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The American Cyclopædia (1879)/Wisconsin

WISCONSIN, one of the N. W. states of the American union, the 17th admitted under the federal constitution, between lat. 42° 30' and 46° 58' N., and lon. 87° 8' and 92° 54' W., exclusive of the Apostle islands in Lake Superior, and the islands near the N. E. coast in Green bay and Lake Michigan. It is bounded N. by Lake Superior, N. E. by Michigan, E. by Lake Michigan, S. by Illinois, and W. by Iowa and Minnesota. The Montreal and Menomonee rivers form parts of the boundary line between this state and Michigan, and the Mississippi and St. Croix rivers most of the W. boundary line. Its greatest length N. and S. is about 300 m.; greatest breadth E. and W. about 260 m.; area, according to the federal census, 53,924 sq. m.

AmCyc Wisconsin - seal.jpg

State Seal of Wisconsin.

It is divided into 60 counties, which, with their population according to the state census of 1875, are as follows:

COUNTIES.  Population. 

Adams 6,602 
Ashland 730 
Barron 3,737 
Bayfield 1,032 
Brown 35,878 
Buffalo 14,219 
Burnett 1,450 
Calumet 15,065 
Chippewa 13,995 
Clark 7,282 
Columbia 28,803 
Crawford 15,085 
Dane 52,798 
Dodge 48,394 
Door 8,020 
Douglas 741 
Dunn 13,427 
Eau Claire 15,991 
Fond du Lac 50,241 
Grant 39,086 
Green 22,027 
Green Lake 15,274 
Iowa 24,133 
Jackson 11,339 
Jefferson 34,908 
Juneau 15,300 
Kenosha 13,907 
Kewaunee 14,405 
La Crosse 23,945 
Lafayette 22,169 
Lincoln 895 
Manitowoc 38,456 
Marathon 10,111 
Marquette 8,597 
Milwaukee  122,927 
Monroe 21,026 
Oconto 13,812 
Outagamie 25,558 
Ozaukee 16,545 
Pepin 5,816 
Pierce 15,101 
Polk 6,736 
Portage 14,856 
Racine 28,702 
Richland 17,353 
Rock 39,039 
St. Croix 14,956 
Sauk 26,932 
Shawano 6,685 
Sheboygan 34,021 
Taylor 849 
Trempealeau  14,992 
Vernon 21,524 
Walworth 26,259 
Washington 23,862 
Waukesha 29,425 
Waupaca 19,646 
Waushara 11,523 
Winnebago 45,033 
Wood 6,048 

The capital is Madison, and the largest city Milwaukee; in 1875 the former had 10,093 inhabitants, and the latter 100,775. The other principal cities were Appleton, 6,730; Beaver Dam, 3,455; Beloit, 4,605; Berlin, 3,341; Chippewa Falls, 5,050; Eau Claire, 8,440; Fond du Lac, 15,308; Fort Howard, 3,610; Green Bay, 8,037; Janesville, 10,115; Kenosha, 4,959; La Crosse, 11,012; Manitowoc, 5,724; Menasha, 3,170; Mineral Point, 3,054; Neenah, 4,023; Oconto, 4,457; Oshkosh, 17,015; Portage, 4,337; Prairie du Chien, 2,948; Racine, 13,274; Ripon, 3,501; Sheboygan, 6,828; Stevens Point, 3,363; Watertown, 9,424; and Wausau, 2,820. The population of Wisconsin and its rank in the Union, according to the federal census, have been as follows:

 YEARS.  White.  Colored.  Total.  Rank. 

1840 30,749  196  30,945  29
1850 304,756  635  305,391  24
1860 773,693  1,171  775,881  15
1870  1,051,351  2,113   1,054,670  15

