The first American flag to be flown in a foreign battle was carried by Wisconsin troops during the Battle of Chapultepec in the Mexican-American War in 1847.

Rusk County is located in northwestern Wisconsin and has a rich history dating back thousands of years. The area was originally inhabited by various Native American tribes, including the Chippewa and Sioux, who relied on the region's abundant resources such as fish, game, and timber.

European settlers began to arrive in the area in the mid-19th century. The county was named after Jeremiah M. Rusk, a Civil War general and later governor of Wisconsin. The lumber industry played a significant role in the early development of Rusk County, with sawmills dotting the landscape and timber being a major economic driver.

As the logging industry boomed, new towns and settlements emerged throughout the county. Many immigrants, primarily of German, Norwegian, Irish, and Polish descent, settled in Rusk County to work in the logging camps or start businesses to support the growing population.

In the early 20th century, the decline of the lumber industry led to a shift in the county's economy. Agriculture, particularly dairy farming, became more prominent, and Rusk County established itself as a major dairy producer in the region. Today, the county continues to be known for its agricultural heritage, natural beauty, and outdoor recreational opportunities.

  • 1845 - Rusk County is created as part of the Wisconsin Territory.
  • 1871 - The first European settler, Jeptha Hawley, arrives in the area.
  • 1874 - The county is officially organized with Ladysmith chosen as the county seat.
  • 1876 - The first courthouse is constructed in Ladysmith.
  • 1881 - The Flambeau Lumber Company establishes a sawmill in Ladysmith, leading to the growth of the timber industry.
  • 1893 - The Soo Line Railroad reaches Ladysmith, improving transportation and economic opportunities.
  • 1905 - The Rusk County Fair is first held.
  • 1912 - The Rusk County Historical Society is formed to preserve and promote local history.
  • 1933 - The Civilian Conservation Corps establishes a camp in Rusk County, contributing to the development of parks and recreational facilities.
  • 1952 - The Ladysmith News, a local newspaper, is founded.
  • 1975 - The Flambeau River State Forest is established, preserving natural resources and providing recreational opportunities.
  • 1997 - The Greater Ladysmith Area Chamber of Commerce is established to support local businesses.