Village of Ellsworth
Downtown Ellsworth
Downtown Ellsworth
Location of Ellsworth in Pierce County, Wisconsin.
Location of Ellsworth in Pierce County, Wisconsin.
Coordinates: 44°43′57″N 92°28′48″W / 44.73250°N 92.48000°W / 44.73250; -92.48000
Country United States
State Wisconsin
 • Village Board PresidentBecky Beissel
 • Total3.80 sq mi (9.84 km2)
 • Land3.80 sq mi (9.83 km2)
 • Water0.00 sq mi (0.00 km2)
1,226 ft (315 m)
 • Total3,348
 • Density881.7/sq mi (340.4/km2)
Time zoneUTC-6 (CST)
 • Summer (DST)UTC-5 (CDT)
54011, 54010
Area code(s)715 & 534
FIPS code55-23525[3]
GNIS feature ID1564550[4]

Ellsworth is a village in and the county seat of Pierce County, Wisconsin, United States. The population was 3,348 at the 2020 census.[2] The village is adjacent to the Town of Ellsworth and now incorporates the formerly separate district known as East Ellsworth. The municipality of Ellsworth and its surroundings are slowly becoming incorporated into the Twin Cities Metro Area.[citation needed]


Welcome sign to Ellsworth

Settlement in the area that now comprises the village of Ellsworth began with the arrival of several families in 1857. The village was officially platted in 1862, then incorporated in 1887.[5] The village was initially called Perry, in honor of the War of 1812 hero, Oliver Hazard Perry, but was renamed in 1866 in honor of Col. Elmer E. Ellsworth, the first Union officer to die in the Civil War.[6] A close friend of Pres. Abraham Lincoln, Ellsworth died while removing a highly visible Confederate flag from the roof of a hotel overlooking the Potomac River in Alexandria, Virginia. The incident received national attention, and at least one other town, Ellsworth, Michigan, was named in his honor.[7]

Downtown Ellsworth's location atop a steep hill is the result of an 1861 dispute between Pierce County's two major towns, Prescott and River Falls, over which should be county seat. The compromise reached was to draw lines on a map connecting the corners of the county, northwest to southeast and northeast to southwest. The intersection of these lines at a densely forested site at the top of a ridge determined the placement of the new town. A log building was hastily erected to serve as a courthouse, then replaced by a wood-frame structure about two years later.[8] The current Pierce County Courthouse, built 1905, was designed by the noted St. Paul firm of Buechner & Orth. The structure exhibits characteristics of both the neoclassical and Beaux-Arts styles, topped by a large dome above a five-story hexagonal rotunda.[9]


Ellsworth is located at 44°43′57″N 92°28′48″W / 44.73250°N 92.48000°W / 44.73250; -92.48000 (44.73261, -92.480177).[10]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the village has a total area of 3.75 square miles (9.71 km2), all of it land.[11]


Historical population
U.S. Decennial Census[12] 2020[2]

2020 census

As of the census of 2020,[2] the population was 3,348. The population density was 881.7 inhabitants per square mile (340.4/km2). There were 1,467 housing units at an average density of 386.4 per square mile (149.2/km2). The racial makeup of the village was 93.2% White, 0.7% Black or African American, 0.4% Native American, 0.1% Asian, 1.1% from other races, and 4.5% from two or more races. Ethnically, the population was 3.0% Hispanic or Latino of any race.

2010 census

As of the census[13] of 2010, there were 3,284 people, 1,331 households, and 827 families residing in the village. The population density was 875.7 inhabitants per square mile (338.1/km2). There were 1,434 housing units at an average density of 382.4 per square mile (147.6/km2). The racial makeup of the village was 96.6% White, 0.3% African American, 0.3% Native American, 0.4% Asian, 0.8% from other races, and 1.6% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.5% of the population.

There were 1,331 households, of which 34.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 44.9% were married couples living together, 12.1% had a female householder with no husband present, 5.1% had a male householder with no wife present, and 37.9% were non-families. 31.6% of all households were made up of individuals, and 13.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.39 and the average family size was 2.98.

The median age in the village was 35.7 years. 26.2% of residents were under the age of 18; 7.9% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 27.8% were from 25 to 44; 23.7% were from 45 to 64; and 14.5% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the village was 49.0% male and 51.0% female.

2000 income statistics

As of 2000 the median income for a household in the village was $42,604, and the median income for a family was $51,286. Males had a median income of $36,069 versus $25,000 for females. The per capita income for the village was $18,661. About 2.6% of families and 5.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 4.4% of those under age 18 and 7.9% of those age 65 or over.

East Ellsworth

Pierce County courthouse

The steep grades approaching Ellsworth's hilltop location proved an insurmountable challenge to railroad construction. When the Chicago, St. Paul, Minneapolis and Omaha Railway ("Omaha Road") surveyed a branch line to the locale in 1885, it bypassed the village and constructed a depot about one mile away at the foot of the grade.[14] The businesses that grew up by the station coalesced into the independent village of East Ellsworth. Although they are now administered as one municipal entity, Ellsworth and East Ellsworth retain separate ZIP codes.[15] The Isabelle River runs through East Ellsworth.


Cheese Curd Festival

Ellsworth is known as the cheese curd capital of Wisconsin, due to the cheese curds produced by its namesake creamery. The last weekend in June is reserved for a town festival which celebrates the cheese curd.[16]

Notable people


  1. ^ "2019 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved August 7, 2020.
  2. ^ a b c d "2020 Decennial Census: Ellsworth village, Wisconsin". U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved July 7, 2022.
  3. ^ "ANSI and FIPS codes". US Census Bureau. Retrieved July 7, 2022.
  4. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. October 25, 2007. Retrieved January 31, 2008.
  5. ^ "History of Ellsworth, Wisconsin".
  6. ^ Chicago and North Western Railway Company (1908). A History of the Origin of the Place Names Connected with the Chicago & North Western and Chicago, St. Paul, Minneapolis & Omaha Railways. p. 175.
  7. ^ "Elmer E. Ellsworth"
  8. ^ Seyforth, H.G. "Pierce County courthouse was built 55 years ago." (Pamphlet retrieved at Ellsworth, Wisconsin, Public Library, November 24, 2015)
  9. ^ National Register of Historic Places Thematic Nomination: "Courthouses of Wisconsin." State Historical Society of Wisconsin, 1981.
  10. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. February 12, 2011. Retrieved April 23, 2011.
  11. ^ "US Gazetteer files 2010". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on January 25, 2012. Retrieved November 18, 2012.
  12. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". Retrieved June 4, 2015.
  13. ^ "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved November 18, 2012.
  14. ^ Miller, Stan. Omaha Road: The Chicago, St. Paul, Minneapolis & Omaha. Mukilteo, Washington, Hundman Publishing Inc. 2004.
  15. ^ "Towns and Cities of Pierce County".
  16. ^ "Cheese Curd Festival - Ellsworth Area Chamber of Commerce, WI".