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Brookfield, Wisconsin
From top left clockwise: Brookfield Central High School, Veterans Memorial Fountain, Brookfield Square Mall, Brookfield City Hall, and the Brookfield Safety Building
From top left clockwise: Brookfield Central High School, Veterans Memorial Fountain, Brookfield Square Mall, Brookfield City Hall, and the Brookfield Safety Building
Flag of Brookfield, Wisconsin
Flag
Official seal of Brookfield, Wisconsin
Seal
Motto(s): 
Minutes from Milwaukee, Miles from Expected
Location of Brookfield in Waukesha County, Wisconsin
Location of Brookfield in Waukesha County, Wisconsin
Brookfield, Wisconsin is located in Wisconsin
Brookfield, Wisconsin
Brookfield, Wisconsin
Location in Wisconsin
Brookfield, Wisconsin is located in the United States
Brookfield, Wisconsin
Brookfield, Wisconsin
Location in the United States
County Waukesha
Incorporated August 14, 1954
Government
 • Type Mayor–council
Area
 • City 27.66 sq mi (71.63 km2)
 • Land 27.29 sq mi (70.68 km2)
 • Water 0.37 sq mi (0.95 km2)  1.327%
Elevation
830 ft (253 m)
Population
 (2010)
 • City 37,920
 • Estimate 
(2019)
39,115
 • Density 1,433.31/sq mi (553.41/km2)
 • Metro
1,760,268
  The population figure given for the metropolitan area is for the Milwaukee metropolitan area, which includes Brookfield
Time zone UTC−6 (Central)
 • Summer (DST) UTC−5 (Central)
Postal Code(s)
53045, 53005, 53072
Area code(s) 262
FIPS code 55-10025

Brookfield is a city located in Waukesha County, Wisconsin, United States in the Milwaukee metropolitan area. It had a population of 37,920 in the 2010 census. Brookfield is the third largest city in Waukesha County. The city is adjacent to the Town of Brookfield.

History

Brookfield is located west of Milwaukee in Waukesha County in an area originally inhabited by Potawatomi Indians. The first known white settler was Robert Curren who built the first log cabin in 1836. Farms dominated the landscape into the mid-20th century.

The City of Brookfield was incorporated on August 14, 1954 from the Town of Brookfield, a portion of which still survives along the city's western edge.

Geography

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 27.59 square miles (71.46 km2), of which 27.09 square miles (70.16 km2) is land and 0.50 square miles (1.29 km2) is water. The sub-continental divide passes through Brookfield; on the eastern side of this divide, easily marked by the crest at Calhoun Road and Capitol Drive, water flows to Lake Michigan on its way to the Gulf of Saint Lawrence; on the western side of this divide, water flows to the Fox River of Illinois and Wisconsin on its way to the Mississippi River and the Gulf of Mexico.

There is a heron rookery on a site northwest of Capitol Drive and Brookfield Road.

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
1960 19,812
1970 31,761 60.3%
1980 34,035 7.2%
1990 35,184 3.4%
2000 38,649 9.8%
2010 37,920 −1.9%
Est. 2019 39,115 3.2%
U.S. Decennial Census

2010 census

As of the census of 2010, there were 37,920 people, 14,576 households, and 10,999 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,399.8 inhabitants per square mile (540.5/km2). There were 15,317 housing units at an average density of 565.4 per square mile (218.3/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 90.0% White, 1.2% African American, 0.2% Native American, 6.7% Asian, 0.5% from other races, and 1.4% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.2% of the population.

There were 14,576 households, of which 31.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 67.4% were married couples living together, 5.4% had a female householder with no husband present, 2.6% had a male householder with no wife present, and 24.5% were non-families. 21.4% of all households were made up of individuals, and 11.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.57 and the average family size was 3.01.

The median age in the city was 46.7 years. 23.5% of residents were under the age of 18; 5.2% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 18.5% were from 25 to 44; 33% were from 45 to 64; and 19.9% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 48.5% male and 51.5% female.

Transportation

Capitol Airport (02C) serves the city and surrounding communities.

Tourism

Ma Ingalls Hist Marker 2008-08 006
Historical marker noting birthplace of Caroline Ingalls, mother of author Laura Ingalls Wilder

Brookfield offers shopping, fine dining, outdoor golf and parks. Brookfield's concert hall is the Sharon Lynne Wilson Center for the Arts located in Mitchell Park. Brookfield's main beach is located at Fox Brook Park where hiking in natural preserves, sailing, biking and golfing are also available.

