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Shawano County, Wisconsin

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Please add profiles for those who were born, lived or died in Shawano County, Wisconsin.

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Its name is from a modified Ojibwa term meaning "southern"; it was the southern boundary of the Ojibwa nation.

The federally recognized Stockbridge-Munsee Community (made up of Algonquian-speaking Mahican and Lenape), whose ancestors traditionally lived in the East along the Hudson River Valley, is located in Shawano County. Their reservation encompasses the towns of Bartelme and Red Springs.

The county was created as a separate county in 1853 under the name Shawanaw County. The county, unlike the city, retained the old spelling until 1864.

From the mid-nineteenth century on, the county was settled by European Americans, including many German, and later, Polish immigrants. They developed the county for agriculture. Before that, French-Canadian and British fur traders traveled widely through the area, trading with the Chippewa and other Native American peoples of the region.

The first non-Indian credited with exploring the region where Shawano is now located is Samuel Farnsworth. He paddled up the Wolf River in 1843 with a few men to scout the area for logging the vast forests. A small Menominee village was located along the Shawano lake Channel when their party arrived, and the Indians were friendly and cooperative. Charles Wescott and the Farnsworth group then set up a sawmill where the Channel meets the Wolf River.

Captain William Powell, an officer of the Black Hawk War, established a trading post on the Wolf River about two miles from the village in 1844. He had been an interpreter for the government when the treaties were signed allowing white people to settle this area of Wisconsin.

In 1860 the first school house was erected in the county and in 1857 a courthouse was erected on Main Street and was replaced in 1879–80 at a cost of $17,000.00. The County Board authorized a new courthouse and jail in June 1953.

For a complete list of Cities, Towns, Villages & Communities, please see Wikipedia.

Adjacent Counties



Nat'l Reg. of Hist. Places