Old Waukesha County Courthouse
Location of Waukesha in Waukesha County, Wisconsin
|• Mayor||Shawn N. Reilly|
|• City||25.07 sq mi (64.93 km2)|
|• Land||24.81 sq mi (64.26 km2)|
|• Water||0.26 sq mi (0.67 km2) 1.04%|
|• Density||2,850.4/sq mi (1,100.5/km2)|
|The population figure given for the metropolitan area is for the Milwaukee metropolitan area, which includes Waukesha|
|Time zone||UTC−6 (Central)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC−5 (Central)|
Waukesha ( // ) is a city in and the county seat of Waukesha County, Wisconsin, United States. It is part of the Milwaukee metropolitan area. Its population was 70,718 at the 2010 census. The city is adjacent to the Town of Waukesha.
A county seat is an administrative center, seat of government, or capital city of a county or civil parish. The term is used in Canada, China, Romania, Taiwan and the United States. County towns have a similar function in the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland, and historically in Jamaica.
Waukesha County is a county in the U.S. state of Wisconsin. As of the 2010 census, the population was 389,891, making it the third-most populous county in Wisconsin. Its county seat is Waukesha.
The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States or America, is a country comprising 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, and various possessions. At 3.8 million square miles, the United States is the world's third or fourth largest country by total area and is slightly smaller than the entire continent of Europe. With a population of over 327 million people, the U.S. is the third most populous country. The capital is Washington, D.C., and the most populous city is New York City. Most of the country is located contiguously in North America between Canada and Mexico.
The area that Waukesha now encompasses was first settled by European-Americans in 1834, with Morris D. Cutler as its first settler.When the first settlers arrived, there was nothing but dense virgin forest and wild prairie. The settlers laid out farms, constructed roads, erected government buildings and established post routes.
The original founders of Waukesha consisted entirely of settlers from New England, particularly Connecticut, rural Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine, as well some from upstate New York who were born to parents who had migrated to that region from New England shortly after the American Revolution. These people were "Yankee" settlers, that is to say they were descended from the English Puritans who settled New England in the 1600s. They were part of a wave of New England farmers who headed west into what was then the wilds of the Northwest Territory during the early 1800s. Most of them arrived as a result of the completion of the Erie Canal as well as the end of the Black Hawk War. When they arrived in what is now Waukesha County there was nothing but dense virgin forest and wild prairie, the New Englanders laid out farms, constructed roads, erected government buildings and established post routes. They brought with them many of their Yankee New England values, such as a passion for education, establishing many schools as well as staunch support for abolitionism. They were mostly members of the Congregationalist Church though some were Episcopalian. Due to the second Great Awakening some of them had converted to Methodism and some had become Baptists before moving to what is now Waukesha County.Waukesha, like much of Wisconsin, would be culturally very continuous with early New England culture for most of its early history.
New England is a region composed of six states in the northeastern United States: Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut. It is bordered by the state of New York to the west and by the Canadian provinces of New Brunswick to the northeast and Quebec to the north. The Atlantic Ocean is to the east and southeast, and Long Island Sound is to the southwest. Boston is New England's largest city, as well as the capital of Massachusetts. Greater Boston is the largest metropolitan area, with nearly a third of New England's population; this area includes Worcester, Massachusetts, Manchester, New Hampshire, and Providence, Rhode Island.
Connecticut is the southernmost state in the New England region of the northeastern United States. As of the 2010 Census, it has the highest per-capita income, Human Development Index (0.962), and median household income in the United States. It is bordered by Rhode Island to the east, Massachusetts to the north, New York to the west, and Long Island Sound to the south. Its capital is Hartford and its most populous city is Bridgeport. It is part of New England, although portions of it are often grouped with New York and New Jersey as the tri-state area. The state is named for the Connecticut River which approximately bisects the state. The word "Connecticut" is derived from various anglicized spellings of an Algonquian word for "long tidal river".
Massachusetts, officially the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, is the most populous state in the New England region of the northeastern United States. It borders on the Atlantic Ocean to the east, the states of Connecticut and Rhode Island to the south, New Hampshire and Vermont to the north, and New York to the west. The state is named after the Massachusett tribe, which once inhabited the east side of the area, and is one of the original thirteen states. The capital of Massachusetts is Boston, which is also the most populous city in New England. Over 80% of the population of Massachusetts lives in the Greater Boston metropolitan area, a region influential upon American history, academia, and industry. Originally dependent on agriculture, fishing and trade, Massachusetts was transformed into a manufacturing center during the Industrial Revolution. During the 20th century, Massachusetts's economy shifted from manufacturing to services. Modern Massachusetts is a global leader in biotechnology, engineering, higher education, finance, and maritime trade.