Included in the total for 1870 were 1,206 Indians, and in that for 1860, 1,017. The population in 1875, as returned by the state census, was 1,236,729. Of the total population in 1870, 544,886 were males and 509,784 females; 690,171 were of native and 364,499 of foreign birth. Of the natives, 450,272 were born in the state, 5,714 in Connecticut, 12,234 in Illinois, 6,415 in Indiana, 8,931 in Maine, 10,403 in Massachusetts, 5,302 in Michigan, 105,697 in New York, 23,164 in Ohio, 21,358 in Pennsylvania, and 16,421 in Vermont. Of the foreigners, 25,666 were born in British America, 28,192 in England, 48,479 in Ireland, 6590 in Scotland, 6,550 in Wales, 5,212 in Denmark, 40,046 in Norway, 2,799 in Sweden, 5,990 in Holland, 162,314 in Germany, and 6,069 in Switzerland. The density of population was 19.56 persons to a square mile. There were 200,155 families, with an average of 5.27 persons to each, and 197,098 dwellings, with an average of 5.35 to each. The increase of population from 1860 to 1870 was 35.93 per cent. In 1870 there were 178,669 males and 175,347 females from 5 to 18 years of age, 192,831 males from 18 to 45, and 203,077 male citizens 21 years old and upward. There were 35,031 persons 10 years of age and over unable to read, and 55,441 who could not write, of whom 41,328 were foreign born; 17,822 males and 22,785 females 21 years old and upward were illiterate. The number of paupers supported during the year ending June 1, 1870, was 1,553, at a cost of $151,181. Of the whole number (1,126) receiving support at that date, 736 were foreigners. The number of persons convicted of crime during the year was 837; of those (418) in prison June 1, 1870, 203 were foreigners. Of the total population 10 years old and over (751,704), there were engaged in all occupations 292,808; in agriculture, 159,687, of whom 50,753 were laborers and 108,240 farmers and planters; in professional and personal services, 58,070, including 1,189 clergymen, 19,141 domestic servants, 24,670 laborers not specified, 785 lawyers, 915 physicians and surgeons, and 4,164 teachers not specified; in trade and transportation, 21,534; and in manufactures and mechanical and mining industries, 53,517. The total number of deaths during the year was 9,960, being 0.94 per cent. of the population. There were 1,818 deaths from consumption, there being 7'6 deaths from all causes to one from that disease; 487 from pneumonia, or 20.5 deaths from all causes to one from that disease; 368 from cholera infantnm, 211 from whooping cough, 152 from measles, 186 from diphtheria, 1,016 from scarlet fever, 464 from enteric fever, 296 from diarrhoea, 265 from dysentery, and 280 from enteritis. In 1875 there were 8,162 tribal Indians in Wisconsin, including 1,522 Menomonees, 1,332 Oneidas, and 118 Stockbridges at the Green Bay agency; 4,534 Chippewas at the La Pointe agency; and 656 Winnebagoes not under an agent.—The whole surface of Wisconsin may, with slight exceptions, be considered one vast plain, varied only by the cliffs bordering the rivers and lakes, and the moderate undulations called “rolling.” This plain is from 600 to 1,500 ft. above the ocean; the dividing grounds between the valleys usually attain but a slight elevation above the surrounding country, the waters of a lake or marsh being often drained in opposite directions to reach the ocean at widely different points. The highest lands are those along the sources of the tributaries of Lake Superior, which, near the Montreal river, are 1,700 to 1,800 ft. above the sea, gradually diminishing westward to about 1,100 ft. at the W. line of the state. From this great watershed the land slopes rapidly toward the lake, and more gradually toward the south to the lower Wisconsin river, whence there is another slope toward the south drained mostly by the waters of Rock river and its tributaries. At Portage City the Fox and Wisconsin rivers approach so nearly that their waters are often commingled; they are connected by a canal, from which there is a descent of 195 ft. to Green bay and 171 ft. to the Mississippi near Prairie du Chien. There are several elevations called mounds in the S. W. portion of the state; the principal are the Blue, 1,729 ft. above the sea; the Platte, 1,281 ft.; and the Sinsinawa, 1,169 ft. The cliffs along the E. shores of Green bay and Lake Winnebago extend as far as Iron Ridge in Dodge co., and form a bold escarpment not unlike the “mountain ridge” of western New York in general character and geological age. From this ridge the country slopes gradually E. to Lake Michigan. On this slope there is a remarkable series of drift hills and circular depressions called “potash kettles,” extending S. S. W. from the peninsula E. of Green bay into the state of Illinois; one of the highest peaks in Washington co. is 1,402 ft. above the sea. Lake Michigan, according to J. T. Gardner's calculations (United States survey reports, 1873), is 589 ft. above the sea. The Mississippi river at the S. W. corner of the state is 576 ft.; at the mouth of the Platte, 8 m. above Dubuque, 591 ft.; at Prairie du Chien, 602; at La Crosse, 632; and at the mouth of the St. Croix river (Prescott), 677; and it therefore has a descent in this part of its course of 5 in. per mile. The descent of Fox river from Lake Winnebago to Green bay is 162 ft., forming one of the most valuable series of water powers in the west.—The Mississippi forms the western boundary of the state for about 250 m., and in that distance receives the waters of the St. Croix, Chippewa, Black, and Wisconsin rivers. The other principal rivers are the Rock, another tributary of the Mississippi; the St. Louis, Bois Brulé, Bad, and Montreal, flowing into Lake Superior; the Menomonee, Peshtigo, Oconto, Pensaukee, and Fox, with its tributary the Wolf, flowing into Green bay; and the Manitowoc, Sheboygan, and Milwaukee, tributaries of Lake Michigan. Innumerable smaller streams water almost the whole surface; their waters are usually clear, originating in springs and small lakes. Many of those at the north have beautiful cascades or rapids; and at the south they often run through narrow rocky gorges, called “dells.” The Mississippi is navigable for steamboats throughout its course on the border of the state; the Wolf and Fox rivers are navigable for small steamboats, the latter having been artificially improved; and many of the streams afford ample water power. Besides the two great lakes, Superior and Michigan, there are numerous others, especially in the central and northern portions of the state; they are from 1 to 20 or 80 m. in extent, usually with high, picturesque banks, and deep water, abounding in fish. The greatest numbers are found near the sources of the Chippewa and St. Croix rivers, the whole surface being studded with them, so that in some districts it would be difficult to travel 5 m. without finding a lake. A kind of wild rice (zisania aquatica) grows in the shallow waters, affording sustenance to innumerable water birds. The principal lakes are Winnebago, the largest, St. Croix, Pepin, Poygan, Pewaukee, Geneva, Green, Koshkonong, and the Four Lakes.—The geology of the state is simple, the series of rocks extending from the Laurentian to the Devonian. In the north central portion of the state there is a large area of archæan (azoic) rocks, having an extreme length E. and W. of nearly 240 m., and a breadth N. and S. of 160 m. These rocks are metamorphic in origin, and consist chiefly of granite, gneiss, syenite, diorite, and other hornblendic and allied rocks, quartzite, porphyrite, and a variety of schists and slates. The falls and rapids of the St. Croix, Chippewa, Black, Wisconsin, Wolf, Peshtigo, Menomonee, Montreal, and other rivers are due to the unequal hardness of these rocks. Besides the main area, there are in the south central part of the state outcrops of limited extent entirely surrounded by later formations, through which they project. The greater part of the archæan rocks of the state are regarded as belonging to the Laurentian period, though the Huronian are well developed. The unconformability of the two has been demonstrated, but their boundaries have not yet been satisfactorily traced at all points. To the latter period belongs the Penokee Iron range, which abounds in magnetic iron not yet worked. Similar iron deposits also occur on the Menomonee river and at Black River Falls. The copper-bearing series is found in Ashland, Bayfield, Douglas, Burnett, and Polk cos., and contains copper, but to what extent is not yet fully ascertained. Resting unconformably upon the archæan rocks is the Potsdam sandstone, forming a belt on almost every side from 10 to 60 m. in breadth. The general form of the sandstone district is that of a crescent, its horns on the Menomonee and St. Croix rivers, and its greatest breadth in the region of the Wisconsin river, near the middle of the state. The sand is generally pure, frequently suitable for the manufacture