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Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin facts for kids

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Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin
Chippewa Falls Chamber Building Downtown
Chippewa Falls Chamber Building Downtown
Official logo of Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin
Chippewa Falls logo
Location of Chippewa Falls in Chippewa County, Wisconsin.
Location of Chippewa Falls in Chippewa County, Wisconsin.
Country  United States
State  Wisconsin
County Chippewa
 • Total 11.86 sq mi (30.72 km2)
 • Land 11.32 sq mi (29.31 km2)
 • Water 0.54 sq mi (1.41 km2)
840 ft (256 m)
 • Total 13,661
 • Estimate 
 • Density 1,269.42/sq mi (490.12/km2)
Time zone UTC-6 (Central (CST))
 • Summer (DST) UTC-5 (CDT)
Zip code
54729, 54774 (companies/organisations)
Area code(s) 715 & 534
FIPS code 55-14575
GNIS feature ID 1563041

Chippewa Falls is a city located on the Chippewa River in Chippewa County in the northwestern part of the U.S. state of Wisconsin. The most recent census from 2010 shows that the population is 13,661. Incorporated as a city in 1869, it is the county seat of Chippewa County.

The city's name originated from its location on the Chippewa River, which is named after the Ojibwe Native Americans. Chippewa is an alternative rendition of Ojibwe.

Chippewa Falls is the birthplace of Seymour Cray, known as the "father of supercomputing", and the headquarters for the original Cray Research. It is also the home of the Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Company, the Heyde Center for the Arts, a showcase venue for artists and performers; Irvine Park, and the annual Northern Wisconsin State Fair. Chippewa Falls is 15 miles from the annual four-day music festivals Country Fest and Rock Fest.


The original Spring House.

Chippewa Falls was originally a lumber town that became a railroad town, even though the main railroad line of the 1870s went through Eau Claire, about 10 miles to the south. In 1870, the West Wisconsin Railway built a line from St. Paul, Minnesota, to Milwaukee through the area at Eau Claire. Following this, the Eau Claire and Chippewa Falls Railway established a line running from Eau Claire to Chippewa Falls. In 1880, the CF&W was joined by the Wisconsin and Minnesota Railway pushing its way west from Abbotsford. This was followed in 1881 by the Chippewa Falls & Northern Railroad, which built a line north from Chippewa Falls to Bloomer, eventually being extended to Superior.

Around 1700, French explorer Pierre-Charles Le Sueur discovered the Chippewa Spring near the river. Politician Thaddeus C. Pound founded the Chippewa Springs Health Club in 1887 and at one point oversaw the company that bottled the water for sale. A Spring House was built over the original spring in 1893 and remains today, across from the modern water bottling plant on Park Ave.


Chippewa Falls is located at 44.9341, -91.3932.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 11.92 square miles (30.87 km2), of which 11.37 square miles (29.45 km2) is land and 0.55 square miles (1.42 km2) is water.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1870 2,507
1880 3,982 58.8%
1890 8,670 117.7%
1900 8,094 −6.6%
1910 8,893 9.9%
1920 9,130 2.7%
1930 9,539 4.5%
1940 10,368 8.7%
1950 11,088 6.9%
1960 11,708 5.6%
1970 12,351 5.5%
1980 12,270 −0.7%
1990 12,727 3.7%
2000 12,925 1.6%
2010 13,661 5.7%
2020 (est.) 14,407 5.5%
WI Counties 1900-1990

2010 census

As of the census of 2010, there were 13,661 people, 5,896 households, and 3,275 families living in the city. The population density was 1,201.5 inhabitants per square mile (463.9/km2). There were 6,304 housing units at an average density of 554.4 per square mile (214.1/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 95.1% White, 1.7% African American, 0.7% Native American, 0.9% Asian, 0.2% from other races, and 1.4% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.6% of the population.

There were 5,896 households, of which 29.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 37.7% were married couples living together, 13.0% had a female householder with no husband present, 4.9% had a male householder with no wife present, and 44.5% were non-families. 37.6% of all households were made up of individuals, and 16.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.18 and the average family size was 2.86.

The median age in the city was 38 years. 22.9% of residents were under the age of 18; 9.1% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 27.1% were from 25 to 44; 24.6% were from 45 to 64; and 16.4% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 50.7% male and 49.3% female.

