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Menomonie, Wisconsin

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Menomonie, Wisconsin
Dunn County Government Center, Menomonie
Dunn County Government Center, Menomonie
Location of Menomonie in Dunn County, Wisconsin.
Location of Menomonie in Dunn County, Wisconsin.
Coordinates: 44°52′45″N 91°55′5″W / 44.87917°N 91.91806°W / 44.87917; -91.91806
CountryUnited States
 • Total15.44 sq mi (39.98 km2)
 • Land13.70 sq mi (35.47 km2)
 • Water1.74 sq mi (4.51 km2)
 • Total16,264
 • Estimate 
 • Density1,208.54/sq mi (466.62/km2)
Time zoneUTC−6 (Central (CST))
 • Summer (DST)UTC−5 (CDT)
Zip Code
Area code(s)715 & 534
FIPS code55-51025
The Mabel Tainter Center for the Arts, originally named the Mabel Tainter Memorial Building.
The Mabel Tainter Center for the Arts, originally named the Mabel Tainter Memorial Building.

Menomonie (/məˈnɒməni/) is a city in and the county seat of Dunn County in the western part of the U.S. state of Wisconsin.[5] The city's population was 16,264 as of the 2010 census.

Named for the original inhabitants of the area, the Menominee,[6] the city forms the core of the United States Census Bureau's Menomonie Micropolitan Statistical Area (MSA), which includes all of Dunn County (2010 population: 43,857). The Menomonie MSA and the Eau Claire–Chippewa Falls metropolitan area to the east form the Census Bureau's Eau Claire-Menomonie Consolidated Metropolitan Statistical Area.

The city center is at the south end of Lake Menomin, a reservoir on the Red Cedar River.


The earliest known residents of the area were people from the Trempealeau Hopewell Culture of the Middle Woodland Period (100-400 CE).[7] Evidence from their culture includes a mound from the Wakanda Mounds Group in Wakanda Park, along the western shore of Lake Menomin. Most of these mounds are thought to be from Effigy Mound cultures from this time period. Artifacts from the Late Woodland Period (400-1000 CE) have also been uncovered. It is theorized that agricultural villages supported the population during summer months, transitioning to hunting and gathering from fall through spring. The next known population group is the Santee Dakota in the 1600s and 1700s, who engaged in conflicts with the Ojibwe people, who migrated west as refugees. Armed with European weapons, the Ojibwe pushed westward, eventually winning at the Battle of Kathio in 1770. The two tribes continued their warfare, eventually signing the 1825 First Treaty of Prairie du Chien, which made a border between the two just north of Menomonie, with the Dakota claiming the southern lands.[8]

In 1788, French-Canadian fur trader and schoolmaster Jean Baptiste Perrault established a trading post and fort on the Red Cedar River very near Menomonie.[8][9]

The lumber industry brought Menomonie permanent settlement and economic prosperity in the 1800s. The Wisconsin Milling Company set up shop at the confluence of Wilson Creek and the Red Cedar River, which was purchased by Hardin Perkins, backing fur traders James H. Lockwood and Joseph Rolette in 1822 and subsequently washed away by a sudden overflow in the river. Working with Indian Agent General Street, Perkins, Lockwood and Rolette began a legal battle over the authority of the local Native American people to grant permissions of this sort, exchanging land for payment of blankets, beads, whiskey, and other merchandise to Chief Wabashaw and the other Ojibwe chiefs. In 1830 they received permission from the federal government to rebuild their lumber operation. This was the first permanent settlement on the land that became the city of Menomonie.[8][10]

Lockwood built a second mill and dam on the west side of the Red Cedar River, at the confluence of Gilbert Creek. He sold this to Hiram S. Allen, a lumberman from Vermont. In 1839, Allen built a new sawmill in its place, which he sold to the McCann brothers, settlers from Ohio who later became the first permanent residents of Eau Claire.[11][12] In 1849, the Gilbert Creek Mill became the site of the first post office.[13]

Lockwood and Rolette sold their original operation to James Green in 1841, who turned over the deed to William Black in 1842.[13][14] In 1846, William Wilson and John Holly Knapp jointly purchased the mill, naming it Black & Knapp Mill. Wilson and his family settled in the area, eventually building what is now the Wilson Place Museum in 1859. Wilson founded the city of Menomonie and became its first mayor in 1882, as well as a Wisconsin State Senator.[15]

Captain Andrew Tainter and Henry L. Stout acquired ⅓ interest in Wilson and Knapp's company, forming Knapp, Stout & Co. in 1853, the company that would come to define the town for generations. Tainter was a silent partner, whose duties included shipping lumber down to the Mississippi River and returning with supplies.[16] By 1873, Knapp, Stout & Co. had become the world's largest lumber corporation. In 43 years, its output grew from 100,000 to 5,706,602 feet of lumber. It had 1,200 employees and owned 115,000 acres (47,000 ha) of pine forest.[10] The post office was moved to the site of the Knapp, Stout & Co. Company in 1855, with Wilson as postmaster.[17]

Menomonie was incorporated as a city in 1882.[18]

The Mabel Tainter Memorial Building, a local landmark, was built in 1890 and dedicated on July 3, 1890, by Tainter in honor of his daughter Mabel, who had died in 1886 at the age of 19.[8] In 1891, Wisconsin State Senator James Huff Stout, son of Henry L. Stout, founded a manual training school, the first of several educational enterprises he launched in Menomonie. These educational programs were combined into the Stout Institute in 1908, and still stand as the University of Wisconsin–Stout.[19]

In 1901, the water mill shut down and Knapp, Stout & Co. closed operations in the area. The Wisconsin Power Company and Submerged Electric Motor Co. acquired some of the company's facilities, the latter to house the world's first outboard motor factory. In 1902, the Wilson-Weber Lumber Company took over retail operations of the Knapp, Stout & Co. That same year, Menomonie founded the nation's first agricultural high school, the Dunn County School of Agriculture and Domestic Economy.[20]


Menomonie is located at 44°52′45″N 91°55′5″W / 44.87917°N 91.91806°W / 44.87917; -91.91806 (44.879336, -91.918333).[21]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has an area of 15.47 square miles (40.07 km2), of which 13.69 square miles (35.46 km2) is land and 1.78 square miles (4.61 km2) is water.[22]

The city lies on Interstate 94, State Highway 25 (which serves as the main north–south thoroughfare through town), State Highway 29, and US Highway 12.