of glass. It often contains calcareous beds with fossil remains of a very ancient fauna; the decay of these beds mingling with the sand renders the soil fertile. This rock often forms bold cliffs and prominent peaks. The strata present ripple marks, cross laminations, and other evidences of deposition in shallow water. Next above the Potsdam sandstone is a heavy deposit of limestone, locally known as the lower magnesian limestone; it contains copper ores in a few places, and also lead. This is succeeded by the upper sandstone, having many of the characteristics of the Potsdam, upon which are the blue and Galena limestones (or dolomites) of the Trenton period, chiefly in the latter of which are found, in the S. W. part of the state and adjoining portions of Iowa and Illinois, the fissures containing deposits of lead, zinc, and copper ores. In this district, though yielding large quantities of lead, the soil is rich and productive. These mines were first discovered by Le Sueur in 1700, but attracted little attention till 1826, from which time the quantity of lead produced increased rapidly till about 1845, since which it has declined. Upon the Galena limestone rest the blue and green shales and limestones of the Cincinnati group, and upon these at Iron Ridge, Hartford, and other points in eastern Wisconsin, rest the Clinton iron ore beds, which attain at the first named place the unusual thickness of 25 ft., consisting of regular horizontal beds, which are extensively mined with the very greatest facility. Above this, and forming the surface rock over a large area in the E. part of the state, is the Niagara limestone, which is highly magnesian, and contains some of the purest stratified dolomites known. It affords excellent building material and quicklime of the first quality. Near Milwaukee, covering a limited space, occurs a rock now known as the Milwaukee cement stone, from the hydraulic properties which it has recently been shown to possess in a high degree. It belongs to the Hamilton period of the Devonian age. The limestone district of Wisconsin includes nearly all those portions lying S. and E. of the Fox and lower Wisconsin rivers, with considerable tracts along the Mississippi and W. of Green bay. All these rocks are older than those of the coal formation; hence no coal is found in this state. With the exception of the lead region, and the counties along the Mississippi river, the state is covered with a heavy deposit of clay, sand, gravel, and bowlders or “drift;” and it is generally this deposit rather than the underlying rocks that gives character to the soil. Among the pebbles masses of native copper are often found, associated with silver, clearly showing that this drift had its origin at the north. The drift, in a modified form, furnishes the clay from which cream-colored bricks are made, of great beauty and durability. A geological survey of the state is in progress; a full report is now (1876) in preparation.—Lead ore is the most important mineral product of the state, found chiefly in the counties of Grant, Lafayette, and Iowa; it is mostly the sulphuret (galena), though the carbonate (called white mineral) often occurs. Iron ores are found in great quantities and of easy access at Iron Ridge in Dodge co., at Ironton in Sauk co., at the Black river falls in Jackson co., and in the Penokee Iron range, in Ashland co., near Lake Superior. Magnetic ores also occur in the archæan region in the vicinity of the Menomonee river, in the N. E. part of the state. The ore has been smelted only at Iron Ridge, Ironton, and Black River Falls. Native copper is found in limited quantities in the N. part of the state; and copper ores have been discovered in fissures in Iowa and Crawford counties. Two ores of zinc, associated with the lead, have been smelted at Mineral Point. Limestone suitable for polishing (or marble) has been found; the drift affords clay suitable for the coarser wares and for brick; beds of peat and of shell marl occur in the marshes and beds of ancient lakes. Carnelians and agates are picked up among the pebbles of the lake shores, and are found associated with the trap rocks.—The mean annual temperature of the southern and more settled portion of the state is 46° F.; mean temperature of winter, 20°; of spring and autumn, 47°; and of summer, 72°. The waters of Lake Michigan materially affect the temperature of the counties along its shores, moderating both the excessive heat of summer and the cold of winter; and hence the temperature of January at Milwaukee is found on the Mississippi river half a degree of latitude further S., and that of July at St. Paul, 2 further N. The N. part of this lake only is covered with ice in winter, which never reaches as far S. as Milwaukee. The Milwaukee river remains closed on an average about 100 days, from the end of November to the middle of March. Snow always falls in the north before the occurrence of heavy frosts, protecting the ground and the roots of plants from freezing, and accelerating the growth of vegetation in the spring. In the south snow often lies to the depth of 12 to 18 in., but some winters pass almost without snow. The prevailing winds of spring are from N. E.; of summer, S. W.; of autumn and winter, W. The winters are cold, mostly uniform, with many clear dry days; the springs are backward, the summers short and hot, the autumns mild and almost always pleasant. The annual quantity of rain and melted snow is about 32 in. The barometer varies in its extremes from 28 to a little above 30 in., the mean being about 29.5 in.—The fauna of Wisconsin embraces the elk, deer, bear, beaver, fisher, wolf, otter, wild cat, porcupine, striped gopher, bat, mole, squirrel, pouched rat, &c. The buffalo, wild turkey, and some other species are extinct. The larger birds are the golden and bald eagles, great white owl, quail, partridge; the spruce, willow, prairie, and sharp-tailed grouse; woodcock, wild goose, ducks in great numbers and varieties, pelican, loon, &c. Pigeons are abundant. Great quantities of fish are annually caught in Lakes Superior and Michigan, as well as in the smaller lakes and rivers; among these the most important are the white fish, trout, siskiwit, mnskallonge, pickerel, and perch; the most curious are the billfish and the spoonbill sturgeon. The flora of Wisconsin embraces about 150 species of compound flowering plants (sunflowers, &c.), which formerly occurred so abundantly in the prairies and open districts as often to give a yellow hue to the landscape in the latter part of the flowering season. Nearly all the N. half of the state abounds in pine, balsam, hemlock, and other cone-bearing evergreen trees, of which the lofty white pine is the most common. The great prairies of Illinois extend into several of the southern counties of Wisconsin, between which and the heavily timbered districts is a region of openings, in which the bur oak (quercus macrocarpa) chiefly abounds. A line drawn from Racine on the W. shore of Lake Michigan in a N. W. direction will mark the boundaries between the openings and the heavily timbered lands. The red oak (Q. rubra) is the only species of oak that extends as far N. as the shores of Lake Superior.—The ancient earthworks, so abundant in the western states, assume in Wisconsin imitative forms, being intended to represent the human figure, or that of some of the more familiar animals. These are usually combined and associated with circular mounds and ridges running in straight or curved lines. The most important and best known are those at Aztalan in Jefferson co., where a space of 1723 acres is enclosed by a wall of earth and burnt clay (not proper brick), supported at regular intervals by mounds or buttresses. Fragments of rude pottery are often found, with arrow heads of flint, and stone axes, pipes, &c.—Wisconsin is in the front rank of agricultural states. Agriculture is encouraged by annual legislative appropriations to the state agricultural society, and to each of the county societies. According to the federal census of 1870, the state contained 11,715,321 acres of land in farms, of which 5,899,343 were improved, 3,437,442 woodland, and 2,378,536 other unimproved land. The total number of farms was 102,904, and the average size 114 acres. There were 10,955 containing between 10 and 20 acres, 40,064 between 20 and 60, 30,060 between 50 and 100, 15,776 between 100 and 500, 112 between 500 and 1,000, and 32 over 1,000. The cash value of farms was $300,414,064, and of farming implements and machinery $14,239,364. The total estimated value of farm productions, including betterments and additions to stock, was $78,027,032; value of orchard products, $819,268; of produce of market gardens, $226,665; of forest products, $1,327,618; of animals slaughtered or sold for slaughter, $11,914,643; of all live stock, $45,310,882. According to the United States department of agriculture, the principal crops in 1873 were:

