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Elroy, Wisconsin
Downtown Elroy
Downtown Elroy
Location of Elroy in Juneau County, Wisconsin.
Location of Elroy in Juneau County, Wisconsin.
Country  United States
State  Wisconsin
County Juneau
Area
 • Total 1.97 sq mi (5.09 km2)
 • Land 1.97 sq mi (5.09 km2)
 • Water 0.00 sq mi (0.00 km2)
Elevation
978 ft (298 m)
Population
 (2010)
 • Total 1,442
 • Estimate 
(2019)
1,303
 • Density 662.77/sq mi (255.90/km2)
Time zone UTC-6 (Central (CST))
 • Summer (DST) UTC-5 (CDT)
Zip Code
53929
Area code(s) 608
FIPS code 55-23800
GNIS feature ID 1564593

Elroy is a city in Juneau County, Wisconsin, United States, along the Baraboo River and at the east end of the Elroy-Sparta Bike Trail. The population was 1,442 at the 2010 census.

Geography

Elroy is located at 43°44′31″N 90°16′11″W / 43.74194°N 90.26972°W / 43.74194; -90.26972 (43.742016, -90.269597).

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 1.98 square miles (5.13 km2), all of it land.

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
1880 663
1890 1,413 113.1%
1900 1,685 19.2%
1910 1,729 2.6%
1920 1,713 −0.9%
1930 1,546 −9.7%
1940 1,850 19.7%
1950 1,654 −10.6%
1960 1,505 −9.0%
1970 1,513 0.5%
1980 1,504 −0.6%
1990 1,533 1.9%
2000 1,578 2.9%
2010 1,442 −8.6%
2019 (est.) 1,303 −9.6%
U.S. Decennial Census

2010 census

As of the census of 2010, there were 1,442 people, 590 households, and 348 families living in the city. The population density was 728.3 inhabitants per square mile (281.2/km2). There were 680 housing units at an average density of 343.4 per square mile (132.6/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 96.8% White, 0.3% African American, 0.8% Native American, 0.2% Asian, 0.3% from other races, and 1.6% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.2% of the population.

There were 590 households, of which 28.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 42.4% were married couples living together, 11.9% had a female householder with no husband present, 4.7% had a male householder with no wife present, and 41.0% were non-families. 33.6% of all households were made up of individuals, and 13.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.32 and the average family size was 2.92.

The median age in the city was 41.6 years. 22.5% of residents were under the age of 18; 6.7% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 24.3% were from 25 to 44; 27% were from 45 to 64; and 19.4% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 48.2% male and 51.8% female.

History

Elroy was named in 1858, supposedly after a place in Scotland. A post office called Elroy has been in operation since 1862.

Elroy was for many years an important railroad hub in the area. The Baraboo Air Line reached Elroy in the 1870s. The Air Line was later acquired by the Chicago and North Western Railway and the line was pushed on to Sparta, Wisconsin. It eventually became the main line of the CNW between Chicago, Illinois and Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Chicago, St. Paul, Minneapolis and Omaha Railway also became a presence in Elroy when its line was built south from Camp Douglas, Wisconsin. Both railroad companies kept roundhouses and other operations in Elroy. Rail traffic on the Elroy portion of the CNW eventually declined, due to the construction of better mainline trackage further to the north (via Adams, Necedah, and Wyeville). The rails on this portion were taken up in the mid-1960s and the right-of-way was converted into the Elroy-Sparta Bike Trail, as it remains today. The CNW tracks from Elroy southeast to Reedsburg, Wisconsin, along with those of the north-south Omaha line, were taken up in the 1990s, and these rights-of-way are now known as the "400" State Trail, and the Omaha Trail, respectively.

Notable people

  • Charles Erwin Booth, Wisconsin State Representative, lived in Elroy
  • Peter A. Cleary, Wisconsin State Representative, lived in Elroy
  • Peter Egan, columnist was born in Elroy
  • John Grimshaw, Wisconsin State Representative, lived in Elroy
  • Knut Hamsun, author, lived for a time in Elroy in the early 1880s, during his stay in the United States
  • Daniyal Mueenuddin, author, lived part-time on a farm outside Elroy
  • Ed Thompson, ran unsuccessfully for Wisconsin governor on the Libertarian ticket in 2002, brother of Tommy Thompson
  • Tommy Thompson, Governor of Wisconsin for four terms and the United States Secretary of Health and Human Services during the first term of George W. Bush, was an Elroy resident
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