By 1846, the area was incorporated as the Town of Prairie Village (soon changed to Prairieville).On February 8, 1847, the town changed its name to "Waukesha,". On January 10, 1852, the settled area once known as Prairieville was separated from the town of Waukesha, and incorporated as a village and in 1896, incorporated as a city. The first appointed mayor of the newly incorporated city of Waukesha was John Brehm, who served from January to April 1896.
A municipal corporation is the legal term for a local governing body, including cities, counties, towns, townships, charter townships, villages, and boroughs. The term can also be used to describe municipally owned corporations.
Over the years, many believed, incorrectly, that the origin of the name of the city was an Algonquian word meaning "fox" or "little foxes," when in fact "Waukesha" is an Anglicization of the Ojibwe proper name Waagoshag or the Potawatomi name Wau-tsha. Wau-tsha (sometimes written as Wauk-tshaor Wauke-tsha) was the leader of the local tribe at the time of the first European settlement of the area. This is confirmed by accounts of Increase A. Lapham, an early settler and historian of the region. According to Lapham, the word for "fox" was pishtaka. Cutler also told visitors about Wau-tsha, who was described as "tall and athletic, proud in his bearing, dignified and friendly."
The Algonquian languages are a subfamily of American indigenous languages which includes most of the languages in the Algic language family. The name of the Algonquian language family is distinguished from the orthographically similar Algonquin dialect of the indigenous Ojibwe language (Chippewa), which is a senior member of the Algonquian language family. The term Algonquin has been suggested to derive from the Maliseet word elakómkwik, "they are our relatives/allies". A number of Algonquian languages, like many other Native American languages, are now extinct.
Ojibwe, also known as Ojibwa, Ojibway or Otchipwe, is an indigenous language of North America of the Algonquian language family. The language is characterized by a series of dialects that have local names and frequently local writing systems. There is no single dialect that is considered the most prestigious or most prominent, and no standard writing system that covers all dialects.
Potawatomi is a Central Algonquian language. It was historically spoken by the Pottawatomi people who lived around the Great Lakes in what are now Michigan and Wisconsin in the United States, and in southern Ontario in Canada. Federally recognized tribes in Michigan and Oklahoma are working to revive the language.
Matthew Laflin, an early pioneer of Chicago, Illinois, provided the capital and enterprise that laid the foundation for Waukesha as a famous Wisconsin watering resort and was the proprietor of the grand resort, the Fountain Spring House. Waukesha was once known for its extremely clean and good-tasting spring water and was called a "spa town." This earned the city the nicknames "Spring City" and "Saratoga of the West."
Matthew Laflin was an American manufacturer of gunpowder, businessman, philanthropist, and an early pioneer of Chicago, Illinois.
Chicago, officially the City of Chicago, is the most populous city in the U.S. state of Illinois and the third most populous city in the United States. With an estimated population of 2,705,994 (2018), it is also the most populous city in the Midwestern United States. Chicago is the county seat of Cook County, the second most populous county in the US, with portions of the northwest city limits extending into DuPage County near O'Hare Airport. Chicago is the principal city of the Chicago metropolitan area, often referred to as Chicagoland. At nearly 10 million people, the metropolitan area is the third most populous in the nation.
Illinois is a state in the Midwestern and Great Lakes regions of the United States. It has the fifth largest gross domestic product (GDP), the sixth largest population, and the 25th largest land area of all U.S. states. Illinois has been noted as a microcosm of the entire United States. With Chicago in northeastern Illinois, small industrial cities and immense agricultural productivity in the north and center of the state, and natural resources such as coal, timber, and petroleum in the south, Illinois has a diverse economic base, and is a major transportation hub. Chicagoland, Chicago's metropolitan area, encompasses over 65% of the state's population. The Port of Chicago connects the state to international ports via two main routes: from the Great Lakes, via the Saint Lawrence Seaway, to the Atlantic Ocean and from the Great Lakes to the Mississippi River, via the Illinois Waterway to the Illinois River. The Mississippi River, the Ohio River, and the Wabash River form parts of the boundaries of Illinois. For decades, Chicago's O'Hare International Airport has been ranked as one of the world's busiest airports. Illinois has long had a reputation as a bellwether both in social and cultural terms and, through the 1980s, in politics.