CROPS. Quantity
 yield per 
No. of
acres in
 each crop. 
 Total value. 

Indian corn, bush.  16,308,000  30      543,600  $7,175,520
Wheat  26,322,000  16.5    1,595,273   25,532,340
Rye 1,240,000  15.7   78,981  768,800
Oats 18,862,000  35      538,914  6,224,460
Barley 1,515,000  26.6   56,955  1,636,200
Buckwheat 289,000  11      26,273  265,880
Potatoes 4,964,000  71      69,915  3,971,200
Tobacco, lbs. 3,750,000  1.05 3,571  225,000
Hay, tons 1,370,000  1.3   1,053,846  13,015,000

Total .........  ......  3,967,328   $58,814,400

The number of acres planted with the leading crops in 1875, as returned by the state assessors (five counties not reported), was: wheat, 1,539,008; oats, 766,343; Indian corn, 866,081; barley, 117,020; rye, 97,286; hops, 9,720; tobacco, 4,399; flax, 6,224. There were 291,815 horses, valued at $12,374,928; 6,592 mules and asses, $304,839; 805,881 neat cattle, $8,979,158; 1,025,990 sheep and lambs, $1,640,967; and 462,300 swine, $1,188,564. The production of wool in 1870 was 4,090,670 lbs., from 1,069,282 sheep; butter, 22,473,036 lbs., from 308,377 cows; cheese (on farms), 1,591,798 lbs.; flax, 497,398 lbs.; maple sugar, 507,192 lbs.; honey, 299,341 lbs.; sorghum molasses, 74,478 gallons. Commissioners have been ap- pointed to stock the waters of the state with fish, and a hatching house has been erected.—In 1870 there were 7,013 manufacturing establishments, having 926 steam engines of 30,509 horse power, and 1,288 water wheels of 33,714 horse power, and employing 43,910 hands, of whom 40,296 were males above 16, 2,114 females above 15, and 1,500 youth. The capital invested amounted to $41,981,872; wages paid during the year, $13,575,642; value of materials used, $45,851,266; of products, $77,214,326. The leading industries were:

Capital. Value of

Agricultural implements 82  1,387  $1,494,700  $2,393,428
Boots and shoes 753  2,352  1,082,268  2,271,425
Bread, crackers, and other bakery products 59  191  127,250  410,227
Brick 79  1,133  456,050  509,626
Carriages and wagons 485  2,184  1,252,476  2,596,534
Cheese 54  177  126,740  249,056
Clothing, men's 232  1,785  1,075,185  2,260,004
Cooperage 250  717  207,040  627,190
Flouring and grist-mill products 581  2,031  6,574,650  20,419,877
Furniture 188  1,844  1,798,505  1,542,356
Iron, forged and rolled 642  100,000  1,129,562
Iron, pigs 592  865,000  737,268
Iron, castings 74  719  760,500  1,423,193
Lead, pig 13  91  91,000  514,402
Leather, tanned 85  577  906,184  2,013,093
Leather, curried 70  322  407,206  2,360,347
Leather, dressed skins 19  85  56,350  129,641
Lime 53  312  228,180  807,729
Liquors, distilled 104  171,000  425,340
Liquors, malt 176  835  2,108,150  1,790,273
Lumber, planed 33  263  $254,800  $614,270
Lumber, sawed 719  12,458   11,448,345   15,129,869
Machinery, not specified 44  311  312,024  555,606
Machinery, cotton and woollen 34  35,000  24,300
Machinery, railroad and repairing 25  23,000  68,100
Machinery, steam engines and boilers  17  448  521,000  738,410
Malt 33  178,000  213,000
Paper 207  445,000  373,200
Saddlery and harness 269  672  342,211  711,695
Sash, doors, and blinds 81  1,381  1,413,793  1,852,379
Soap and candles 16  69  103,430  280,685
Tin, copper, and sheet-iron ware 225  605  388,339  769,470
Tobacco and cigars 34  75,000  122,000
Tobacco chewing and smoking 128  190,000  495,000
Tobacco, cigars 109  597  308,230  605,032
Wooden ware 361  188,700  342,198
Woollen goods 48  736  1,211,289  1,115,646

The products of mining were valued at $510,982, including iron worth $22,000, lead $369,067, peat $750, stone $106,925, and zinc $12,240. The total production of lead ore from 1862 to 1873 was 163,422,672 lbs. The amount of zinc ore obtained in the lead region of Wisconsin, Iowa, and Illinois from 1860 to 1873 inclusive was 155,302,150 lbs., most of it being the production of Wisconsin. The yield amounted to 25,921,785 lbs. in 1871, 43,278,358 in 1872, and 33,603,570 in 1873. The manufacture of lumber is an important industry, there being in the state a capacity for producing about 1,500,000,000 ft. annually. Besides an immense quantity of shingles, there were made 983,631,402 ft. of lumber in 1874, and 1,097,443,681 in 1875. There were on hand on Jan. 1, 1876, 268,640,309 ft. of lumber and 279,336,000 ft. of logs.—Wisconsin had 20 m. of railroad in 1850, 187 in 1855, 905 in 1860, 1,010 in 1865, 1,525 in 1870, and 2,565 in 1876. A general supervision over the railroads of the state is exercised by a state commissioner, who receives reports from the companies and makes reports to the legislature. The railroads lying wholly or partly within the state in 1876 were as follows:


From To In

Chicago and Northwestern
 Chicago, Ill.  Fort Howard 171  242 
 Fort Howard  Menomonec 49  49 
 Rockford, Ill.  Kenosha 27  72 
 Elgin, Ill.  Geneva Lake 43 
 Belvidere, Ill.  Elroy 121  141 
 Elroy  Winona Junction  55  55 
Chicago and Milwaukee[1]  Chicago, Ill.  Milwaukee 40  85 
Northwestern Union[1]  Milwaukee  Fond du Lac 63  63 
La Crosse, Trempealeau, and Prescott[1]   Winona Junction  Winona, Minn. 28  29 
Chicago, Milwaukee, and St. Paul
 Milwaukee  La Crosse 196  196 
 Milwaukee  Prairie du Chien  193  193 
 Watertown  Madison 37  37 
 Milwaukee  Portage 96  96 
 Horicon  Berlin 43  43 
 Rush Lake  Winneconne 14  14 
 Milton  Monroe 42  42 
Wisconsin Union  Chicago, Ill.  Milwaukee 38  85 
Madison and Portage  Madison  Portage 39  39 
Oshkosh and Mississippi  Ripon  Oshkosh 20  20 
Galena and Southern Wisconsin  Galena, Ill.  Platteville 20  31 
Green Bay and Minnesota  Green Bay  Winona 218  218 
Milwaukee, Lake Shore, and Western   Milwaukee  Appleton 120  120 
Branch  Manitowoc  Two Rivers
Mineral Point  Mineral Point  Warren, Ill. 31  33 
Branch  Calamine  Platteville 18  18 
Sheboygan and Fond du Lac  Sheboygan  Princeton 79  79 
Superior and St. Croix  Superior City 16  24 
Western Union  Rockland, Ill.  Racine 71  197 
Branch  Elkhorn  Eagle 16  16 
West Wisconsin  St. Croix Lake  Elroy 178  178 
Chippewa Falls and Western  Eau Claire  Chippewa Falls  11  11 
North Wisconsin  North Wisconsin Junction  40  40 
Wisconsin Central
 Menasha  Worcester 194  194 
 Ashland  Penokee 29  29 
Milwaukee and Northern
 Milwaukee  Schwartzburg
 Schwartzburg  Green Bay 107  107 
 Hilbert  Menasha 16  16 
Branch  Stevens Point 20  20 
Wisconsin Valley  Tomah  Wausau 89  89 
  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Operated by the Chicago and Northwestern company.