Brookfield Square is the main shopping mall for the city and also serves as a commercial anchor to the Blue Mound Road shopping district serving the western suburbs of Milwaukee and Waukesha County. Brookfield has off-road bike paths throughout the city.

Brookfield Days is held annually in June, at Wirth Park supported by the local community. A farmers market runs on weekends in summer months at the Brookfield City Hall.

The Elmbrook Historical Society hosts several events annually celebrating the lives of early Brookfield settlers, including Caroline Ingalls, who was born in the Brookfield area. The city is often visited by fans of her daughter, Laura, author of the Little House on the Prairie book series.

Sister cities

Brookfield has one sister city:

Economy

Fiserv is headquartered in Brookfield. The firm provides financial services technology (software, for the most part) for banks, thrifts, credit unions, securities broker dealers, leasing and finance companies, and retailers, among others. Its 2016 revenue was approximately $5.5 billion.

Fedex's SmartPost business unit is also headquartered in Brookfield.

Education

The Elmbrook School District serves residents of Brookfield excluding a small section of southwest Brookfield, which is in the Waukesha School District. Private schools include St. Dominic Catholic School, St. John Vianney Catholic Church, St. Luke Catholic School, St. Joseph's Catholic School, Elm Grove Lutheran School, Brookfield Christian School, and Brookfield Academy. Private high schools located within the Brookfield city limits include Brookfield Academy and Heritage Christian School, West Suburban Christian Academy.

Notable people

  • John Anderson, NFL player
  • Ken Anderson, pro wrestler known as Mr. Kennedy
  • Al Capone, noted Chicago mobster, owned a Brookfield home where moonshine was made
  • Bill Carollo, NFL official
  • Kip Carpenter, 2002, 2006 Olympian, bronze medalist in speedskating
  • Henry J. Clasen, Wisconsin State Representative and businessman
  • Tom Dougherty, MLB player
  • Arpad Elo, inventor of Elo rating system for chess, professor at Marquette
  • Susan Engeleiter, former administrator of the Small Business Administration
  • Herman Finger, entrepreneurial lumberman
  • Aubrey Foard, Charlotte Symphony Orchestra principal tuba.
  • Troy Grosenick, professional ice hockey goaltender for the Nashville Predators
  • Doc Hamann, MLB player
  • Merle Harmon, Hall of Fame broadcaster and entrepreneur
  • Kenny Harrison, world champion track and field athlete, Olympic gold medalist
  • Nathan Hatch (1757-1847), soldier in American Revolutionary War and War of 1812; farmed in Brookfield from 1842 to 1847 and interred in Brookfield's Oak Hill Cemetery
  • Caroline Ingalls (1839–1924), born in what is today the city of Brookfield (then Town of Brookfield), mother of Laura Ingalls Wilder
  • Ken Jungels, MLB player
  • Ted Kanavas (1961-2017), Wisconsin State Senate
  • Matt Katula, NFL player
  • Joe Kuether, professional poker player
  • Robert Andrew "Bob" Long, wide receiver for Green Bay Packers during Vince Lombardi era
  • Arie Luyendyk, two-time Indianapolis 500 winner
  • Eddie Mathews, baseball player (lived in Brookfield during career)
  • Al McGuire, former NCAA basketball coach and commentator (lived in Brookfield toward the end of his life)
  • Fritz Mollwitz, MLB player
  • Zane Navratil, pickleball player
  • Brad Nortman, NFL punter
  • Leslie Osborne, member of Women's Professional Soccer team Boston Breakers and the U.S. national team
  • Joe Panos, football player for Philadelphia Eagles, Buffalo Bills
  • James Kerr Proudfit, U.S. Army general
  • Martin P. Robinson, puppeteer for Telly Monster, Mr. Snuffleupagus and Slimey on Sesame Street since 1980; graduate of Brookfield East High School
  • Herman Schatz, Wisconsin State Representative and blacksmith
  • Molly Seidel, 2020 Tokyo Olympic Bronze Medal marathon winner
  • Richie Sexson, retired MLB player (lived here when he played for Milwaukee Brewers)
  • Paul Spaeth, noted composer and musician
  • Adam Stockhausen, Oscar-winning production designer
  • John Patten Story, U.S. Army major general
  • Joe Thomas, football player for Cleveland Browns
  • Frank Urban, Wisconsin State Assembly
  • John M. Young, Wisconsin State Assembly
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