Historical population
Census Pop.
2020 (est.)16,599[23]2.1%
U.S. Decennial Census

2010 census

As of the census[2] of 2010, there were 16,264 people, 5,743 households, and 2,455 families living in the city. The population density was 1,188.0 inhabitants per square mile (458.7/km2). There were 6,234 housing units at an average density of 455.4 per square mile (175.8/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 91.9% White, 0.8% African American, 0.5% Native American, 4.2% Asian, 0.6% from other races, and 1.9% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.7% of the population.

There were 5,743 households, of which 20.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 30.9% were married couples living together, 8.4% had a female householder with no husband present, 3.4% had a male householder with no wife present, and 57.3% were non-families. 36.1% of all households were made up of individuals, and 12.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.26 and the average family size was 2.87.

The median age in the city was 23.4 years. 13.4% of residents were under the age of 18; 42% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 18.5% were from 25 to 44; 14.9% were from 45 to 64; and 11% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 49.5% male and 50.5% female.

It is important to remember that a large percentage of the 42% between 18 and 24 were students at the University of Wisconsin-Stout.

2000 census

As of the 2000 census,[24] there were 14,937 people, 5,119 households, and 2,370 families living in the city. The population density was 1,160.7 people per square mile (448.1/km2). There were 5,441 housing units at an average density of 422.8 per square mile (163.2/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 93.79% White, 0.76% Black or African American, 0.41% Native American, 3.21% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 0.64% from other races, and 1.18% from two or more races. 1.14% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 5,119 households, out of which 22.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 36.0% were married couples living together, 7.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 53.7% were non-families. 32.7% of all households were made up of individuals, and 11.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.35 and the average family size was 2.95.

In the city, the population was spread out, with 15.5% under the age of 18, 40.4% from 18 to 24, 20.5% from 25 to 44, 12.3% from 45 to 64, and 11.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 23 years. For every 100 females, there were 99.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 98.6 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $31,103, and the median income for a family was $44,458. Males had a median income of $30,893 versus $21,898 for females. The per capita income for the city was $15,994. About 9.1% of families and 23.5% of the population were below the poverty line, including 16.7% of those under age 18 and 7.3% of those age 65 or over.


Menomonie Municipal Airport (KLUM) serves the city and surrounding communities.


Bowman Hall at the University of Wisconsin-Stout.
Bowman Hall at the University of Wisconsin-Stout.

Menomonie schools are part of the Menomonie Area School District.

The city has one public high school, Menomonie High School, and one public middle school, Menomonie Middle School. There are five public elementary schools in the district: River Heights Elementary, Wakanda Elementary, Oaklawn Elementary, Downsville Elementary, and Knapp Elementary.

St. Paul's Lutheran School is a Christian Pre-K-8 school of the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod (WELS) in Menomonie.[25]

The city is home to the University of Wisconsin–Stout and a campus of Chippewa Valley Technical College.

Human Resources

Dunn County Jail is on Menomonie's eastern edge. It houses sentenced and non-sentenced, male and female inmates. As of July 2020, there are just over 80 inmates.[26]



In 2012, Menomonie was ranked #15 in Smithsonian Magazine's "The 20 Best Small Towns in America".[28]

Notable natives and residents

Notable attractions

In popular culture

Sister city

Menomonie has a sister city:[60]

See also


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  2. ^ a b "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved November 18, 2012.
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  4. ^ "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". United States Census Bureau. May 24, 2020. Retrieved May 27, 2020.
  5. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved June 7, 2011.
  6. ^ A History of the Origin of the Place Names Connected with the Chicago & North Western and Chicago, St. Paul, Minneapolis & Omaha Railways. Chicago and North Western Railway Company. 1908. p. 160 – via Google Books.
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  11. ^ "A Menomonie Timeline: 1830s". Dunn History. Retrieved October 31, 2016.
  12. ^ Bailey, W. F. (1914). History of Eau Claire county, Wisconsin, past and present; including an account of the cities, towns and villages of the county. Chicago: C. F. Cooper.
  13. ^ a b "A Menomonie Timeline: 1840s". Dunn History. Retrieved October 31, 2016.
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  25. ^ "St. Paul's Christian Day School".
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  31. ^ Toepel, M. G.; Kuehn, Hazel L., eds. (1952). "Members of the Legislature". The Wisconsin Blue Book. Retrieved October 31, 2016 – via The State of Wisconsin Collection.
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  35. ^ "Vern Fuller Statistics and History". Retrieved October 31, 2016.
  36. ^ "Neil Gaiman". Retrieved October 31, 2016.
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  40. ^ "Federal charges brought against accused mailbox bomber". May 10, 2002. Archived from the original on September 8, 2008. Retrieved October 31, 2016.
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  53. ^ "| Menomonie's Historic Theater ideal for entertainment, weddings, business meetings and tours". Retrieved 2019-08-29.
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Further reading

External links

This page was last edited on 4 September 2021, at 21:17
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