Grant County
Grant County Courthouse, Armand D. Koch, architect, 1902
Grant County Courthouse, Armand D. Koch, architect, 1902
Map of Wisconsin highlighting Grant County
Location within the U.S. state of Wisconsin
Map of the United States highlighting Wisconsin
Wisconsin's location within the U.S.
Coordinates: 42°52′N 90°43′W / 42.86°N 90.71°W / 42.86; -90.71
Country United States
State Wisconsin
Founded1837
SeatLancaster
Largest cityPlatteville
Area
 • Total1,183 sq mi (3,060 km2)
 • Land1,147 sq mi (2,970 km2)
 • Water36 sq mi (90 km2)  3.1%
Population
 (2010)
 • Total51,208
 • Estimate 
(2020)
51,021
 • Density43/sq mi (17/km2)
Time zoneUTC−6 (Central)
 • Summer (DST)UTC−5 (CDT)
Congressional district3rd
Websitewww.co.grant.wi.gov

Grant County is a county located in the U.S. state of Wisconsin. As of the 2010 census, the population was 51,208.[1] Its county seat is Lancaster.[2] Grant County comprises the Platteville, WI Micropolitan Statistical Area. It is in the tri-state area of Illinois, Iowa, and Wisconsin, and is crossed by travelers commuting to Madison from a number of eastern Iowan cities, and by residents of northern Illinois traveling to the Twin Cities or La Crosse, Wisconsin.

History

Indian presence

What is now Grant County was largely uninhabited prior to contact with Europeans, as it was a border region between the territories of the Kickapoo, Menominee, and Illinois tribes. The only Native Americans to have a permanent settlement in the area were the Fox tribe, who had a temporary village in what is now the extreme northeast of the county during the mid-1700s.

Colonial period

Between 1520 and 1620 this area was nominally ruled by Spain, although the lack of explorers left the region completely untouched by Spanish authority. The first Frenchmen to reach what is now Grant County were Jacques Marquette and Louis Joliet, who explored the region in the spring of 1673, after setting out from what would later become Green Bay. No permanent settlement was made. In 1680 Louis Hennepin also passed through the region that would later become Grant County, also making no permanent settlement. In 1689 Nicholas Perrot passed through the territory and claimed it for the King of France. The first settlement was a temporary trading post that Pierre Marin founded in 1725.

The British technically ruled the region during the period between the French and Indian War and the American Revolution, though no effort was made to settle or administer the region. After the abandonment of Marin's trading post, the region went unvisited until the expedition of Jonathan Carver, a Connecticut Yankee who passed through what is now Grant County in 1766 during an attempt to discover the Pacific Ocean.

American period

In 1783, the British government acknowledged the jurisdiction of the United States over the land east of the Mississippi River, including what is now Grant County. American and European traders visiting the region over the next decades were yet as nomadic as the Indians, and no records survive. Grant County was created as part of Wisconsin Territory in 1837.[3] It was named after an Indian trader; his first name, origins, and eventual fate are all unknown.[4]

Geography

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 1,183 square miles (3,060 km2), of which 1,147 square miles (2,970 km2) is land and 36 square miles (93 km2) (3.1%) is water.[5]

Major highways

Railroads

Buses

Airports

Adjacent counties

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
18403,926
185016,169311.8%
186031,18992.9%
187037,97921.8%
188037,852−0.3%
189036,651−3.2%
190038,8816.1%
191039,0070.3%
192039,0440.1%
193038,469−1.5%
194040,6395.6%
195041,4602.0%
196044,4197.1%
197048,3989.0%
198051,7366.9%
199049,264−4.8%
200049,5970.7%
201051,2083.2%
2020 (est.)51,021[6]−0.4%
U.S. Decennial Census[7]
1790–1960[8] 1900–1990[9]
1990–2000[10] 2010–2020[1]
2000 Census Age Pyramid for Grant County.
2000 Census Age Pyramid for Grant County.

As of the census[11] of 2000, there were 49,597 people, 18,465 households, and 12,390 families residing in the county. The population density was 43 people per square mile (17/km2). There were 19,940 housing units at an average density of 17 per square mile (7/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 98.23% White, 0.52% Black or African American, 0.13% Native American, 0.46% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 0.14% from other races, and 0.50% from two or more races. 0.56% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 52.0% were of German, 9.2% English, 8.8% Irish, 6.6% American and 6.4% Norwegian ancestry.

There were 18,465 households, out of which 30.50% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 56.10% were married couples living together, 7.50% had a female householder with no husband present, and 32.90% were non-families. 26.00% of all households were made up of individuals, and 12.10% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.51 and the average family size was 3.03.

In the county, the population was spread out, with 23.70% under the age of 18, 14.60% from 18 to 24, 24.80% from 25 to 44, 21.60% from 45 to 64, and 15.30% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females there were 103.00 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 102.00 males.

Government and infrastructure

The Wisconsin Secure Program Facility (WSPF), a Wisconsin Department of Corrections prison for men, is located in Boscobel in Grant County.[12][13]

Politics

Grant County has been a reliably Republican county at the federal level for most of its existence. Starting in 1992 however, it voted for the Democratic candidate for President six elections in a row before shifting back to the GOP in 2016.

