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Altoona, Wisconsin facts for kids

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Altoona
Nickname(s): 
Cinder City
Location of Altoona in Eau Claire County, Wisconsin.
Location of Altoona in Eau Claire County, Wisconsin.
Location of Altoona within Eau Claire County
Location of Altoona within Eau Claire County
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Coordinates: 44°48′15″N 91°26′32″W / 44.80417°N 91.44222°W / 44.80417; -91.44222Coordinates: 44°48′15″N 91°26′32″W / 44.80417°N 91.44222°W / 44.80417; -91.44222
Country  United States
State  Wisconsin
County Eau Claire
Area
 • Total 4.98 sq mi (12.90 km2)
 • Land 4.73 sq mi (12.26 km2)
 • Water 0.25 sq mi (0.65 km2)
Elevation
896 ft (273 m)
Population
 (2010)
 • Total 6,706
 • Estimate 
(2019)
7,870
 • Density 1,662.79/sq mi (642.06/km2)
Time zone UTC-6 (Central (CST))
 • Summer (DST) UTC-5 (CDT)
ZIP codes
54720
Area code(s) 715 & 534
FIPS code 55-01550
GNIS feature ID 1560807

Altoona is a city in Eau Claire County, Wisconsin, United States. The population was 6,706 at the 2010 census, with an estimated population in 2018 of 7,794. The city is a railroad terminal on the Union Pacific Railroad.

History

The settlement of Altoona began in 1881 when the Chicago, St. Paul, Minneapolis and Omaha Railway selected the site for a new terminal to replace the overcrowded existing terminal in Eau Claire. The railroad had originally planned to put the new terminal in Fall Creek, but the city of Eau Claire lobbied for a site closer to the existing one, and representatives from Eau Claire and the railroad walked the tracks from Fall Creek to Eau Claire to determine a suitable site. When the location of present-day Altoona - approximately three miles east of the existing Eau Claire terminal - was found to have sufficient flat land and access to water (via the Eau Claire River), the railroad began construction of the new terminal and the community of "East Eau Claire" was platted in October.

Residents began moving into the community in early 1882 and the railroad terminal became operational in May of that year. However, confusion between the "Eau Claire" and "East Eau Claire" stations quickly caused the railroad to rename the new terminal "Altoona" on October 14, 1882. Altoona was incorporated as a city on April 5, 1887.

Continued growth in both Altoona and Eau Claire over the past century has left the two cities adjacent to one another, with Fairfax St. and Bus. 53 providing a general boundary between the two, although the actual border is irregular. County Highway AA generally forms the eastern limits of the city. Altoona is bounded on the north by Lake Altoona and the Eau Claire River. To the south, the city limits generally follow Otter Creek.

Geography

Altoona is located at 44°48′15″N 91°26′32″W / 44.80417°N 91.44222°W / 44.80417; -91.44222 (44.804110, -91.442183).

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 4.86 square miles (12.59 km2), of which, 4.65 square miles (12.04 km2) is land and 0.21 square miles (0.54 km2) is water.

Altoona is situated near Lake Altoona, a man-made lake, with water provided by the Eau Claire River.

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
1890 805
1900 721 −10.4%
1910 824 14.3%
1920 960 16.5%
1930 1,044 8.8%
1940 1,239 18.7%
1950 1,713 38.3%
1960 2,114 23.4%
1970 2,842 34.4%
1980 4,393 54.6%
1990 5,889 34.1%
2000 6,698 13.7%
2010 6,706 0.1%
2020 (est.) 8,062 20.2%
U.S. Decennial Census

2010 census

At the 2010 census there were 6,706 people, 2,883 households, and 1,775 families living in the city. The population density was 1,442.2 inhabitants per square mile (556.8/km2). There were 3,288 housing units at an average density of 707.1 per square mile (273.0/km2). The racial makup of the city was 93.5% White, 0.9% African American, 0.4% Native American, 1.9% Asian, 0.8% from other races, and 2.5% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.5%.

Of the 2,883 households 31.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 43.8% were married couples living together, 13.3% had a female householder with no husband present, 4.4% had a male householder with no wife present, and 38.4% were non-families. 31.3% of households were one person and 14.3% were one person aged 65 or older. The average household size was 2.32 and the average family size was 2.91.

The median age was 37.4 years. 24.8% of residents were under the age of 18; 8.6% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 26.2% were from 25 to 44; 24.6% were from 45 to 64; and 15.8% were 65 or older. The gender makeup of the city was 47.0% male and 53.0% female.

Education

Altoona is primarily served by the School District of Altoona, and a small parcel is covered by the Eau Claire Area School District. Altoona High School serves most of the area's students. On November 4, 2014, a referendum passed approving a new energy-efficient elementary school on County Road KB.

Notable people

  • Leonard Haas, third president (1959–1971) and first chancellor (1973–1980) of the University of Wisconsin–Eau Claire.
  • Fred "Fuzzy" Thurston, Green Bay Packers offensive lineman (1958-1967), 1975 Green Bay Packers Hall of Fame inductee, and for whom the Altoona High School football field is named.
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