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Hartford, Wisconsin
City
downtown Hartford on WIS 83
downtown Hartford on WIS 83
Location of Hartford, Wisconsin, Wisconsin
Location of Hartford, Wisconsin, Wisconsin
Country United States
State Wisconsin
Counties Washington, Dodge
Area
 • Total 8.02 sq mi (20.77 km2)
 • Land 7.94 sq mi (20.56 km2)
 • Water 0.08 sq mi (0.21 km2)
Elevation 981 ft (299 m)
Population (2010)
 • Total 14,223
 • Estimate (2012) 14,243
 • Density 1,791.3/sq mi (691.6/km2)
Time zone Central (CST) (UTC-6)
 • Summer (DST) CDT (UTC-5)
ZIP Codes 53027, 53078, 53086
Area code(s) 262
FIPS code 55-33000
GNIS feature ID 1566104

Hartford is a city in Washington and Dodge counties in the U.S. state of Wisconsin. As of the 2010 census, the city had a population of 14,223. All of this population resided in the Washington County portion of the city.

History

John Thiel and Nicolas Simon first surveyed the area that would become Hartford in 1843. James and Charles Rossman accompanied Nicolas Simon back to Hartford in 1844, and soon bought 40 acres around the rapids of the Rubicon River. After constructing a dam across rapids in the river, the Rossmans built a sawmill that harnessed the power of the water to make lumber for the growth of the area. Rails were laid in 1855 that linked Chicago, Milwaukee, La Crosse and Minneapolis until the early 1900s.

The town was named after Hartford, Connecticut. Hartford was a New England settlement. The original founders of Hartford consisted entirely of settlers from New England, most of whom were from Connecticut and Vermont, though some came from rural Massachusetts, New Hampshire and the region of downeast Maine. They were descended from the English Puritans who settled New England in the 1600s and were part of a wave of New England farmers who headed west into what was then the wilds of the Northwest Territory during the early 1800s. Most of them arrived as a result of the completion of the Erie Canal and the end of the Black Hawk War. When they arrived in what is now Hartford there was nothing but dense virgin forest and wild prairie. They laid out farms, constructed roads, erected government buildings and established post routes.

Values

The settlers of Hartford brought with them many of their Yankee New England values such as a passion for education by establishing many schools, as well as staunchly supporting abolitionism. They were mostly members of the Congregationalist Church though some were Episcopalian. Due to the second Great Awakening some of them had converted to Methodism and some had become Baptists before moving to Hartford. Hartford, like much of Wisconsin, was aligned with early New England culture for most of its early history. The first church in Hartford was the First Congregational Church, constructed by Yankee New England migrants. The Church was built in 1847. German and Irish immigrants began arriving after 1842, though initially in small numbers. In the late 1870s the number of German immigrants increased.

Historic landmarks

George A. Kissel House
George A. Kissel House
William L. Kissel House
William L. Kissel House

Several buildings are listed on the National Register of Historic Places and among them are some of the Kissel houses as well as houses they built for others.

The Hartford post office contains an oil on canvas mural, Autumn Wisconsin Landscape, painted in 1940 by Ethel Spears. It was produced for the Section of Painting and Sculpture (later the Section of Fine Arts) of the Treasury Department as part of the WPA Depression-era employment projects.

Geography

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 8.02 square miles (20.77 km2), of which, 7.94 square miles (20.56 km2) is land and 0.08 square miles (0.21 km2) is water.

Hartford is located within the Kettle Moraine, a large moraine formed when the Green Bay and Lake Michigan Lobes collided. These glacial movements created varied land formations such as kettles, lakes, hills, and kames that distinguish the region.

Tornado of 2006

The city was the site of an F1 tornado on June 18, 2006, which caused minor damage to homes in the area, and major damage on the city's south side. Lincoln Elementary School and the Silver Bell Motel both suffered roof and structural damage.

Transportation

Hartford Municipal Airport serves the city and surrounding communities.

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
1880 1,343
1890 1,296 −3.5%
1900 1,632 25.9%
1910 2,982 82.7%
1920 4,515 51.4%
1930 3,754 −16.9%
1940 3,910 4.2%
1950 2,549 −34.8%
1960 5,627 120.8%
1970 6,499 15.5%
1980 7,159 10.2%
1990 8,188 14.4%
2000 10,978 34.1%
2010 14,223 29.6%
Est. 2015 14,355 0.9%
U.S. Decennial Census

2010 census

As of the census of 2010, there were 14,223 people, 5,685 households, and 3,721 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,791.3 inhabitants per square mile (691.6/km2). There were 6,032 housing units at an average density of 759.7 per square mile (293.3/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 94.7% White, 0.9% African American, 0.5% Native American, 0.8% Asian, 1.8% from other races, and 1.2% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 4.8% of the population.

There were 5,685 households of which 35.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 51.4% were married couples living together, 9.1% had a female householder with no husband present, 5.0% had a male householder with no wife present, and 34.5% were non-families. 28.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.47 and the average family size was 3.06.

The median age in the city was 35.6 years. 26.5% of residents were under the age of 18; 7.5% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 29.4% were from 25 to 44; 23.1% were from 45 to 64; and 13.6% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 49.1% male and 50.9% female.

2000 census

As of the census of 2000, there were 10,978 people, 1,397 households, and 1,152 families residing in the city. The population density was 133.6 people per square mile (51.6/km²). There were 1,438 housing units at an average density of 47.6 per square mile (18.4/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 98.88% White, 0.20% African American, 0.10% Native American, 0.37% Asian, 0.15% from other races, and 0.30% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.55% of the population.

There were 1,397 households out of which 40.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 74.7% were married couples living together, 4.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 17.5% were non-families. 14.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 4.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.88 and the average family size was 3.19.

Hartfordkisselfiretruck
1920's Kissel Fire Truck appears in 2008 4th of July Parade

In the city, the age of the population was spread out with 28.0% under the age of 18, 6.0% from 18 to 24, 31.8% from 25 to 44, 25.8% from 45 to 64, and 8.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females there were 102.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 107.1 males.

The median income for a household in the city was estimated at $53,357 and the median income for a family was $73,576. Males had a median income of $42,301 versus $29,727 for females. The per capita income for the town was $26,928. About 1.1% of families and 1.9% of the population were below the poverty line, including 4.5% of those under age 18 and 0.7% of those age 65 or over.

Area information

  • The city has recently annexed parts of the town of Hartford and other areas, including Pike Lake. The Pike Lake Unit of the Kettle Moraine State Forest is situated on the lake.
  • The city has a major industrial park on the outskirts of the city, including a Quad Graphics factory that employs many city residents.
  • Hartford is home to the Schauer Arts & Activities Center, a regional arts center that stages professional touring performances, offers arts classes for all ages, and hosts social and business functions.
  • Hartford is also the nearest incorporated municipality to Erin Hills, a public golf course selected to host the 2017 United States Open.

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