Wisconsin Counties
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Wisconsin Counties

There are seventy-two counties in the state of Wisconsin. 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. The state of Wisconsin was created from Wisconsin Territory on May 29, 1848, with 28 counties.

Washington County, Wisconsin

Washington County Education, Geography, and History

Washington County, Wisconsin Courthouse

Washington County is a county in the state of Wisconsin. Based on the 2010 census, the population was 131,887. Its county seat is West Bend. The county was created in 1836 and organized in 1845. It is named after President George Washington.

Washington County is included in the Milwaukee-Waukesha-West Allis, WI Metropolitan Statistical Area

Etymology - Origin of Washington County Name

Named for the first president of the United States - Wis. Hist. Colls, i, p. 113.

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


County QuickFacts: CensusBureau Quick Facts

Washington County History

Washington County, created in 1836 as a territorial county, is named after George Washington. Located in southeast Wisconsin, the county seat is West Bend.

John W. Hunt's 1853 Wisconsin Gazetteer

 "WASHINGTON, County, is bounded on the north by Fond du Lac and Sheboygan, on the east by the State line in Lake Michigan, on the south by Milwaukee and Waukesha, and on the west by Dodge. It was set off from Milwaukee December 7, 1836... By an act of the legislature, approved in 1853, the portion of the county east of range 20, was set off and organized into a new county, by the name of Ozaukee, and the county seat of the new county was fixed at Ozaukee (Port Washington), and that of Washington county, at West Bend, near the centre of the county. The surface is rolling, and abounds in living springs and streams of water, and is heavily timbered with oak, beech, maple, ash, &c. A large majority of the farmers are hardy Gerrmans, who cultivate thoroughly. Wheat has been a surer crop for the last few years in this than in any other county in the State. The soil is well adapted to the raising of the grape and to tillage. The principal streams are the Milwaukee river and Oconomowoc creek. Population in 1838, 64; 1840, 343; 1842, 965; 1846, 7,473; 1847, 15,447; 1850, 19,476. There are 1,636 farms, 381 buildings, and 7 manufactories."

WASHINGTON.--Population 18,897.
From: Handbook of Wisconsin by S. Silas, 1855
pg. 104

Washington lies a short distance from Lake Michigan, Ozaukee being between. It was originally heavily timbered with oak, maple, beach, hickory, &c., but much of it has been cleared. It is an agricultural County exclusively, and the farms are small, as they are mostly in all the heavily timbered Counties. Its progress has been rapid, and many of the original German settlers have become wealthy. Many, during the past year, have become uneasy, and in the true spirit of "breaking up," have sold their farms and "gone west.". Their places have been quickly taken, and the change has brought in a more intelligent and enterprising people. The population consists principally of German and Irish immigrants.

West Bend is the County Seat. Barton, about one mile from West Bend, on the Milwaukee River, has an excellent water power, and mills.

The Lac Crosse and Milwaukee R. R. passes through the south western part.

Geography: Land and Water

As reported by the Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 436 square miles (1,129 km2), of which, 431 square miles (1,116 km2) of it is land and 5 square miles (13 km2) of it (1.16%) is water.

Neighboring Counties

Bordering counties are as follows:

  • Fond du Lac County - northwest
  • Sheboygan County - northeast
  • Ozaukee County - east
  • Milwaukee County - southeast
  • Waukesha County - south
  • Dodge County - west


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