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Amherst
Looking north at downtown Amherst
Looking north at downtown Amherst
Location of Amherst in Portage County, Wisconsin.
Location of Amherst in Portage County, Wisconsin.
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Coordinates: 44°27′23″N 89°18′20″W / 44.45639°N 89.30556°W / 44.45639; -89.30556
Country  United States
State  Wisconsin
County Portage
Area
 • Total 1.33 sq mi (3.46 km2)
 • Land 1.28 sq mi (3.32 km2)
 • Water 0.06 sq mi (0.14 km2)
Elevation
1,093 ft (333 m)
Population
 (2010)
 • Total 1,035
 • Estimate 
(2019)
1,045
 • Density 816.41/sq mi (315.13/km2)
Time zone UTC-6 (Central (CST))
 • Summer (DST) UTC-5 (CDT)
Zip code
54406
Area code(s) 715 & 534
FIPS code 55-01775
GNIS feature ID 1582689

Amherst is a village in Portage County, Wisconsin, United States. The population was 1,035 at the 2010 census. Amherst is at the core of the Tomorrow Valley area.

History

The name Amherst was established in 1853 by Adam Uline, after General Amherst of Revolutionary fame and the fact he was native of Amherst, Nova Scotia. The first known settler of Amherst was John F. Hillstrom, who arrived in 1851, while John and A. P. Een follow closely behind, arriving in August, 1852.

Geography

According to the United States Census Bureau, the village has a total area of 1.35 square miles (3.50 km2), of which, 1.30 square miles (3.37 km2) of it is land and 0.05 square miles (0.13 km2) is water.

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
1880 298
1890 438 47.0%
1900 558 27.4%
1910 629 12.7%
1920 588 −6.5%
1930 577 −1.9%
1940 611 5.9%
1950 608 −0.5%
1960 596 −2.0%
1970 585 −1.8%
1980 701 19.8%
1990 792 13.0%
2000 964 21.7%
2010 1,035 7.4%
2019 (est.) 1,045 1.0%
U.S. Decennial Census

2010 census

As of the census of 2010, there were 1,035 people, 434 households, and 274 families living in the village. The population density was 796.2 inhabitants per square mile (307.4/km2). There were 471 housing units at an average density of 362.3 per square mile (139.9/km2). The racial makeup of the village was 97.9% White, 0.3% African American, 0.2% Asian, 0.9% from other races, and 0.8% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.5% of the population.

There were 434 households, of which 35.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 45.2% were married couples living together, 12.2% had a female householder with no husband present, 5.8% had a male householder with no wife present, and 36.9% were non-families. 31.6% of all households were made up of individuals, and 15% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.38 and the average family size was 2.99.

The median age in the village was 35.1 years. 29% of residents were under the age of 18; 6% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 29.4% were from 25 to 44; 22.5% were from 45 to 64; and 13.1% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the village was 49.1% male and 50.9% female.

Transportation

Amherst connects to U.S. Highway 10 (US 10). The Canadian National Railway main line runs through the village, on an elevated grade.

Mill Pond

The Amherst Millpond is a 48-acre, hard water impoundment located in the village of Amherst. The mill pond was created by a dam on the Tomorrow River and was once used for power to the local feed mil. The pond has a maximum depth of five feet and a bottom consisting of sand covered with silt. The Tomorrow River is navigable above and below the dam, and there are two public access points on the east side of the pond; the boat landing and Cate Park. The pond has northern pike and panfish for fishing.

Fairgrounds

Portage County Wisconsin Fairgrounds
Fairgrounds
Amherst Speedway Four Cylinder race cars
4 cylinder stock cars racing at the fairgrounds

Fairgrounds were built in 1917. Amherst hosts the Portage County Fair, an Amish craft fair, and other events at the fairgrounds. Stock car racing began at the fairgrounds in 2013 under the name Amherst Speedway.

Infrastructure

Amherst is home to the Amherst Telephone Company/Tomorrow Valley Communications. Amherst Telephone Company was incorporated on July 3, 1903. Capital to form the new company was provided by 62 area residents who pledged $25 each to buy a share of stock. The company provides copper and fiber service to Amherst and the surrounding communities of Rosholt, Amherst Junction, and Polonia.

Notable people

  • Tyler Biadasz, football player
  • Charles Couch, legislator
  • Charles F. Hanke, legislator
  • Herman H. Hoffman, legislator
  • Norman Myhra, businessman and legislator
  • Timothy Olson, ultrarunner
  • David Zenoff, Nevada Supreme Court justice

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