About the State of Wisconsin
Wisconsin ranks in the middle when it comes to size and population density, ranking 23rd in both categories and is the 20th most populated state in the U.S. Having ranked 11th overall in our annual Safest Places to Live in the United States list for 2016, has the state’s balance between size and population contributed to its overall safety? We investigated the different towns and cities in Wisconsin to get a better understanding of what makes up the safest communities in America’s Dairyland.
Below are the 30 safest places to live in Wisconsin.
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Wisconsin’s Safest Cities
Algoma, Wisconsin’s Safest City
Founded in 1834 by Joseph McCormick, Algoma is a small city located in Kewaunee County. Originally known as Wolf, the town was renamed in 1859 to Ahnapee and twenty years later was renamed again as Algoma, which comes from an Indian term for “park of flowers”. Fishing has played an important role in Algoma and today sport fishing is a major attraction for tourists.
The town of Stanley’s history is tied to the logging industry. After the arrival of the railroad line to the area in 1880, the land was surveyed and mapped with the area receiving village status in 1895 and recognized as a city a few years later. After the logging industry deteriorated, farming became the primary economic driver before that too declined.
Located in Waukesha County, the town of Oconomowoc was first settled by members of the Poowatomi and Winnebago tribes due to the area’s many natural resources including deep woodlands and crystal clear lakes which provided for successful fishing, hunting and raw materials to build homes. In 1837, Charles Sheldon and Phil Brewer built log cabins in the area becoming the first white settlers.
Originally a settlement of the Potawatomi tribe in the 1700s, the tribe ceded their land as more white settlers came to the area. The village site was attractive to these settlers who attempted to erect a house on the site in 1836. After objections from the remaining Native Americans, the house was build a mile away from the site near what is now the Mukwonago Museum.
Freedom is a town located in Outagamie County and includes the unincorporated communities of Freedom and Murphy Corner as well as portions of Five Corners. The town was first settled by James Andrew Jackson, an African American settler, who arrived in 1830. Today, the town holds one of the only ten active Drive In movie theaters in the state.
The town of Barron was established in 1860 and is the county seat of Barron. Originally a vast wilderness of massive white pine and hardwood forests, the area was settled and logged for its timber by John Quarderer of the Stout Lumber Co. In 1887, the town was officially incorporated as the City of Barron.
A village in St. Croix County, North Hudson was incorporated in June 1912 from part of the town of Hudson that was a township in St. Croix County. If you happen to be in the area in late summer, you may be interested in checking out their annual Pepper Fest which features both a hot pepper and spaghetti eating contest.
Located in Walworth County along Wisconsin’s southern border with Illinois and is found inside the town of Walworth which was originally known as Fontana. The village of Walworth is referred to as the friendly village on the Square and maintains their own public works and police department.
Part of the Green Bay Metropolitan Statistical Area, Luxemburg is found along the eastern edge of Wisconsin in the county of Kewaunee. Located between Lake Michigan and the city of Green Bay, residents can take advantage of the city’s many activities and conveniences while still enjoying a premiere vacationing spot.
Located partially in the town of Jackson, Jackson is a village in Washington County. Since 1870, the post office known as Jackson and so named after the seventh president, Andrew Jackson, has been in operation. In 2012, the town of Jackson suffered a large gasoline spill which impacted many local wells. The West Shore Pipe Line Company paid to have water services from the village extended to the town of Jackson.
Town Of East Troy
Not to be confused with the village of East Troy, the town is found in Walworth County and includes the Hilburn and Lake Beulah communities as well as the ghost town of Army Lake. Concerned for their citizens the town recently held a Safe and Savvy Senior Day to help educate seniors and their family of scams and other health and financial concerns of the elderly.
The 13th largest town in Wisconsin and the third largest community in Wood County, Grand Rapids has over seven thousand residents. Visitors come from all over the state to participate in local events as well as to visit South Wood County Park on Lake Wazeecha to hike, fish, swim, camp and boat during the spring and summer.
The county seat of Calumet County, the city of Chilton is partially located inside the Town of Chilton. The first resident of Chilton was former slave Moses Stanton who, along with his wife Native American wife, Catherine, moved to the area in January of 1845. The town formed around the saw mill and grist mill and was originally referred to as Stantonville until it was purchased by John Marygold in 1852 when it was renamed.
Located in Dane County, the village of Marshall is considered part of the Madison Metropolitan Statistical Area. First settled along the banks of the Maunesha River in 1837 by Andrew and Zenas Bird with Aaron Petrie, the settlement burned to the ground in 1838. For the next ten years, the area was referred to as Bird’s Ruins until 1849 when Asahel Hanchett was able to bring new businesses to the area.
The largest village in the state of Wisconsin, Kronenwetter is located in Marathon County in the center of the state. It is considered part of the Wausau, Wisconsin Metropolitan Statistical Area. Originally made up of several small and independent settlements the area eventually coalesced under the name Keelerville thanks to the building of a canal and small sawmill by a Native American named Keeler. It was renamed in 1857 after being purchased by Sebastian Kronenwetter.