According to author Kristine Adams Wendt, in 1868, Colonel Richard Dunbar, a sufferer of diabetes, chanced upon the medicinal properties of what he later named the Bethesda Spring while viewing a parcel of land recently purchased by his sister. Testimonials found in a Dunbar brochure of 1873 proclaimed the miraculous benefits.
Wendt reports that by 1872, "area newspapers carried accounts of a community ill equipped to handle its new popularity among the suffering multitudes. The semi-weekly Wisconsin (Milwaukee) of July 31, 1872, reported 'that fully 500 visitors are quartered in hotels and scattered in private families here, seeking benefit from the marvelous waters…'"
The "healing waters" were so valued that a controversial attempt was made to build a pipeline between the city and Chicago so that they could be enjoyed by visitors to the 1893 Columbian Exposition.According to Time magazine, "[t]he scheme had been conceived by one Charles Welsh who had been given the springs by his uncle, but after several miles of pipe were laid, it was discovered that the cost was too great."
Richard W. Sears, founder of Sears and Roebuck, may have been attracted to Waukesha by the waters. In failing health, Sears retired from business in 1908 and, according to The New York Times , "spent his time on his great farm near Waukesha." In 1914, Sears died in Waukesha of Bright's disease, leaving an estate estimated at $20 million.
In 1956, Helen Moore, who ran a mud bath spa in Waukesha, appeared as a guest on What's My Line .
Over the years, the natural springs have been spoiled by pollution and a number have gone dry. Water drawn from an aquifer reached radium levels exceeding federal standards.
In 2013, Waukesha applied for permission to withdraw water from Lake Michigan.Because Waukesha is outside the lake's basin, the 2008 Great Lakes Compact makes the city ineligible to withdraw water from the lake without approval from the governors of Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin. In June, 2016, the governors approved Waukesha's application.
One of the most important "firsts" in American sports history occurred in Waukesha on September 5, 1906, when Carroll College (now Carroll University) hosted the football team from St. Louis University. SLU halfback Bradbury Robinson threw the first legal forward pass in football history in that game. The Carroll players and local fans were stunned. The visitors went on to win 22–0.
During the Cold War, Waukesha County was the site of three Nike Missile batteries, located in the city of Waukesha and nearby Muskego and Lannon. In the city of Waukesha, the U.S. Army and later the Wisconsin National Guard operated the command and control center from 1956 to 1970 at what is now Hillcrest Park, on Davidson Road. The missile pits existed near the corner of Cleveland Avenue and Hwy 164—first holding Ajax missiles with conventional warheads and later the nuclear equipped Hercules warhead. The Hercules provided a similar nuclear capability as that of the atomic bomb dropped on Nagasaki in World War II. The Midwest Chapter of the Cold War Museum has promoted the preservation of the Hillcrest Park site as a local Cold War museum, honoring Cold War veterans and commemorating America's longest and costliest conflict.
Waukesha is located near the center of Waukesha County in southeastern Wisconsin, 18 miles (29 km) west of Milwaukee. Waukesha is also located 59 miles (95 km) east of Madison. The city shares borders with City of Brookfield, Town of Brookfield, Genesee, New Berlin, City of Pewaukee, Village of Pewaukee, Town of Delafield and Town of Waukesha.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 25.07 square miles (64.93 km2), of which 24.81 square miles (64.26 km2) is land and 0.26 square miles (0.67 km2) is water.
The city is located on both sides of the Fox River, which starts near Menomonee Falls and flows into the Illinois River.
