Waupaca County
Waupaca County Courthouse
Waupaca County Courthouse
Map of Wisconsin highlighting Waupaca County
Location within the U.S. state of Wisconsin
Map of the United States highlighting Wisconsin
Wisconsin's location within the U.S.
Coordinates: 44°29′N 88°58′W / 44.48°N 88.97°W / 44.48; -88.97
Country United States
State Wisconsin
Founded1853
Named forChief Waupaca
SeatWaupaca
Largest cityNew London
Area
 • Total765 sq mi (1,980 km2)
 • Land748 sq mi (1,940 km2)
 • Water17 sq mi (40 km2)  2.3%%
Population
 • Total51,812
 • Density69.3/sq mi (26.8/km2)
Time zoneUTC−6 (Central)
 • Summer (DST)UTC−5 (CDT)
Congressional district8th
Websitewww.co.waupaca.wi.us

Waupaca County is a county in the U.S. state of Wisconsin. As of the 2020 census, the population was 51,812.[2] The county seat is Waupaca.[3] The county was created in 1851 and organized in 1853.[4] It is named after the Waupaca River, a Menominee language name meaning 'white sand bottom', 'pale water', or 'tomorrow river'.[5][6]

History

Ancient indigenous peoples constructed earthworks that expressed their religious and political concepts. An early European explorer counted 72 such earthen mounds in what is now Waupaca County, many of them in the form of effigy mounds, shaped like "humans, turtles, catfish and others."[7] There were 52 mounds constructed around what is now called Taylor Lake. Most mounds were lost to agricultural development. One mound, shaped like a catfish, is still visible in a private yard along County Hwy. QQ, just east of Taylor Lake. The site was marked by a local women's club with a commemorative plaque installed on a large stone.[7]

Under pressure from European-American development, the Menominee people ceded their title to the United States for these lands by treaty in 1852. Following that, the flow of new migrant settlers greatly increased from the East, with people moving from New England, New York, and Ohio. They developed the land primarily for agricultural use in the early decades, also quickly establishing sawmills on the rivers.

In the 1870s railroads were constructed in the county: the Wisconsin Central in 1872 and the Green Bay and Minnesota Railroad (later known as Green Bay, Minnesota & St. Paul) in 1873. These improved the county's connections to markets for its lumber and other products. For a period, entrepreneurs and merchants gained high profits from the lumber industry, establishing many fine homes in the larger cities.

Geography

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 765 square miles (1,980 km2), of which 748 square miles (1,940 km2) is land and 17 square miles (44 km2) (2.3%) is water.[8] The water includes 22 lakes that form the Waupaca Chain O' Lakes. These lakes are majority spring fed and connected by the Crystal River outlet.[9] Waupaca County is also home to Partridge Lake on the Wolf River.

Major highways

Railroads

Buses

Airports

Adjacent counties

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
18608,851
187015,53975.6%
188020,95534.9%
189026,79427.9%
190031,61518.0%
191032,7823.7%
192034,2004.3%
193033,513−2.0%
194034,6143.3%
195035,0561.3%
196035,3400.8%
197037,7806.9%
198042,83113.4%
199046,1047.6%
200051,73112.2%
201052,4101.3%
202051,812−1.1%
U.S. Decennial Census[10]
1790–1960[11] 1900–1990[12]
1990–2000[13] 2010–2020[2]

2020 census

As of the census of 2020,[1] the population was 51,812. The population density was 69.3 inhabitants per square mile (26.8/km2). There were 25,457 housing units at an average density of 34.0 per square mile (13.1/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 93.2% White, 0.6% Native American, 0.5% Asian, 0.4% Black or African American, 1.6% from other races, and 3.7% from two or more races. Ethnically, the population was 3.6% Hispanic or Latino of any race.

2000 census

2000 Census age pyramid for Waupaca County
2000 Census age pyramid for Waupaca County

As of the census[14] of 2000, there were 51,731 people, 19,863 households, and 13,884 families residing in the county. The population density was 69 per square mile (27/km2). There were 22,508 housing units at an average density of 30 per square mile (12/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 97.93% White, 0.17% Black or African American, 0.42% Native American, 0.27% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 0.54% from other races, and 0.66% from two or more races. 1.38% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 53.1% were of German, 8.5% Norwegian and 6.8% Irish ancestry. 96.6% spoke English, 1.4% Spanish and 1.3% German as their first language.

There were 19,863 households, out of which 32.60% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 58.40% were married couples living together, 7.40% had a female householder with no husband present, and 30.10% were non-families. 25.20% of all households were made up of individuals, and 11.70% 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 3.01.

By age, 25.70% of the population was under 18, 7.10% from 18 to 24, 27.80% from 25 to 44, 22.70% from 45 to 64, and 16.70% who were 65 or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females there were 100.30 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 98.40 males.