The Fox and Wisconsin rivers are connected by the Portage canal, which extends through Portage City, about one mile. Important improvements by the national government in these rivers have been in progress for several years, by means of which and the construction of a ship canal it is contemplated to open a channel for large vessels between the Mississippi river and Lake Michigan. The United States customs district of Milwaukee includes all the shores, harbors, and waters of Wisconsin bordering on Lake Michigan. Milwaukee is the port of entry, and De Pere, Green Bay, Kenosha, Racine, and Sheboygan are ports of delivery. La Crosse is a port of delivery in the district of Louisiana. The foreign commerce of Milwaukee is considerable, and the domestic trade is very extensive. (See Milwaukee.) During the year ending June 30, 1875, the domestic exports to foreign countries amounted to $1,390,179, including 1,233,483 bushels of wheat, valued at $1,351,884. The imports were valued at $56,646. In the foreign trade 3 vessels of 878 tons entered, and 9 vessels of 2,745 tons cleared. In the coastwise trade 7,230 vessels of 2,812,493 tons entered, and 7,261 of 2,798,208 tons cleared. The number of vessels belonging to the port was 342, of 62,157 tons, of which 276 were sailing vessels and 66 steamers. The number of national banks in operation at the close of 1875 was 42, having a paid-in capital of $3,550,000 and an outstanding circulation of $2,914,329.—The constitution gives the right of suffrage to male citizens and persons who have declared their intention to become citizens, who are 21 years of age and have resided in the state one year. The legislative power is vested in a senate of 33 members chosen for two years, and an assembly of 100 members elected annually. Each member receives $350 a year and 10 cts. a mile for travel to and from the capital. In case of an extra session of the legislature, no additional compensation is allowed. The legislature meets annually on the second Wednesday in January. The chief executive and administrative officers are the governor, annual salary $5,000; lieutenant governor, who acts as president of the senate, $1,000; secretary of state, who is ex officio auditor, $5,000; treasurer, $5,000; attorney general, $3,000; and state superintendent of education, $1,200 and certain allowances. The salaries of the secretary of state, treasurer, and attorney general, as given (previously $1,200, $1,400, and $2,000, with fees, respectively), were fixed by act of 1876, to take effect in 1877. All are elected for two years. The state election is held on the Tuesday after the first Monday in November. Other state officers are three commissioners of school and university lands, one of railroads, four of fish and fisheries, three of the state prison, and a state board of charities and reform composed of five members. The judicial power is vested in a supreme court, 13 circuit courts, courts of probate, and justices of the peace. The supreme court consists of a chief and two associate justices. It has in general only appellate jurisdiction. Two terms are held annually at Madison. The circuit courts have general original jurisdiction in civil and criminal matters, and appellate jurisdiction over all inferior courts. Both they and the supremo court issue writs of habeas corpus, mandamus, injunction, quo warranto, and certiorari. Judges of the supreme and circuit courts are elected by the people for six years. By a recent law, not applicable to those then in office, the salaries of the former were increased from $4,000 to $5,000 a year, and of the latter from $2,500 to $3,000. A circuit court must be held at least twice a year in each county. A judge of probate is elected by the people in each county for four years; justices of the peace are elected by the people for two years in the several cities, towns, and villages. United States courts are held at Milwaukee (semi-annually) and Oshkosh (annually) in the eastern district, and at Madison (semi-annually) and La Crosse (annually) in the western district. Wisconsin is represented in congress by two senators and eight representatives, and has therefore ten votes in the electoral college. The constitution requires a state census to be taken every ten years; the latest one was in 1875.—On Sept. 30, 1875, the total state debt amounted to $2,252,057, viz.: bonds outstanding, $14,000; due to the school fund, $1,559,700; university fund, $111,000; agricultural college fund, $51,600; normal school fund, $515,700; currency certificates, $57. The total receipts on account of the general fund during the year were $1,136,483, and the disbursements $1,260,168. The chief sources of revenue were: state tax, $592,070; tax on railroad companies, $436,414; on insurance companies, $67,859. Among the items of expenditure were: interest on state debt, $157,820; legislature, $86,645; and state institutions, $565,030. The total valuation of property, as determined by the state board of assessments, with the amount and rate of state taxes, has been as follows:

 YEAR.  Valuation. State tax.  Rate per cent. 

1871  $455,900,800   $629,148 10 
 138100  mill
 196100  mill
 172100  mill
 114  mill
 1410  mill
1872 390,454,875  765,291 55 
1873 390,454,875  671,582 38 
1874 421,285,359  526,606 35 
1875 421,285,359  589,799 33 

