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.

Winnebago County, Wisconsin

Winnebago County Education, Geography, and History

Winnebago County, Wisconsin Courthouse

Winnebago County is a county in the state of Wisconsin. Based on the 2010 census, the population was 166,994. Its county seat is Oshkosh.

Winnebago County comprises the Oshkosh-Neenah, WI Metropolitan Statistical Area, which is include in the Appleton-Oshkosh-Neenah, WI Combined Statistical Area.

Etymology - Origin of Winnebago County Name

Winnebago County took its name from the Indian tribe that had formerly lived in this vicinity. The word was an Algonquian term applied to the Siouan tribe, and signified, "people dwelling by the fetid or ill-smelling water" (possibly a sulphur spring) - see Wis. Hist. Colls., xvi, p. 3; Thwaites, Wisconsin (Boston, 1908), pp. 16, 17.

[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

Winnebago County History

Winnebago County, created in 1840 as a territorial county, is named for the Winnebago Indian Nation. Located in northeast Wisconsin, the county seat is Oshkosh.

WINNEBAO--Population 17,436.
From: Handbook of Wisconsin by S. Silas, 1855
pg. 109-110

Is on the west side of the Lake of the same name, and from its location, has the best advantage of inland commerce of any County in Wisconsin. Into this Lake flows the Fox, the largest and most easily navigated river in the State. The Wolf, the main stream instead of the Upper Fox, is also navigable for a great distance, and the increased business prophecies a large trade to centre around Lake Winnebago. The soil of the County is excellent; the eastern part, along the Lake Shore, is heavily timbered; the western, prairie and openings. The region along the Fox is marsh, extending from half to two miles back, and in no case, in its whole course through the County, has it high banks on both sides, except at Oshkosh. There is some Government land not yet taken.

Oshkosh is the County Seat, and the largest place in the State north of Fond du Lac. It is near the mouth of the Fox, and well situated to command a large trade. Several steam saw mills are located here, and along the Lake Shore employed in manufacturing lumber from logs floated down the Wolf.

Winneconne, on the Wolf, at the only crossing place, on account of the marsh, has a good bridge for crossing, and is a growing village.

Neenah and Menasha, on opposite sides of the Fox, at its outlet, are both places of note, and flourishing. The Fox is here divided into two streams, by Doty's Island, on both sides of which are falls, creating good and abundant power, which are partly improved for manufacturing purposes. The Fox River Improvement has its lower terminus at Menasha. This improvement consists in building canals around some of the rapids, and by creating slack water above them, thus rendering the whole stream navigable from Lake Winnebago to Green Bay.

The Green Bay district land office is at Menash, and the whole of Winnebago County is in that district.

Geography: Land and Water

As reported by the Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 579 square miles (1,499 km2), of which, 439 square miles (1,136 km2) of it is land and 140 square miles (363 km2) of it (24.21%) is water.

Neighboring Counties

Bordering counties are as follows:

  • Waupaca County - northwest
  • Outagamie County - northeast
  • Calumet County - east
  • Fond du Lac County - south
  • Green Lake County - southwest
  • Waushara County - west


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