WIGenWeb Project


WIGenWeb Project

Cities, Towns & Villages

WISCONSIN MUNICIPALITIES: Cities Towns, and Villages, often referred to as 'municipalities' in Wisconsin law, are the governmental units that relate most directly to citizens' everyday lives.

TOWNS, like counties, were created by the state to provide basic municipal services. Rooted in New England and New York tradition, town government came to Wisconsin with the settlers, but Wisconsin towns were not like their Eastern counterparts that reflected the existing patterns of local settlement. In Wisconsin, towns are geographical subdivisions of counties. Towns originally served (and for the most part they continue to serve) rural areas. Towns govern those areas of Wisconsin not included in the corporate boundaries of cities and villages.

The difference between "township" and "town" often confuses the public. In Wisconsin, "township' refers to the surveyor's township which was laid out to identify land parcels within a county. Theoretically. a township is a square tract of land, measuring six miles on a side for a total of 36 square miles in the unit. Each township is divided into 36 sections. "Town", as the word is used in Wisconsin, denotes a specific unit of government. It's boundaries may coincide with the surveyor's township or it may look quite different. A Town may include one township, parts of townships or several townships.

CITIES and VILLAGES, often referred to as "incorportated areas", govern territory where population is more concentrated. In general, minimum population for incorporation as a village is 150 residents for an isolated village and 2,500 for a metropolitan village located in a more densely settled area. For cities, the minimums are 1,000 and 5,000 respectively. As cities and villages are incorporated, they are carved out of the town territory and become independent units no longer subject to the town's control. The remainder of the town may take on a 'Swiss cheese" configuration as its area is reduced.

[Information above taken from "State of Wisconsin Blue Book 1997-1998"]

SMALL SETTLEMENTS & GHOST TOWNS: There were many small settlements that sprung up around logging camps of the early 1900's and were not much more than a grocery store, post office, railroad stations or rail junction. Some of these develped into larger communities, others have dissappeared along with the lumber camps and the railroads.

* Information on community post offices was taken from "Hale, James B. Wisconsin Post Office Handbook. Bulletin No. 20. Madison, Wisconsin: Wisconsin Postal History Society, 1988." Post offices with a beginning date followed by a " +" were still in existance at the time the book was written. Some post offices may have ceased operation after 1988.