The total amount of property exempt from taxation was $14,174,721, including $1,655,349 common school, $3,951,783 church, and $4,301,753 railroad property.—The general supervision of the charitable and correctional institutions is vested in a state board of charities and reform, consisting of five members appointed for five years by the governor. The institute for the blind, at Janesville, was opened in 1850, and in 1875 had a total of 82 and an average of 59 students. The current expenses amounted to about $18,000. The institute for the deaf and dumb, at Delavan, opened in 1852, had in 1875 a total of 180 and an average of 132 pupils; the ordinary expenses of the institution were about $34,000. The state hospital for the insane, opened in 1860, is at Madison, and the northern hospital for the insane, opened in 1873, at Oshkosh. In 1875 there were in the former a total of 507 and an average of 364 inmates, and in the latter a total of 351 and an average of 257. The current expenses of the former were $63,500, and of the latter nearly $55,000. According to the federal census of 1870, there were in the state 409 blind, 459 deaf and dumb, 846 insane, and 560 idiotic. According to the returns of the state census of 1875, the numbers of these classes were: blind, 503; deaf and dumb, 720; insane, 1,422. The state prison is at Waupun. The total number of convicts in 1875 was 357; average number, 240. Labor is performed in the prison on account of the state, the chief industries being the manufacture of chairs, wagons, boots and shoes, clothing, and stone work. The institution is not self-sustaining. The receipts from labor, &c., in 1875 amounted to about $53,000; the total disbursements were about $100,000; the state appropriation was $46,341. A school is maintained in the prison, which also has a library. The present site of the prison is too distant from sources of supply and from a market for the articles manufactured. In 1875 a resolution was passed by the legislature providing for the appointment of a commission to consider the expediency of a change, to recommend a more suitable site, and to report to the next legislature. It is recommended that the present prison be transformed into an institution for the incurable insane, of whom about 500 are confined in the poorhouses and jails. The industrial school for boys was opened at Waukesha in 1860, where it has a farm of 233 acres, mostly cultivated. In 1875 there was a total of 412 and an average of 301 inmates. The ordinary expenses of the institution were about $45,000. Boys between the ages of 10 and 16 years are committed to this institution by the courts and magistrates, for vagrancy and other minor offences. The soldiers' orphan home was organized as a state institution and opened in Madison in 1866. It continued in successful operation, with an average annual attendance of about 200, till 1874, when the legislature authorized the trustees to prepare for closing it. The total number of orphans who have received its benefits exceeds 600; the total cost to the state for the purchase of buildings and maintenance has been about $342,000. In 1875 the legislature authorized the transfer of the buildings and grounds to the regents of the state university for a medical college. In 1875 the legislature appropriated $5,000, to be distributed among the following private charitable institutions, which are thereby brought under the supervision of the state board of charities and reform: Cadle home, in Green Bay; St. Luke's hospital, in Racine; and St. Rose orphan asylum, St. Joseph orphan asylum, Milwaukee orphan association, St. Æmilian asylum, and home for the friendless, in Milwaukee. The northwestern branch of the national asylum for disabled soldiers is about 3 m. from Milwaukee, where it has a farm of 425 acres and a brick building with accommodations for 700 or 800 inmates. The average number of inmates in 1875 was 642.—The general management of the public schools is vested in a state superintendent, 64 county superintendents, 27 city superintendents, and a school board in each district. The state and county superintendents hold office for two years, and the district officers for three years. In each independent city there is a board of education, and the larger cities have each a superintendent, who in some cases is also principal of the high school. By law of 1869 towns are authorized to adopt the township system of school government, under which each town becomes a school district. This system has been adopted by only a few towns. The school fund created by the constitution of 1848 comprises: 1, the income from the proceeds of lands granted by the United States to the state for educational purposes; 2, all moneys accruing from forfeiture or escheat; 8, all fines collected in the several counties for breach of the penal laws; 4, all moneys paid for exemption from military duty; 5, five per cent. on the sale of government lands. The first is the principal source. The whole amount of school and university lands held by the state on Sept. 30, 1875, was 1,622,642 acres, classified as follows: school, 221,438; university, 4,407; normal school, 612,774; drainage (held in trust for counties), 722,229; agricultural college, 52,404; Marathon county, 9,890. The amounts of the various funds for educational purposes at that date were as follows:

FUNDS.  Productive.   Unproductive. 

School $2,624,239  $260,000 
University 222,256  9,000 
Normal school 976,364  735,000 
Agricultural college  236,134  65,000 
Drainage 12,643  866,000 

Total  $4,071,636   $1,935,000 

The unproductive funds consist of unsold lands held in trust by the state; the amounts above given are estimated. The income of the school fund during the year ending Sept. 30, 1875, amounted to $186,409, and the disbursements to $185,961. In 1874-'5 the total number of children in the state over 4 and under 20 years of age was 461,829; the total number of persons receiving instruction was 293,888, viz.: in the public schools, 279,854; private schools, 10,733; colleges and academies, 2,150; benevolent institutions, 1,150. There were 5,489 school districts and 5,197 school houses, valued with sites and apparatus at $4,979,169, and having accommodations for 330,189 pupils. The total number of graded schools in the state was about 400. During the year there were 816,097 school days in the public schools; the number of teachers required was 6,224; 9,455 different teachers were employed. The total amount expended for schools was $2,065,870, including $1,350,784 for teachers' wages. In 1865 the legislature set apart certain lands for the creation of a fund for the establishment and maintenance of normal schools. This fund amounted on Sept. 30, 1875, to $976,364, and the total income, including tuition fees of three schools, to $75,994. A board of regents of the normal schools was incorporated by the legislature in 1866, and since that date four state normal schools have been opened. Their condition in 1875-'6 was as follows:

number of

 Total.  In normal

Platteville  1866 10 455 200
Whitewater  1868 12 400 266
Oshkosh 1871 16 521 321
River Falls  1875 10 430 120

The law providing for the establishment of these schools declares that tbeir purpose shall be, besides training teachers, “to give instruction in agriculture, chemistry, the arts of husbandry, the mechanic arts, the fundamental laws of the United States and this state, and in what regards the rights and duties of citizens.” An elementary course of two years and an advanced course of four years (including the two years' course) have been prescribed for each of the state normal schools. On the completion of the four years' course a diploma is awarded by the board of regents, which exempts the holder from examination as a teacher in the common schools of the state. Each assembly district in the state is entitled to send to any one of the normal schools six students, to whom no charge will be made for tuition. The appointments are made by the county and city superintendents. The board of regents are authorized to expend $5,000 annually for the support of teachers' institutes. In 1874-'5, 57 institutes were held in 44 counties, and were attended by 3,760 teachers and persons desiring to teach. The colleges and universities of the state in 1875-'6 were:

Where situated. Denomination. Departments or courses. Number of
Pupils in
 Pupils in all 