The Köppen-Geiger climate classification system classifies its climate as humid continental (Dfa).
|Climate data for Waukesha, Wisconsin (1981–2010 normals)|
|Record high °F (°C)||62|
|Average high °F (°C)||27.8|
|Average low °F (°C)||10.7|
|Record low °F (°C)||−29|
|Average precipitation inches (mm)||1.45|
|Average snowfall inches (cm)||12.3|
|Average precipitation days (≥ 0.01 in)||9.2||7.5||7.9||10.7||11.8||10.7||9.4||9.1||8.8||9.4||8.8||9.5||112.8|
|Average snowy days (≥ 0.1 in)||6.8||5.1||3.5||1.0||0||0||0||0||0||.1||1.1||6.2||23.8|
|Source: U.S. Census|
As of the census 2,850.4 inhabitants per square mile (1,100.5/km2). There were 29,843 housing units at an average density of 1,202.9 per square mile (464.4/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 88.1% White, 2.3% African American, 0.4% Native American, 3.5% Asian, 3.5% from other races, and 2.1% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 12.1% of the population.of 2010, there were 70,718 people, 28,295 households, and 17,506 families residing in the city. The population density was
There were 28,295 households of which 32.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 46.9% were married couples living together, 10.7% had a female householder with no husband present, 4.3% had a male householder with no wife present, and 38.1% were non-families. 30.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.40 and the average family size was 3.02.
The median age in the city was 34.2 years. 23.7% of residents were under the age of 18; 10.8% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 30.4% were from 25 to 44; 24.7% were from 45 to 64; and 10.6% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 49.0% male and 51.0% female.
As of the censusof 2000, there were 64,825 people, 25,663 households, and 16,296 families residing in the city. The population density was 3,000.5 people per square mile (1,158.8/km²). There were 26,856 housing units at an average density of 1,243.1 per square mile (480.1/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 91.22% White, 1.28% African American, 0.33% Native American, 2.17% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 3.31% from other races, and 1.65% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 8.58% of the population.
There were 25,663 households out of which 32.5% of households had children under age 18 living with them, 50.2% were married couples living together, 9.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 36.5% were non-families. Twenty-nine percent of all households were made up of individuals and 9.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.43 people and the average family size was 3.04 people.
In the city, the population was spread out with 24.7% under the age of 18, 10.8% from 18 to 24, 33.6% from 25 to 44, 20.2% from 45 to 64, and 10.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 33 years. For every 100 females, there were 95.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 93.8 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $50,084, and the median income for a family was $60,841. Males had a median income of $40,743 versus $29,279 for females. The per capita income for the city was $23,242. About 3.0% of families and 5.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 6.0% of those under age 18 and 5.9% of those age 65 or over.
Waukesha County Airport (KUES) and Waukesha Metro Transit serve the city and surrounding communities.
According to Waukesha's 2017 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report,the top employers in the city are:
|#||Employer||# of Employees|
|2||Waukesha Memorial Hospital||2,149|
|3||Waukesha School District||1,800|
|5||Cooper Power Systems||1,006|
|6||Generac Power Systems||759|
|9||Waukesha Electric Systems||631|
|10||City of Waukesha||487|
Downtown Waukesha is the site of one of the stages of the Tour of America's Dairyland cycling event, which features a criterium race, started in 1993.
Waukesha's mayor is Shawn Reilly and its citizens are represented by Jim Sensenbrenner (R) in the United States House of Representatives, and by Ron Johnson (R) and Tammy Baldwin (D) in the United States Senate. Chris Kapenga (R) represents Waukesha in the Wisconsin State Senate, and Scott Allen (R) and Adam Neylon (R) represent Waukesha in the Wisconsin State Assembly.
The School District of Waukesha serves the city and portions of surrounding municipalities. It operates four high schools in the city: Waukesha South High School, Waukesha West High School, Waukesha North High School, and Harvey Phillip (East) High School, an alternative school. It also operates two charter schools; Waukesha Engineering Preparatory Academy (WEPA), and the Waukesha Academy of Health Professions (WAHP). It also runs three middle schools, 14 elementary schools (including two STEM Academies, the Randall Campus for K-5 and the Saratoga Campus for 6–8, which feature a curriculum more focused on Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math).
Private schools include Mt. Calvary Lutheran School (Pre-K-8)and Trinity Lutheran School (Pre-K-8) of the WELS, Waukesha Christian Academy, and Catholic Memorial High School.
Located on the city's northwest side, the University of Wisconsin–Waukesha, part of the UW system, offers two-year associate degrees. Students have the option of transferring to four-year institutions to complete their undergraduate education. Waukesha County Technical College has a campus located in the downtown area. Waukesha is home to Carroll University, a private Presbyterian university. Opened in 1846, it is the oldest college in the state.