In 2017, there were 505 births, giving a general fertility rate of 63.4 births per 1000 women aged 15–44, the 37th highest rate out of all 72 Wisconsin counties. Of these, 26 of the births occurred at home.[15]

Government

County offices

Politics

United States presidential election results for Waupaca County, Wisconsin[16]
Year Republican Democratic Third party
No.  % No.  % No.  %
2020 18,952 65.06% 9,703 33.31% 475 1.63%
2016 16,209 62.12% 8,451 32.39% 1,435 5.50%
2012 14,002 54.19% 11,578 44.81% 260 1.01%
2008 12,232 47.95% 12,952 50.77% 327 1.28%
2004 15,941 59.10% 10,792 40.01% 241 0.89%
2000 12,980 56.92% 8,787 38.53% 1,037 4.55%
1996 8,679 45.10% 7,800 40.53% 2,764 14.36%
1992 10,252 44.27% 6,666 28.78% 6,241 26.95%
1988 11,559 61.62% 7,078 37.74% 120 0.64%
1984 13,097 68.33% 5,895 30.76% 175 0.91%
1980 12,568 61.71% 6,401 31.43% 1,397 6.86%
1976 10,849 60.13% 6,857 38.00% 337 1.87%
1972 11,040 70.13% 4,418 28.07% 284 1.80%
1968 10,606 67.13% 3,978 25.18% 1,215 7.69%
1964 8,381 54.46% 6,990 45.42% 18 0.12%
1960 12,247 72.61% 4,606 27.31% 14 0.08%
1956 11,798 78.64% 3,133 20.88% 72 0.48%
1952 13,693 81.38% 3,105 18.45% 28 0.17%
1948 8,764 67.51% 4,020 30.97% 198 1.53%
1944 11,495 74.44% 3,879 25.12% 68 0.44%
1940 11,099 69.95% 4,616 29.09% 151 0.95%
1936 6,680 45.88% 6,920 47.52% 961 6.60%
1932 5,082 37.54% 8,179 60.42% 275 2.03%
1928 8,928 72.32% 3,307 26.79% 110 0.89%
1924 3,654 33.89% 665 6.17% 6,462 59.94%
1920 8,302 83.04% 888 8.88% 807 8.07%
1916 4,492 69.85% 1,720 26.75% 219 3.41%
1912 2,204 37.66% 1,563 26.70% 2,086 35.64%
1908 4,785 71.93% 1,483 22.29% 384 5.77%
1904 5,471 81.34% 942 14.01% 313 4.65%
1900 5,284 76.29% 1,383 19.97% 259 3.74%
1896 5,472 75.19% 1,577 21.67% 229 3.15%
1892 3,397 57.23% 2,186 36.83% 353 5.95%


Waupaca County has long been one of the most Republican counties in Wisconsin. Only two Democrats have carried the county at the presidential level since the formation of the Republican Party – Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1932 and 1936, and Barack Obama in 2008, and in 1936 Roosevelt only won by plurality because of a sizeable vote for Union Party nominee William Lemke. It was one of only three Wisconsin counties, alongside Walworth and Waushara, to vote for Barry Goldwater over Lyndon Johnson in 1964.

In other statewide races, the county is equally Republican. The only Democratic gubernatorial candidate it has backed since at least 1908 is Albert Schmedeman in 1932.[17] Senators Herb Kohl in 2006 and William Proxmire in 1976 and 1970 did carry Waupaca County when they swept every county in the state, but no other Democratic senatorial candidate has won the county since the Seventeenth Amendment.

Communities

Waupaca County Fairgrounds
Waupaca County Fairgrounds

Cities

Villages

Towns

Census-designated places

Unincorporated communities

Ghost towns/neighborhoods

See also

References

  1. ^ a b "2020 Decennial Census: Waupaca County, Wisconsin". data.census.gov. U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved July 6, 2022.
  2. ^ a b "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on February 1, 2016. Retrieved January 24, 2014.
  3. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved June 7, 2011.
  4. ^ "Wisconsin: Individual County Chronologies". Wisconsin Atlas of Historical County Boundaries. The Newberry Library. 2007. Archived from the original on April 14, 2017. Retrieved August 15, 2015.
  5. ^ "Here's How Iron Got Its Name". The Rhinelander Daily News. June 16, 1932. p. 2. Retrieved August 24, 2014 – via Newspapers.com. open access
  6. ^ "Winnebago Took Its Name from an Indian Tribe". The Post-Crescent. December 28, 1963. p. 14. Retrieved August 25, 2014 – via Newspapers.com. open access
  7. ^ a b Waupaca Area Chamber of Commerce
  8. ^ "2010 Census Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. August 22, 2012. Retrieved August 9, 2015.
  9. ^ "Chain O' Lakes". Explore Waupaca Co. Retrieved January 7, 2022.
  10. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved August 9, 2015.
  11. ^ "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved August 9, 2015.
  12. ^ Forstall, Richard L., ed. (March 27, 1995). "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved August 9, 2015.
  13. ^ "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. April 2, 2001. Retrieved August 9, 2015.
  14. ^ "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved May 14, 2011.
  15. ^ "Annual Wisconsin Birth and Infant Mortality Report, 2017 P-01161-19 (June 2019): Detailed Tables". Archived from the original on June 19, 2019. Retrieved June 23, 2019.
  16. ^ Leip, David. "Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections". uselectionatlas.org. Retrieved November 9, 2020.
  17. ^ "Gubernatorial General Election Results Comparison – Wisconsin". Dave Leip’s U.S. Election Atlas.

Further reading

Coordinates: 44°29′N 88°58′W / 44.48°N 88.97°W / 44.48; -88.97