Important structures


Chippewa Falls 2006 A
Renovated Chippewa Shoe Factory facing the Chippewa River in Chippewa Falls

As of 2011, the largest employers in the city were:

1 TTM Advanced Circuits
2 Chippewa Falls Public Schools
3 Saint Joseph's Hospital
4 Wal-Mart
5 Mason Companies Inc
6 Chippewa County
7 Silicon Graphics International
8 Cooperative Educational Service Agency #10
9 Cray Inc
10 Wissota Healthcare Regional Vent CT


The original McDonell High School is now a public arts center.

The Chippewa Falls Area School District (CFSD) serves the city of Chippewa Falls. It has two high schools: Chippewa Falls Senior High and Chippewa Falls Alternate High School; two middle schools: Chippewa Falls Middle School, and Chippewa Falls Alternate Middle School; and six elementary schools: Parkview, Hillcrest, Southview, Stillson, Halmstad, and Jim Falls Elementary.

In addition there are several parochial schools: McDonell Central Catholic High School, Notre Dame Middle School, Holy Ghost, St. Charles, and St. Peter Elementary Schools, all of which are part of the McDonell Area Catholic Schools (MACS).

The original McDonell High School building, constructed at a prominent location above downtown Chippewa Falls, is listed on the State and National Register of Historic Places. The structure was built in 1907. After the high school was relocated to a new building in a more suburban location, this structure was vacant for several years. It was taken over by the Chippewa Valley Cultural Association and converted into the Heyde Center for the Arts in 2000.


Chippewa Falls is along U.S. Highway 53, Wisconsin Highways 124 and 178, and Bus. WIS 29. Other routes include Wisconsin Highway 29; and County Highways J, Q, S, and X.

Notable people


  • Edward Ackley - member of the Wisconsin State Senate
  • William B. Bartlett - member of the Wisconsin State Assembly
  • Howard W. Cameron - member of the Wisconsin State Senate
  • Wilder W. Crane, Jr. - member of the Wisconsin State Assembly
  • Gary Grant, member of the Washington House of Representatives
  • Leo Richard Hamilton - member of the Wisconsin State Assembly
  • Thomas S. Hogan - Montana Secretary of State
  • John J. Jenkins - U.S. Representative
  • Henry Laycock - member of the Wisconsin State Assembly
  • Terry Moulton - a politician and member of the Wisconsin State Senate
  • Dick Leinenkugel - a politician and businessman with Leinenkugels. Served as the Wisconsin Secretary of Commerce under governor Jim Doyle.
  • Hector McRae - member of the Wisconsin State Assembly
  • Charles F. Morris - member of the Wisconsin State Assembly
  • Arthur L. Padrutt - member of the Wisconsin State Senate
  • Bruce Peloquin - member of the Wisconsin State Senate
  • Bradley Phillips - member of the Wisconsin State Assembly
  • Thaddeus C. Pound - U.S. Representative, grandfather of poet Ezra Pound
  • Ingolf E. Rasmus - lawyer and member of the Wisconsin State Assembly
  • Marvin J. Roshell - member of the Wisconsin State Senate
  • Lycurgus J. Rusk - member of the Wisconsin State Assembly
  • Chuck Schafer - member of the Wisconsin State Assembly
  • Tom Sykora - elected to Wisconsin State Assembly in 1994 and served until retirement in 2003
  • John W. Thomas - member of the Wisconsin State Assembly
  • Alexander Wiley - served four terms in the United States Senate for the state of Wisconsin from 1939 to 1963
  • Terry A. Willkom - member of the Wisconsin State Assembly
  • Cadwallader Jackson Wiltse - member of the Wisconsin State Assembly




  • Russell G. Cleary - businessman and lawyer
  • Thomas Eugene Grady - Justice of the Washington Supreme Court
  • Donald F. Turner - lawyer and economist, Assistant Attorney General in charge of USDOJ's Antitrust Division under President Lyndon Baines Johnson


  • Judy Henske - singer and songwriter, "Queen of the Beatniks"; songs about Chippewa roots include "The Ballad of Seymour Cray"
  • Howard "Guitar" Luedtke - blues guitarist, singer, songwriter and musician who tours with his band, Howard "Guitar" Luedtke & Blue Max
  • Eddy Waller (1889 – 1977) - actor who appeared in over 200 films between 1929 and 1963
  • Andrew S. Cray - LGBT Rights Activist
  • Seymour Cray (1925–1996) - electrical engineer and supercomputer architect who founded Cray Research
  • William F. Kirk (1877–1927) - nationally syndicated columnist, poet, songwriter, humorist and baseball writer

Images for kids

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Chippewa Falls para niños

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