**Information on railroad stations, junctions and railroad lines taken from a map of Railroads in the Northwoods. The dates are for the railroad lines only, the stations may or may not have been operating during that entire time frame. This list is by no means anywhere near completion, more informatin will be added.
Municipality or
Town Hall/Clerk address
or location of community
*Post Office and
** Train Stations & Jcts
Arbor Vitae, Town of
established about 1899
Arbor Vitae Town Office
10672 Big Arbor Vitae Dr, Arbor Vitae WI 54568
715 356-3120
Post Office 1893-1973
Train Station; C.M.& St. Paul RR 1895-1944; Chicago & Norwestern RR 1893-1913
Bolton Town of Lac du Flambeau railroad station dates unknown, Chicago & Northwester RR 1889-1982
Boulder Junction, Town of
established in 1928 from the town of Arbor Vitae
Town Office
PO Box 616
Boulder Jct, WI 54512
715 385-2220
Post Office est. Oxely 1906- cgd Boulder Jct. 1912+, Train Station
C.M. & St.Paull RR 1908-1926
Buswell Town of Boulder Junction Post Office 1905-1914, Train Station,
C.M. & St.Paul RR 1905-1919
Cisco Town of Land O'Lakes Post Office 1908-1914
Cloverland, Town of
created in 1921 from territory in Conover, Farmington and Lincoln
Cloverland Town offices
PO Box 355
Eagle River WI 54521
Conover, Town of
est. 1907 from town of Eagle River
Conover Town Hall
PO Box 151
Conover WI 54519
715 479-8688
Email: tconover@newnorth.net
Post Office 1894+
Cutter Jct. Town of Boulder Junction railroad junction, C.M. & St.Paul RR 1905-1931
Divide Town of Winchester Post Office 1905-1908
Donaldson Town of Land O'Lakes Post Office 1907-cgd State Line 1919-cgd Land O'Lakes 1923+
Eagle River, City of
est. 1893
Eagle River City Hall
PO Box 1269
Eagle River WI 54521
phone: 715 479-8682
Fax: 479-9674
Post Office 1883+
name cgd Winegar then Presque Isle
Town of Presque Isle. Post Office 1906-cgd Winegar 1913-cgd Presque Isle 1956+
Graceland . Post Office 1912-1913
Hackley Town of Phelps Post Office 1902-cgd Phelps 1912+
Katinka . Post Office 1917-1921
Knudson . Post Office 1927-1931; railroad station; C.M. & St.Paul RR 1923-1937
Lac du Flambeau, Town of
town est.1900.
LdF Town Office
PO Box 68, 109 Old Abe Rd
Lac du Flambeau WI 54538
phone: 715 588-3358
Post Office 1890+; Railroad Station; Chicago & Northwester RR 1889-1982
Lac du Flambeau Ojibwe Reservation
permanent settlement in 1745
reservation established by treaty in 1854
Lac du Flambeau Tribal Offices
PO Box 67
Lac du Flambeau WI 54538
phone (715) 588-3303 Fax (715) 588-7930
LdF Band of Ojibwa
The boundaries of the LdF Reservation includes a small amount of land in Iron County (about 18 sq. miles) and the Town of LdF boundaries include a portion (about 18 sq. miles) of Chequamegon National Forest that is not part of the Reservation.
.Lakota Town of Conover Post Office 1902-1914
Land O'Lakes, Town of
est. in 1907, original name Stateline
Town Office
PO Box 660, 4331 Hwy B
Land O'Lakes WI 54540
Town Clerk phone: 715 547-3255
Post Office est Donaldson 1907-cgd State Line 1919-cgd Land O'Lakes 1923+.
Lincoln, Town of
Lincoln Town Hall
PO Box 9, 1205 Sundstein Rd
Eagle River WI 54521
town Clerk 715 479-7000
Manitowish Waters, Town of
was Spider Lake until 1937
PO Box 267
Manitowish Waters WI 54545
715 543-8400
Post Office 1948+
Mishike Town of Boulder Junction Post Office 1923-1931
Oxley Town of Boulder Junction Post Office 1906 -1912 cgd BoulderJct 1912+; C.M. & St.Paul RR 1905-1919
Papose Lake Town of Boulder Junction Post Office 1917 only; C.M. & St.Paul RR. 1905-1919
Phelps, Town of
created in 1905, original name Hackley
Phelps Town Hall
PO Box 157
Phelps WI 54554
715 545-2236
Post Office, est. Hackley 1902 cgd Phelps 1912+
Plum Lake, Town of
created in 1910 from Arbor Vitae
Plum Lake Town Hall
8641 Golf Course Rd
Sayner WI 54560
Town Clerk: 542-4531
train station; C.M. & St.Paul RR 1895-1944
Powell . railroad station; Chicago & Northwester RR 1889-1982
Presque Isle, Town of
created in 1907, formerly called Fosterville, then Winegar
Presque Isle Town Hall
School Loop Rd
Presque Isle WI 54557
phone: 715 686-2473
Town Clerk: 715 686-2725
Post Office est. Fosterville 1906-cgd Winegar 1913-cgd Presque Isle 1956+
Rest Lake . Post Office 1928-1929
Reynolds . Post Office 1891-??
Saint Germain, Town of
created in 1907, original name Farmington
Saint Germain Town Hall
PO Box 7, State Rd 155
Saint Germain WI 54558
Town Clerk: 715 542-3668
Post Office 1952+
SaynerTown of Plum LakePost Office 1898+; railroad station; C.M. & St.Paul RR 1895-1944
Spider Lake Town of Manitowish Waters Post Office 1904-mvd Iron Co.1908-19??
Star LakeTown of Plum LakePost Office 1895+; railroad station; C.M. & St.Paul RR 1895-1944
State Line
name chg Land O'Lakes
Town of Land O'Lakes Post Office est. in Donaldson 1887 cgd Stateline 1907-cgd Land O'Lakes 1923+
Trout Lake Town of Arbor Vitae Post Office 1916-1947
Station; C.M. & St.Paul RR 1905-1931
Vudesare . Post Office 1908-1916
Velasco Jct. Town of Arbor Vitae. railroad junction
Washington, Town of
created 1910 from territory detached from Eagle River
Washington Town Hall
1654 Rangeline Rd, Eagle River WI 54521
Phone: 715 479-8886
town clerk 715-479-1669 or email:
Winchester, Town of
created in 1921 from territrory in Presque Isle
Winchester Town Hall
HC2, Box 417
Winchester WI 54557
Post Office 1907-1966; Chicago & Northwester RR
name chg Presque Isle
Town of Presque Isle Post Office est. Fosterville 1906-cgd Winegar 1913-cgd Presque Isle 1956+; Chicago & Northwester RR

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. This page was last updated on -- Thursday, 16-Aug-2012 13:01:17 EDT