United States presidential election results for Grant County, Wisconsin[14]
Year Republican Democratic Third party
No.  % No.  % No.  %
2020 14,142 55.22% 10,998 42.95% 468 1.83%
2016 12,350 50.68% 10,051 41.25% 1,967 8.07%
2012 10,255 42.29% 13,594 56.06% 399 1.65%
2008 9,068 37.29% 14,875 61.16% 377 1.55%
2004 12,208 48.32% 12,864 50.92% 192 0.76%
2000 10,240 46.64% 10,691 48.69% 1,025 4.67%
1996 7,021 36.54% 9,203 47.89% 2,991 15.57%
1992 7,678 33.16% 8,914 38.49% 6,565 28.35%
1988 10,049 51.32% 9,421 48.12% 110 0.56%
1984 13,430 62.58% 7,892 36.78% 138 0.64%
1980 13,298 55.82% 8,406 35.28% 2,120 8.90%
1976 12,016 54.11% 9,639 43.41% 552 2.49%
1972 11,873 62.29% 6,915 36.28% 273 1.43%
1968 10,789 62.49% 5,414 31.36% 1,061 6.15%
1964 7,872 45.74% 9,309 54.09% 30 0.17%
1960 11,564 60.05% 7,678 39.87% 16 0.08%
1956 11,648 68.69% 5,208 30.71% 102 0.60%
1952 14,327 77.21% 4,197 22.62% 32 0.17%
1948 8,299 55.00% 6,575 43.57% 215 1.42%
1944 10,226 62.56% 6,091 37.27% 28 0.17%
1940 11,143 59.40% 7,458 39.76% 158 0.84%
1936 7,196 41.11% 9,170 52.39% 1,137 6.50%
1932 5,986 37.60% 9,701 60.94% 232 1.46%
1928 10,052 59.85% 6,630 39.48% 112 0.67%
1924 5,714 40.33% 1,518 10.71% 6,937 48.96%
1920 9,638 80.92% 1,971 16.55% 302 2.54%
1916 4,718 56.29% 3,459 41.27% 205 2.45%
1912 3,283 41.63% 3,615 45.84% 988 12.53%
1908 4,989 55.09% 3,696 40.81% 371 4.10%
1904 5,804 64.52% 2,886 32.08% 305 3.39%
1900 5,609 61.15% 3,254 35.48% 309 3.37%
1896 5,315 57.40% 3,683 39.77% 262 2.83%
1892 4,217 50.23% 3,685 43.89% 494 5.88%


Communities

Cities

Villages

Towns

Census-designated places

Unincorporated communities

Ghost town/neighborhood

Notable people

Pop culture

Music

"Prayer for Bagley John" is a song written by Wisconsin singer / songwriter Tom Thiel. The song is based on the story of a hermit who had lived near Bagley in Grant county, WI. The story was that John Bagley (Bagley John) would pass notes to the townspeople of Bagley and no one had ever heard him speak in all the years he lived nearby on the banks of the Mississippi river. John Bagley would often pay in gold pieces and so it was rumoured he had a large inheritance or had been involved in a robbery. John Bagley mysteriously disappeared without a trace. The song was included on Tom Thiel's 2017 album "Old Shadows" and the following year Thiel was named singer / songwriter of the year by the Wisconsin Area Music Industry (WAMI).

See also

Footnotes

  1. ^ a b "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on June 6, 2011. Retrieved January 18, 2014.
  2. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Archived from the original on May 31, 2011. Retrieved June 7, 2011.
  3. ^ "Wisconsin: Individual County Chronologies". Wisconsin Atlas of Historical County Boundaries. The Newberry Library. 2007. Archived from the original on April 14, 2017. Retrieved August 13, 2015.
  4. ^ Castello N. Holford History of Grant County, Wisconsin. Chicago: Western Historical Company, 1881, pp. 7-9.
  5. ^ "2010 Census Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. August 22, 2012. Retrieved August 4, 2015.
  6. ^ "County Population Totals: 2010-2020". Retrieved June 20, 2021.
  7. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved August 4, 2015.
  8. ^ "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved August 4, 2015.
  9. ^ Forstall, Richard L., ed. (March 27, 1995). "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved August 4, 2015.
  10. ^ "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. April 2, 2001. Retrieved August 4, 2015.
  11. ^ "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved May 14, 2011.
  12. ^ "Boscobel city, Wisconsin[permanent dead link]." U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved on October 10, 2010.
  13. ^ "Wisconsin Secure Program Facility Archived September 14, 2010, at the Wayback Machine." Wisconsin Department of Corrections. Retrieved on October 10, 2010.
  14. ^ Leip, David. "Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections". uselectionatlas.org. Retrieved November 11, 2020.
  15. ^ "Willard H. Burney (1857-1943)". The Political Graveyard. Retrieved October 6, 2012.
  16. ^ "B. W. Countryman (b. 1867)". Political Graveyard. Retrieved October 10, 2013.
  17. ^ "Jim Fagan, Snowshoes, Saloons, and Salvation: The Life And Times Of a 19th Century Colorado Pioneer Preacher, December 20, 2004". snowshoemag.com. Retrieved January 18, 2014.
  18. ^ "William Garner Waddel". Political Graveyard. Retrieved November 23, 2013.

Further reading

Coordinates: 42°52′N 90°43′W / 42.86°N 90.71°W / 42.86; -90.71