A village in Dane County, Cross Plains is located partially within the Town of Cross Plains and is considered part of the Madison Metropolitan Statistical Area. Incorporated in 1920, the village was named after Cross Plains, Tennessee, the home of the first settler to the area.
A city in Ozaukee County, Mequon was originally inhabited by the Potawatomi and Menominee Native Americans who split their settlements up on opposite sides of the Milwaukee River. Settlers from New York and England arrived between 1834 and 1836 when the land was surveyed by Mr. Brink to create the town. Later, German and Irish immigrants would join the early town.
The village of Hobart was incorporated in 2001 and together with the town of Lawrence established a cooperative police department known as the Hobart-Lawrence Police Department (HLPD). Housed in the village of Hobart, the police department includes a chief, lieutenant, K-9 unit and five full time officers.
The city of Seymour is located in Outagamie County within the towns of Seymour and Osborn. Believed to be first referred to as Squeedunk, or “little settlement” the area was renamed in 1868 after New York Governor Horatio Seymour after it was settled by John and William Ausbourne with a single log house, the only residence for two years.
Founded and named after John Henry Thein, the village of Thiensville was surveyed between 1834 and 1836 after the government pushed the original Native Americans out of the area. The village recently earned the distinction of being listed 19th on CNNMoney.com’s list of the 100 Best Places to Live in the United States in 2005.
Located in Calumet County within the town of the same name the city of Brillion was named after the town of Brilon in Germany. Centrally located between Green Bay, Appleton and Manitowoc and nestled between Lake Michigan and Lake Winnebago.
The county seat of Columbia County, the city of Portage is the largest in the county and is considered part of the Madison Metropolitan Statistical Area. The area settled was lowlands found between the Fox and Wisconsin Rivers and was used as a natural portage by Native American tribes as well as European traders and settlers.
With the majority of the village found in the town of Kewaskum, the village is part of both Washington and Fond du Lac counties. Its post office has been in operation since 1849 and was named after a local Indian Chief before it was incorporated as a village in 1917. Over the next forty years, it would grow in size by annexing parts of the Town of Kewaskum as well as parts of the Town of Auburn.
Found in Dane County, the village of Oregon is part of the Madison Metropolitan Statistical Area and is located predominantly in the Town of Oregon. The area was first settled by Bartlet Runey in 1841 with the first house being constructed two years later. Originally known as Rome Corners, the village was renamed after the arrival of the Chicago and North Western Transportation Company.
The county seat of Keqaunee County, the city of Kewaunee is found along the northwestern shore of Lake Michigan and is considered part of the Green Bay Metropolitan Statistical Area. The city maintains a full service marina that is completely protected from Lake Michigan water action by breakwaters and the Hathaway landing peninsula.
A village in Dane County and part of the Madison Metropolitan Statistical Area, Waunakee was recently ranked in CNN Money’s Top 100 Places to Live for small towns in 2009. The towns steady growth over the last decade and close proximity to Madison make it an ideal location for businesses and homeowners alike.
The village of Bayside is located in both Milwaukee and Ozaukee counties with the majority of residents living in the Milwaukee County area. Originally comprised of only a few large homes, farms and a handful of summer cottages the village has grown significantly since its time as a hunting and fishing grounds for Native Americans.
A village in Walworth County, Williams Bay is one of three towns found on Geneva Lake. The village is named after Captain Israel Williams of Massachusetts who settled in the area in 1835. A vacation spot for the rich of Chicago after the Great Fire of 1871, the village is now best known for the University of Chicago’s Yerkes Observatory.
Located in Waukesha County, the village of Summit includes the former unincorporated communities of Summit Center and Summit Corners. Fist settled in 1837 by Andrew Baxter, the first town hall would not be built until 1906, only to be torn down half a century later to build a new one. The town of Summit was made a village in July of 2010.
Part of the Madison Metropolitan Statistical Area, the village of Poynette is located in Columbia County. The village was named after one of the early fur traders and settlers of the area, Pierre Paquette. The difference in spelling due to a misreading of his name when the community was incorporated in 1892.
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We may not have been able to include your community in our list of safest places to live in Wisconsin if we could not locate completed data in the latest annual FBI Uniform Crime Report or if the total reported population did not meet our minimum requirement of 2,500 residents.
3. Oconomowoc Town
4. Mukwonago Town
7. North Hudson
11. Town of East Troy
12. Grand Rapids
14. Marshall Village
16. Cross Plains
28. Williams Bay
33. Port Washington
36. Elm Grove
39. Fox Valley Metro
40. Richland Center
42. Town of Menasha
43. New Lisbon
44. Campbell Township
50. Sheboygan Falls
54. Twin Lakes
55. Chippewa Falls
56. Menomonee Falls
61. Whitefish Bay
62. Sauk Prairie
63. Fox Point
65. Rome Town
67. Cottage Grove
76. North Fond du Lac
79. Sturgeon Bay
80. Delavan Town
82. Beloit Town
86. Fort Atkinson
87. West Salem
88. New Holstein
91. Hales Corners
96. Geneva Town
98. East Troy