One of the two New Tribes Bible Institute campuses within the United States is located on a large hill in central Waukesha. Operated by New Tribes Mission, the school doubles as the first part of a four-year missionary training program, which includes field training in the U.S.
Milwaukee County is a county in the U.S. state of Wisconsin. As of the 2010 census, the population was 947,735 and was estimated to be 948,201 in 2018. It is the most populous county in Wisconsin and the 45th most populous in the United States. Its county seat is Milwaukee, which is also the most populous city in the state. The county was created in 1834 as part of Michigan Territory and organized the following year.
South Milwaukee is a city in Milwaukee County, Wisconsin, United States. The population was 21,156 at the 2010 census.
Wauwatosa is a city in Milwaukee County, Wisconsin, United States. The population was 46,396 at the 2010 census. Wauwatosa is located immediately west of Milwaukee, and is a part of the Milwaukee metropolitan area. It is named after the Potawatomi Chief Wauwataesie and the Potawatomi word for firefly.
West Allis is a city in Milwaukee County, Wisconsin, United States. A suburb of Milwaukee, it is part of the Milwaukee metropolitan area. The population was 60,411 at the 2010 census.
Elkhorn is a city in Walworth County, Wisconsin, United States. It is located 40 miles (64 km) southwest of Milwaukee. The population was 10,084 at the 2010 census. It is the county seat.
Big Bend is a village in Waukesha County, Wisconsin, United States. The population was 1,290 at the 2010 census.
Menomonee Falls is a village in Waukesha County, Wisconsin, United States, and is part of the Greater Milwaukee area. The population was 35,626 at the 2010 census, making it the most populous village in Wisconsin. It is the fourth largest community in Waukesha County.
Muskego is a city in Waukesha County, Wisconsin, United States. As of the 2010 census, the city had a population of 24,135. Muskego is the fifth largest community in Waukesha County. The name Muskego is derived from the Potawatomi Indian name for the area, "Mus-kee-Guaac", meaning sunfish. The Potawatomi were the original inhabitants of Muskego. There are three lakes within the city's boundaries.
New Berlin is a city in Waukesha County, Wisconsin, United States. The population was 39,584 at the 2010 census, making it the second-largest community in Waukesha County after the city of Waukesha.
Hartford is a city in Washington and Dodge counties in the U.S. state of Wisconsin. As of the 2010 census, the city had a population of 14,223. All of this population resided in the Washington County portion of the city. The portion of the city in Dodge County consists of only industrial/commercial parcels.
Brookfield is a city located in Waukesha County, Wisconsin, United States in the Milwaukee metropolitan area. It had a population of 37,920 in the 2010 census. Brookfield is the third largest city in Waukesha County. The city is adjacent to the Town of Brookfield.
Delafield is a city in Waukesha County, Wisconsin, along the Bark River. The population was 7,085 at the 2010 census.
Oconomowoc is a city in Waukesha County, Wisconsin, United States. The name was derived from Coo-no-mo-wauk, the Potawatomi term for "waterfall." The population was 15,712 at the 2010 census. The city is partially adjacent to the Town of Oconomowoc and near the village of Oconomowoc Lake, Wisconsin.
Pewaukee is a city in Waukesha County, Wisconsin. The population was 13,195 at the 2010 census. The Village of Pewaukee, which was incorporated out of the town before it incorporated as a city, is surrounded by the city.
Waukesha is a town in Waukesha County, Wisconsin, United States. The population was 8,596 at the 2000 census. The City of Waukesha is located adjacent to the town.
Carroll University is a private liberal arts college affiliated with the Presbyterian Church (USA) and located in Waukesha, Wisconsin. Established in 1846, Carroll was Wisconsin's first four-year institution of higher learning.
Goerke's Corners is a former unincorporated community in the Town of Brookfield, in Waukesha County, Wisconsin, United States, at latitude 43°02'11" N and longitude 088°09'58" W. It is now the location of a major highway intersection, and the site of a park-and-ride lot.
John Moon Wells was an American farmer from Prairieville, Wisconsin who spent a single one-year term in 1849 as a Free Soil Party member of the Wisconsin State Assembly from Waukesha County.
Joseph Turner was an American farmer and businessman from Wisconsin who served in the Wisconsin Territorial Legislature; and as a member of the 1st Wisconsin Legislature as a State Senator. He was a Democrat. Two of his sons were also Wisconsin legislators.
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