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Calumet County, Wisconsin

Calumet County Education, Geography, and History

County Seat: Chilton
Year Organized: 1836
Square Miles: 320
Court House:

206 Court Street
County Courthouse
Chilton, WI 53014-0000

Etymology - Origin of County Name

Calumet County was named for a Menominee Indian village situated on the southeast shore of Lake Winnebago; see Wis. Hist. Colls., vi, p. 171; F. W. Hodge, "Handbook of American Indians," in S. Bureau of Ethnology Bulletin No. 30, p. 195. The origin of the word is the Norman-French form of chalumet, a tube or reed, which was applied by French Canadians to the Indian implement known as "the pipe of peace" (Gannett, Place Names, p. 59; Handbook, p. 191).


County QuickFacts: Census Bureau Quick Facts

County History

Description from John W. Hunt's 1853 Wisconsin Gazetteer: "CALUMET, County, is bounded on the north by Brown and Outagamie, on the east by Manitowoc, on the south by Sheboygan and Fond du Lac, and on the west by Winnebago. It was set off from Brown, December 7, 1836, and organized for county purposes, January 6, 1840. It is well watered by tributaries of the Manitowoc river, and by small streams entering Lake Winnebago. The Brothertown and Stockbridge Indians have fine settlements, schools, and churches, in this county, and their farms and buildings compare favorably with others in the State. They are entitled to all the privileges of citizenship, and are frequently represented by some of their own number in the State legislature. This county contains much good land, which is for sale at low rates; the soil is good, and covered with a heavy growth of hard timber. The population in 1840 was 275; 1842, 407; 1846, 836; 1847, 1,060; 1850, 1,746. Farms, 243; manufactories, 5; dwellings, 381."

[Source: Kellogg, Louise Phelps. "Derivation of County Names" in Proceedings of the State Historical Society of Wisconsin for 1909, pages 219-231. ]

CALUMET.--Population 3,633.
From: Handbook of Wisconsin by S. Silas, 1855
pg. 51-52

Lies on the cast shore of Lake Winnebago, and is yet but slightly settled compared with its surrounding neighbors. It is covered with a heavy growth of hard timber, and contains what was for a long time the Stockbridge Indian Reservation. These two causes, kept the settlers from this county until Winnebago, on the west side of the Lake, with the attractions of timber, openings and prairies had so far out-stripped Calumet in population that there is little prospect of its reaching that degree of prosperity which its neighbors have acquired. There are still the remains of the Stockbridge and Brothertown Indians in the County occupying their well tilled farms. The County is well watered, and contains much excellent land yet unoccupied.

Within a few months Calumet has advanced more rapidly in population, than at any previous period. In 1850 the population, including about 300 Indians, was 1740, in 1855 exclusive of the same, it was 3,531.

Chilton Centre, a flourishing village in the County Seat.

This County is wholly in the Green Bay land district, and entries must be made at the land offices at Menasha.


According to the US Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 1,041 square miles (2,697 km2), of which, 1,010 square miles (2,617 km2) of it is land and 31 square miles (80 km2) of it (2.97%) is water.

Neighboring Counties:

  • Brown County – northeast
  • Manitowoc County – east
  • Sheboygan County – southeast
  • Fond du Lac County – southwest
  • Winnebago County – west
  • Outagamie County – northwest


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