Beloit college 1847  Beloit  Congregational and Presbyterian   Preparatory and collegiate 10  84  194
Galesville university 1860  Galesville  Methodist Episcopal  Preparatory and collegiate 29     185[1]
Lawrence university 1849  Appleton  Methodist Episcopal  Preparatory, academic, and collegiate 13  102  338
Milton college    1867[2]  Milton.  Seventh-day Baptist  Preparatory and collegiate 82  270
Northwestern university 1864  Watertown  Lutheran  Academic and collegiate ..  210
Pio Nono college and normal school  1871  St. Francis Station   Roman Catholic  Collegiate and normal 44  105
Racine college 1852  Racine  Episcopal  Letters, science, and grammar school  20  ..  157
Ripon college 1863  Ripon  Congregational  Collegiate and preparatory 13  69  358
St. John's college 1865  Prairie du Chien  Roman Catholic  Collegiate and preparatory 14  80  150
University of Wisconsin 1850  Madison  Not denominational  Collegiate and others 27  ..  345
  1. 1874-'5.
  2. Opened as an academy, 1844.

Instruction in science and law is afforded by the state university. (See Wisconsin, University of.) Nashotah house, at Nashotah mission, is a Protestant Episcopal school of theology, and the seminary of St. Francis of Sales, at St. Francis, is a Roman Catholic school of theology. The chief academies and seminaries are Carroll college at Waukesha, Elroy seminary at Elroy, Rochester seminary at Rochester, which are open to both sexes, and Kemper hall at Kenosha and St. Clara academy at Sinsinawa Mound, which are exclusively for females. Women are also admitted to the university of Wisconsin, Lawrence university, and Milton and Ripon colleges.—According to the federal census of 1870, the total number of libraries was 2,883, having 905,811 volumes. Of these, 1,551 with 527,131 volumes were private, and 1,332 with 378,680 volumes were other than private. There were 4 state libraries with 61,400 volumes; 9 town, city, &c., 4,838; 8 court and law, 1,010; 194 school, college, &c., 50,492; 1,008 sabbath school, 209,503; 70 church, 12,550; and 39 circulating, 38,867. The library of the state historical society in Madison has 67,000 books, pamphlets, &c., and the state law library in Madison 12,000 volumes. The total number of newspapers and periodicals reported by the federal census of 1870 was 190, having a circulation of 343,385 and issuing annually 28,762,920 copies. There were 14 daily, with a circulation of 43,250; 2 tri-weekly, 3,200; 3 semi-weekly, 6,850; 160 weekly, 266,000; 2 semi-monthly, 1,900; and 9 monthly, 22,185. In 1875 the total number was 253, viz.: 19 daily, 2 weekly, 2 semi-weekly, 207 weekly, 1 bi-weekly, 1 semi-monthly, and 21 monthly. In 1870 there were 1,864 religious organizations, having 1,466 edifices with 423,015 sittings and property valued at $4,890,781, as follows:

DENOMINATIONS.  Organizations.   Edifices.   Sittings.   Property. 

Baptist, regular 145  109  32,480  $414,223
Baptist, other 67  33  10,500  91,400
Christian 13  1,450  9,000
Congregational 157  140  44,960  619,550
Episcopal, Protestant 82  70  21,200  389,585
Evangelical Association 179  88  24,175  237,450
Friends 375  1,100
Jewish 750  8,500
Lutheran 171  156  36,780  302,860
Methodist 508  396  103,240  973,018
Moravian (Unitas Fratrum) 13  10  2,500  21,700
Mormon ...  ......  ......
New Jerusalem (Swedenborgian) 800  14,000
Presbyterian, regular 96  84  23,480  300,070
Presbyterian, other 450  8,000
Reformed church in America (late Dutch Reformed) 1,015  7,780
Reformed church in the United States (late German Reformed)  18  14  3,260  24,595
Roman Catholic 329  304   104,000   1,334,450
Second Advent 10  650  9,000
Spiritualist ...  ......  ......
Unitarian 1,900  41,000
United Brethren in Christ 34  21  5,650  37,900
Universalist 12  10  3,150  43,300
Unknown (local mission) 100  1,800
Unknown (union) 150  500

—The name of the state, taken from the river Wisconsin (originally used with the French orthography Ouisconsin), is said to mean as an Indian word “wild rushing river.” The territory of Wisconsin was formed in 1836 out of lands then comprised within the territory of Michigan. It embraced all the land now within the states of Wisconsin, Iowa, and Minnesota, and that part of the present territory of Dakota which lies E. of the Missouri and White Earth rivers. In 1838 all of the territory W. of the Mississippi river and of a line due N. from the sources of that river to the international boundary line was taken to form the territory of Iowa. As thus bounded, Wisconsin became a state in 1848. In 1849 a part of the state was taken to form part of the territory of Minnesota, since which time the area of Wisconsin has remained unchanged. The first territorial government was formed at Mineral Point in July, 1836, and in October of the same year the first territorial legislature assembled at Belmont in Iowa co. Madison was chosen as the permanent seat of government, and the legislature first assembled there in November, 1838. In 1836 the population was reported at 11,683. An enabling act for the admission of the state into the Union was passed by congress in 1846. A constitution was framed by a convention sitting at Madison from Oct. 5 to Dec. 6; it was approved by congress in 1847, but was rejected by the people on account of certain provisions relating to banks. A second convention was held at Madison from Dec. 15, 1847, to Feb. 1, 1848, and prepared a constitution which was ratified by the people on March 2 by a vote of 16,442 to 6,149. The state was admitted into the Union under an act of congress of May 29, 1848, and the legislature assembled at Madison in June. The original constitution, as amended several times, is still in force. The number of troops furnished by Wisconsin to the federal army during the civil war was 96,118, being equivalent to 78,985 for three years.