The University of Wisconsin-Madison is the oldest and largest public university in the state, and is often referred to as the "Harvard of the Midwest." It was founded in 1848, just two months after Wisconsin became a state.
Dunn County, Wisconsin has a rich history dating back to its early Native American inhabitants. Prior to European settlement, the area was inhabited by various tribes, including the Ojibwa and Dakota Sioux. The first European explorers arrived in the 17th century, with French fur traders and missionaries establishing a presence in the region. However, it wasn't until the mid-19th century that Dunn County began to see significant settlement.

In 1853, Dunn County was officially established, named after Charles Dunn, a lawyer and member of the Wisconsin Territorial Assembly. The county began to attract settlers, primarily of European descent, who were drawn to the area's fertile land and abundant natural resources. Agriculture played a significant role in the county's early development, with settlers engaging in farming and other agricultural activities.

The construction of the Eau Claire-Chippewa Falls railroad line in the 1870s further accelerated Dunn County's growth. The railroad provided an efficient transportation route for goods and people, allowing for easier access to markets and facilitating the establishment of new industries. Along with agriculture, lumber and logging became major economic drivers for the county during this time, as vast forests in the area were harvested to meet the growing demand for timber.

As the 20th century dawned, Dunn County experienced a shift towards a more diversified economy. The decline of the timber industry led to the rise of manufacturing and other industries. Companies such as Knapp-Stout and Wisconsin Motor Manufacturing Company (WMMCO) brought jobs and economic prosperity to the county. Today, Dunn County continues to be known for its agriculture and manufacturing sectors, as well as its natural beauty, with numerous recreational opportunities available in its many parks and lakes.

This timeline provides a condensed summary of the historical journey of Dunn County, Wisconsin.

  • 1840: Treaty of St. Peters cedes land, including Dunn County, to the United States
  • 1848: Wisconsin becomes a state
  • 1854: Dunn County is officially established
  • 1860: First courthouse and jail are built in Menomonie, the county seat
  • 1870: Menomonie becomes a city
  • 1880: First railroad arrives in Menomonie, boosting economic growth
  • 1890: University of Wisconsin-Stout is founded in Menomonie
  • 1930: Great Depression brings hardships to Dunn County
  • 1940: Construction of the Red Cedar State Trail begins
  • 1970: Dunn County Fairgrounds are established in Menomonie
  • 2000: Expansion of University of Wisconsin-Stout leads to increased student population