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Dunn County, Wisconsin

Dunn County Education, Geography, and History

County Seat: Menomonie
Year Organized: 1854
Square Miles: 852
Court House:

800 Wilson Avenue
County Courthouse
Menomonie, WI 54751-2739

Etymology - Origin of County Name

Dunn County was named in honor of Charles Dunn, first chief justice of Wisconsin Territory -- Gannett, Place Names, p. 98.

Charles Dunn (1799-1872) was born in Kentucky, where he studied law, but was admitted to the bar (1820) in Illinois. During his residence in that state he served as captain in the Black Hawk War, wherein he was accidentally shot by a sentinel. In 1829 he assisted in laying out the plat of Chicago. Appointed chief justice of Wisconsin Territory in 1836, he served throughout the Territorial era, also acting as member of the second State constitutional convention. In 1852-53 he was State senator from Lafayette County, and died at his home at Belmont (now Leslie), in that county.

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


County QuickFacts: Census Bureau Quick Facts

County History

From: Handbook of Wisconsin by S. Silas, 1855
pg. 68-69

A new County, lying on the Chippewa and Red Cedar Rivers, not thickly settled, well watered and generally good soil, having a due proportion of timber, prairie and openings. Hay River, in the northern part of the County, a branch of Red Cedar, has pine upon its banks, and saw mills are now running. Pine is also cut on the Eau Galle. The resources of this County have not yet begun to be developed.

Most of the land is yet in the hands of Government, and affords rare chance to th immigrant for investment. Part of the County lies in Willow River and part in La Crosse Land Districts.

Kansas, a new village on Lake Pepin, is the largest place, and already contains a population of 300.


According to the US Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 864 square miles (2,238 km2), of which, 852 square miles (2,207 km2) of it is land and 12 square miles (31 km2) of it (1.38%) is water.

Neighboring Counties:

  • Barron County - north
  • Chippewa County - east
  • Eau Claire County - southeast
  • Pepin County - south
  • Pierce County - southwest
  • St. Croix County - west
  • Polk County - northwest


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