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Trempealeau County is a county located in the state of Wisconsin. Based on the 2010 census, the population was 28,816. Its county seat is Whitehall
Named from its principal river. This stream was so called from a contiguous bluff, familiarly known to the early French voyageurs as La montagne qui trempe a l'eau ("the mountain that is steeped in the water"). This, in its turn, seems to have been a translation of the Indian term, Pah-hah-dak, the Sioux word for "mountain separated by water;" or Hay-nee-ah-chah, the Ho-Chunk word for "soaking mountain" - see Wis. Hist. Soc. Proceedings, 1906, p. 246.
[Source: Kellogg, Louise Phelps. "Derivation of County Names" in Proceedings of the State Historical Society of Wisconsin for 1909, pages 219-231.]
From Increase Lapham's 1844 Geographical and Topographical Description of Wisconsin:
"TREMPALEAU RIVER, a branch of the Mississippi, that enters near Mount Trempaleau, the " Montagne qui trempe dans L'eau," (or Soaking, Mountain) of the French. This remarkable bluff is about five hundred feet high affording a beautiful, and extensive view of the Mississippi and the surrounding country. A very fine engraving of this mountain and the surrounding scenery was made, a few years since, to accompany the New-York Mirror."
County QuickFacts: CensusBureau Quick Facts
Patches of woodland are all that remain of the brush and light forest that once covered the county. In ancient times,
the woodlands contained a great deal of timber, but Native Americans burned them periodically to encourage the growth of
berries. They did little cultivation and had been almost completely removed from the area by 1837 (Gamroth, 1976, p. 5,
French fur traders were the first Europeans to enter this land. At the mouth of the Trempealeau River, which flows from northeast to southwest across the county on its way to the Mississippi River, they found a bluff surrounded by water and called it "La Montagne qui trempe à l'eau," which means "mountain with its foot in the water." The name was later shortened (Elkins, 1985, p.1).
Made out of Buffalo, in 1854. Its name is derived from the French name of a small hill in the Mississippi River.
It is watered by the Trempeleau River and its branches, the Mississippi and Black Rivers passing along its bounds.
It contains about twenty townships, most of which is of excellent quality for agricultural purposes. Already
settlements have been made in the southern part, and fine tracts of Government land now remain unoccupied, which
hold out inducements to immigrants seeking a home.
Monteville is a little village, at an excellent landing on the Mississippi. Galesville is the County Seat.
Trempeleau is in the La Crosse land district.
As reported by the Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 742 square miles (1,922 km2), of which, 734 square miles (1,901 km2) of it is land and 8 square miles (20 km2) of it (1.06%) is water. It is part of the Driftless Zone.
Bordering counties are as follows: