

    The one Be-low It!

  20. Neenah daughter of chief Oshkosh,

  21. I composed this limerick in honor of two very nice Wisconsin cities I’ve lived in or near:

    I once knew a man from Manitowoc
    Who walked all the Oconomowoc,
    And when he got there,
    He was heard to declare,
    “I’m so tired I ca’ no mo’ walk!”

    My late wife, who taught in Oconomowoc, told me that the citiy’s name meant “I can no more walk.” Back in the days when people had to walk everywhere, it was the end of the road and a good place to rest.

    • Haha! Good limerick. Actually, Oconomowoc is derived from the Potawotami word, Coo-no-mo-wauk, meaning “waterfall”. Specifically, the waterfall that used to exist between Fowler Lake and Lac LaBelle at the point where Hwy 67 crosses the Oconomowoc River north of town. Coo-no-mo-wauk also gave rise to the “townie” nickname, “Cooney”, and the high school raccoon mascot. As Milwaukee was a council ground, so too was Oconomowoc.

  22. Sun Prairie:
    President Martin Van Buren commissioned a party of 45 men, including Augustus A. Bird, to build a capitol for the Territory of Wisconsin in Madison. The group of men left Milwaukee on May 26, 1837, and traveled for days in the rain. On June 9, the group emerged at the edge of the prairie and with the sun shining for the first time in days, carved the words “Sun Prairie” into a tree. Charles Bird returned to the area two years later and became the first settler

  23. Portage in Columbia county is named for the “le portage”, named by French fur traders. It is very rich in history and has many historical sites.

    Jacques Marquette and Louis Joliet portaged their canoes…carried on their backs…across a one and a half mile strip of marshy floodplain between the Fox and Wisconsin Rivers during their discovery of a route to the Mississippi River in 1673. It was a major thoroughfare for the fur trade between Green Bay and Prairie du Chien. The federal government realized the importance of The Portage and built Fort Winnebago in 1828 at the Fox River end. A canal was built and the city became a center of commerce. Portage is known as “Where the North Begins”!

  24. The village of Hortonville was founded by Alonzo Horton, who later moved out to California and founded the city of San Diego

  25. Nettie Manzo says:

    How about the little place called LADOGA—I don’t know the reason it was named this.

    • I read in “The Romance of Wisconsin Place Names,” that Ladoga is said to be an Indian name meaning “rising sun.” The book is by Robert E. Gard and L.G. Sorden, and was published in the late 60s.

  26. Melissa M. says:

    I’ve read that the towns of Luxemburg and Belgium were supposed to have the opposite names and the clerk that filed the paperwork mixed them up. That’s why the are so many people with Belgian ancestry in Luxemburg and so many people with Luxembourg ancestry in Belgium. I came across this when I was doing a research project way back in the day in my history of Wisconsin class.

  27. It’s not difficult to guess how Wisconsin Dells got its name, but before 1931 it was called Kilbourn City, or Kilbourn, to locals. The name, Kilbourn, should be familiar to Milwaukee residents. Byron Kilbourn was president of the original Milwaukee Road railroad and founded one of the smaller towns that came together to form Milwaukee.

    In developing infrastructure, a branch line was constructed to access lumbering operations in Central and Northern Wisconsin. At the point of crossing of the Wisconsin River, Kilbourn City was founded. Through an interesting speculation, Kilbourn State-lobbied incorporation in 1857.

    With tourism increasing as a profitable business after WWI, many more people were able to access recreational activities along the beautiful Dells of the Wisconsin River. The Milwaukee Road was instrumental in attracting tourists from Milwaukee and Chicago.

  28. Vicki Anacker says:

    I was born and raised in Portage. We were taught the city’s name came from the fact that river traveller’s had to portage their boats from the Fox river to the Wisconsin river.

  29. Wausau WI

    This area was occupied for thousands of years by succeeding cultures of indigenous peoples. The historic Ojibwe (also known in the United States as the Chippewa) occupied it in the period of European encounter. They had a lucrative fur trade for decades with French colonists and French Canadians. After the French and Indian War this trade was dominated by British-American trappers from the eastern seaboard.

    The Wisconsin River first drew European-American settlers to the area during the mid-19th century as they migrated west into the Great Lakes region following construction of the Erie Canal in New York State. This provided a route for products from the region to the large New York and other eastern markets. The area had been called “Big Bull Flats” or “Big Bull Falls” by French explorers, who were the first Europeans here.[5] They named it for the long rapids in the river, which created many bubbles, called bulle in French. By an 1836 treaty with the United States, the Ojibwe ceded much of their lands in the area to federal ownership. It was sold to non-Native peoples. Wausau means “a faraway place” or “a place which can be seen from far away” in the Ojibwe language.[5]

    George Stevens, the namesake for the city of Stevens Point located south of Wausau, began harvesting the pine forests for lumber in 1840 and built a saw mill. Lumbering was the first major industry in this area, and other sawmills along the Wisconsin River were quickly constructed by entrepreneurs.[5] By 1846, Walter McIndoe arrived and took the lead in the local business and community. His efforts helped to establish Marathon County in 1850.[5] Word of Stevens’ success in the region spread across the country throughout the logging industry. Loggers came from Cortland County, New York, Carroll County, New Hampshire, Orange County, Vermont and Down East Maine in what is now Washington County, Maine and Hancock County, Maine. These were “Yankee” migrants, that is to say they were descended from the English Puritans who had settled New England during the 1600s.[6]

    Early settlers

    By 1852, Wausau had been established as a town and continued to grow and mature. German immigration into the area following the Revolutions of 1848 in the German states brought more people, and by 1861, the settlement was incorporated as a village.[5]

    Churches, schools, industry and social organizations began to flourish. The state granted the city a charter in 1872, and elections are held the first Tuesday in April.[5] The residents elected A. Kickbusch as their first mayor in 1874.[5] Five years earlier, Kickbusch had returned to his homeland of Germany and brought back with him 702 people, all of whom are believed to have settled in the Wausau area. Kickbusch founded the A. Kickbusch Wholesale Grocery Company, a family business carried on by his grandson, August Kickbusch II. In 1917, August Kickbusch II purchased a modest, four-square-style house at 513 Grant Street.[7] He undertook extensive and additions, adding two sun rooms, arcaded windows, a tiled porch in the Mediterranean style, a formal classical entrance, and ornate custom-designed chimney crowns. The home is on the National Register of Historic Places as part of the Andrew Warren Historic District.

    When the railroad arrived in 1874, Wausau became more accessible to settlers and industry. This enabled the city to develop alternatives to the lumber industry, which was in decline since the clear-cutting of many forests. By 1906 the lumber was gone, but the city continued to grow and flourish.[8] Other villages and towns in the area declined because of over-harvesting of the forests and lumber mills closed down.

  30. Does anyone have knowledge of the “Waukesha, Wisconfirst adobe trading post on the upper Arkansas Valley of Colorado, built by John Gantt, a former Army officer in May, 1834?

  31. Francis Strahm says:

    Green Bay was originally​ named Bay de la Vert. Literal French translation of Bay of the green.

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