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Shawano County, Wisconsin
Map of Wisconsin highlighting Shawano County
Location in the state of Wisconsin
Map of USA WI
Wisconsin's location in the U.S.
Founded information needed
Named for Ojibwa term meaning "southern" or Menominee Chief Sawanoh
Seat Shawano
Largest city Shawano
 - Total
 - Land
 - Water

909 sq mi (2,355 km²)
893 sq mi (2,312 km²)
17 sq mi (44 km²), 1.85%
 - (2000)
 - Density

46/sq mi (18/km²)
Time zone Central: UTC-6/-5

Shawano County is a county located in the U.S. state of Wisconsin. As of 2000, the population was 40,664. Its county seat is Shawano.[1]


Its name is from a modified Ojibwa term meaning "southern;"[2][3] A Menominee chief named Sawanoh led a band that lived in the area.[4] Many citizens of Shawano believe the lake, county, and city (Town of Shawanaw founded 1853 and changed to Shawano in 1856), were named after Chief Sawanoh. A historical marker placed in 1958 near the lake along Highway 22 states the lake was named as the southern boundary of Chippewa (Ojibwe) territory.

Various historical recordings of the spelling of Shawano include: Sawanoh, Shawanaw, Sharuno, Shabin, Savannah, Savanah... which show the influence of French, German, and English translation (v's, w's, and b's, sounding very similar and thus being recorded incorrectly at times). Similar differences in spelling have been seen in the following versions: Mahican/Mahikan/Maikens tribe or Mohecan/Morhican/Mohican tribe, all referring to the same Algonquian-speaking people. James Fenimore Cooper wrote a popular novel entitled The Last of the Mohicans but the people have survived his fears of their ending.

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

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



Shawano County Fairgrounds

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 909 square miles (2,350 km2), of which 893 square miles (2,310 km2) is land and 17 square miles (44 km2) (1.85%) is water.

Adjacent countiesEdit

Major highwaysEdit


USA Shawano County, Wisconsin age pyramid

2000 Census Age Pyramid for Shawano County.

Historical populations
Census Pop.
1900 27,475
1910 31,884 16.0%
1920 33,975 6.6%
1930 33,516 −1.4%
1940 35,378 5.6%
1950 35,249 −0.4%
1960 34,351 −2.5%
1970 32,650 −5.0%
1980 35,928 10.0%
1990 37,157 3.4%
2000 40,664 9.4%
2010 41,949 3.2%
WI Counties 1900-1990

As of the census[5] of 2000, there were 40,664 people, 15,815 households, and 11,149 families residing in the county. The population density was 46 people per square mile (18/km²). There were 18,317 housing units at an average density of 20 per square mile (8/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 91.61% White, 0.22% Black or African American, 6.26% Native American, 0.33% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 0.31% from other races, and 1.22% from two or more races. 1.00% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 54.9% were of German and 8.1% Polish ancestry according to Census 2000.

There were 15,815 households out of which 31.50% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 58.30% were married couples living together, 8.00% had a female householder with no husband present, and 29.50% were non-families. 24.90% 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 3.00.

In the county, the population was spread out with 25.70% under the age of 18, 6.90% from 18 to 24, 27.50% from 25 to 44, 23.10% from 45 to 64, and 16.80% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females there were 99.80 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 97.60 males.

Cities, villages, and towns Edit


Shawano County Courthouse, built mid-1950s


Image of Shawano Lake, taken from the east shore in Cecil looking west.


A farm in rural Shawano County


Fairgrounds sign


Welcome sign

Unincorporated communitiesEdit

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07. 
  2. ^ Shawano county [origin of place name]
  3. ^ Shawano's Modern History Began in 1844 with Logging and Later Farming]
  4. ^
  5. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 

External linksEdit

Coordinates: 44°47′N 88°46′W / 44.79, -88.76

This page uses content from the English language Wikipedia. The original content was at Shawano County, Wisconsin. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with this Familypedia wiki, the content of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons License.

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