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Houses in the Algoma Historic District
City hall
Oshkosh is a city in Winnebago Countymarker, Wisconsinmarker, United Statesmarker, located where the Fox River enters Lake Winnebagomarker. The population was 62,916 at the 2000 census; it had a metropolitan area of 159,972 people. The city is located adjacent to and partially within the Town of Oshkoshmarker.


Oshkosh was named for Menominee Chief Oshkosh, whose name meant "claw" (cf. Ojibwe oshkanzh, "the claw"). Although the fur trade brought the first European settlers to the area as early as 1818, because the area was a frequent target of Native American attacks, it never became a major player in the fur trade. It was the establishment and growth of the lumber industry in the area that spurred development of Oshkosh. Oshkosh was incorporated as a city in 1853, although it had already been designated the county seat, and had a population of nearly 2,800.

The lumber industry became well established as entrepreneurs took advantage of navigable waterways to provide access to both markets and northern pineries. The 1859 arrival of rail transportation expanded the ability to meet the demands of a rapidly-growing construction market. By 1870, Oshkosh had become the third-largest city in Wisconsinmarker with a population of over 12,000. The Oshkosh Daily Northwestern newspaper (now the Oshkosh Northwestern) was founded around this time.

Around 1900 Oshkosh was home of the Oshkosh Brewing Company, who coined the marketing slogan "By Gosh It's Good". Their Chief Oshkosh became a nationally distributed beer.

Historic districts

The lumber industry made the fortunes of area entrepreneurs and businessmen, who made significant contributions to the community, politics and philanthropic organizations. Availability of materials and capital, along with devastating downtown fires in the mid 1870s, created a range of well-designed buildings for residential, commercial, civic and religious use. The many structures which make up the city's historic areas are largely a result of the capital and materials generated by the lumber and associated wood manufacturing industries. Oshkosh had six historic districts as of March 2008. They include the Algoma Boulevard historic district, the Irving/Church historic district, the North Main Street historic district, the Oshkosh State Normal School historic district on the University of Wisconsin–Oshkosh campus, the Paine Lumber Company historic district, and the Washington Avenue historic district.

The city had 27 historic buildings as of March 2008. Eleven are houses, four are churches, and the remainder include schools, colleges, a bank, a fire house, an observatory, the county courthouse, and a cemetery where many of the entrepreneurs are buried.


Oshkosh is located at (44.024983, -88.551336) .

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 24.4 square miles (63.2 km²), of which, 23.6 square miles (61.2 km²) of it is land and 0.8 square miles (2.0 km²) of it (3.20%) is water.


U.S. 41 Northbound, US 41 routes to Appletonmarker. Southbound, US 41 routes to Fond Du Lac, Wisconsinmarker and Milwaukee, Wisconsinmarker.
WIS 26 Southbound, routes to Waupunmarker and Madison, Wisconsinmarker.
WIS 21 travels west to Wautoma, Wisconsinmarker and north to Sturgeon Baymarker, Two Riversmarker and Kewaunee, Wisconsinmarker.
WIS 44 travels south to Ripon, Wisconsinmarker.
US 45 travels north to New London, Wisconsinmarker and west via US 10 to Stevens Point, Wisconsinmarker.

Oshkosh is also served by the Oshkosh Transit System, which runs 9 fixed-route bus routes throughout the city from 6:15 AM until 6:15 PM Monday through Saturday. One of these routes also connects Oshkosh with Neenah, Wisconsinmarker and the Fox Cities' transit system, Valley Transit.


As of the census of 2000, there were 62,916 people, 24,082 households, and 13,654 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,662.2 people per square mile (1,028.0/km²). There were 25,420 housing units at an average density of 1,075.6/sq mi (415.3/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 92.73% White, 2.19% Black or African American, 0.52% Native American, 3.03% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 0.53% from other races, and 0.98% from two or more races. 1.69% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 52.2% were of German and 6.3% Irish ancestry according to Census 2000.

There were 24,082 households out of which 27.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 44.3% were married couples living together, 9.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 43.3% were non-families. 32.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.31 and the average family size was 2.95.

In the city the population was spread out with 20.7% under the age of 18, 18.1% from 18 to 24, 29.7% from 25 to 44, 18.3% from 45 to 64, and 13.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 32 years. For every 100 females there were 99.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 98.7 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $37,636, and the median income for a family was $48,843. Males had a median income of $33,750 versus $24,154 for females. The per capita income for the city was $18,964. About 5.2% of families and 10.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 8.6% of those under age 18 and 6.9% of those age 65 or over.

Business and industry

Oshkosh is probably best known for OshKosh B'Gosh, a manufacturer of overalls and children's clothing founded in Oshkosh in 1895. Originally a small-town manufacturer of adult work clothing, it became best known for its children's lines. The original children's overalls, dating from the early twentieth century, were intended to help children dress like their fathers. According to the company, sales increased dramatically when Miles Kimball, an Oshkosh-based mail-order catalog, featured a pair of the overalls in its national catalog. As a result, OshKosh B'Gosh began to sell their products through department stores and expanded their children's line. Despite the name, OshKosh B'Gosh overalls are no longer made in Oshkosh, though the company maintains corporate offices there.

Oshkosh is also the home of EAA AirVenture Oshkosh, "The World's Greatest Aviation Celebration" held by the Experimental Aircraft Association, Inc. ("EAA"). AirVenture is the world's largest airshow, and during AirVenture, air traffic at Wittman Regional Airportmarker exceeds that of any other airport in the world. EAA is a non-profit member organization, dedicated to home-built aircraft, restored aircraft, and light-sport aircraft.

The Oshkosh Corporation, one of the world's largest manufacturers of emergency, utility and military vehicles, is located in Oshkosh. There are two well known chocolate companies located in Oshkosh, Hughes and Oaks.

Oshkosh is also home to the Winnebago Mental Health Institute.


The University of Wisconsin–Oshkosh, the third largest university in the state, is located in Oshkosh.

Oshkosh has sixteen elementary schools, five middle schools, four high schools, and six charter schools.

High schools in the Oshkosh Area School District:

Private high schools:

Public libraries

Culture and entertainment

Oshkosh has seen a recent (as of 2006) resurgence in its cultural and entertainment options.

A downtown redevelopment plan led to the construction of the outdoor Leach Amphitheater on the Fox River, hosting the weekly Waterfest concert series during the summer, as well as national touring musical acts and local community events. Also in downtown Oshkosh is the Grand Opera House, a performing arts center.

Downtown Gallery Walks, held every first Saturday of the month year-round, surged in attendance in comparison to previous years through the warmer months of 2006. A number of downtown Oshkosh music venues have opened and existing venues have tended to expand their schedules, following the trend of the area at large.

Long-running community festivals such as Sawdust Days in Menominee Park continue to be popular. Menominee Park is also the site of the Menominee Park Zoo and "Little Oshkosh", a community-built playground. Oshkosh is also home to "Country USA" featuring entertainment from dozens of country music acts over a five-day period in June.

Other points of interest:


Oshkosh is the southern terminus of the Wiouwash State Trail.

Notable people

Fictional characters

  • Karl Kaufman, the second alter ego of comic book superhero Phantom Eagle


  2. "EAA AirVenture takes flight for the future", Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
  3. Waterfest website
  4. Sawdust Days website

External links

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