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Kiel, Wisconsin
Kiel City Hall
Kiel City Hall
Flag of Kiel, Wisconsin
Location of Kiel in Calumet County, Wisconsin.
Location of Kiel in Calumet County, Wisconsin.
Country  United States
State  Wisconsin
Counties Manitowoc, Calumet
 • Total 2.65 sq mi (6.86 km2)
 • Land 2.52 sq mi (6.53 km2)
 • Water 0.13 sq mi (0.33 km2)
919 ft (280 m)
 • Total 3,738
 • Estimate 
 • Density 1,506.35/sq mi (581.55/km2)
Time zone UTC-6 (Central (CST))
 • Summer (DST) UTC-5 (CDT)
Area code(s) 920
FIPS code 55-39525
GNIS feature ID 1567461

Kiel is a city in Calumet and Manitowoc counties in the U.S. state of Wisconsin. The population was 3,738 at the 2010 census. Of this, 3,429 residents lived in Manitowoc County, and 309 residents lived in Calumet County. The city is located primarily within Manitowoc County, though a portion extends west into adjacent Calumet County and is known as "Hinzeville".

Kiel was once known as the "Wooden Shoes Capital of Wisconsin," as it held the only wooden shoes factory in Wisconsin.


Charley Lindemann immigrated to the area and began a settlement among the Native American Menominee and Potawatomi tribes. His wife named the community after her home town of Kiel, Germany. Two years later, Col. Henry F. Belitz, later nicknamed the "Father of Kiel", built a hotel and mill along the north side of the Sheboygan River. A road was built across Wisconsin to connect Green Bay with Milwaukee area communities. The bridge was built across the Sheboygan River in 1858 connecting Kiel with Sheboygan. In the late nineteenth century to the early twentieth century, Kiel became a manufacturing area with businesses specializing in brick, wood shoes, machine, and furniture manufacturing.

A book called "Yellowbird" written by Kielite Henry Goeres in the late 1800s recounts - in a blend of fact and fiction - the early history of the settlement in the 1850s when European settlers interacted with Native Americans in the area.

Kiel was incorporated as a village in 1892 and later incorporated as a city.[1]

The city continues to retain a diverse manufacturing and commercial base, which has long been a characteristic of the community.[2]

Community Life

Each year in August, Kiel holds the Kiel Community Picnic or "Kiel Picnic" in City Park.[3] At present, the Kiel Picnic runs for four days from a Thursday through a Sunday. The Kiel Parade is held on Fremont Street on the Sunday of the Kiel Picnic. Traditionally, the firing of a cannon announced the start of the Picnic.

Each year in February, Kiel holds its Ice Sculpting Contest on Fremont Street. Sponsored teams compete for prizes.

Kiel has a significant amount of German heritage, and each June, the city holds "German Days" in City Park.[4]

Kiel is home to the highly-regarded Kiel Municipal Band, a community marching band tracing its origins to the late 1800s. The band is known for its signature tune "Invincible Fidelity".

The city is home to an abundance of public parks and walking trails.


Kiel is located at 43°54′53″N 88°1′55″W / 43.91472°N 88.03194°W / 43.91472; -88.03194 (43.914718, -88.031812), along the Sheboygan River.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 2.67 square miles (6.92 km2), of which, 2.53 square miles (6.55 km2) is land and 0.14 square miles (0.36 km2) is water.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1880 363
1890 497 36.9%
1900 924 85.9%
1910 1,244 34.6%
1920 1,599 28.5%
1930 1,803 12.8%
1940 1,898 5.3%
1950 2,129 12.2%
1960 2,524 18.6%
1970 2,848 12.8%
1980 3,083 8.3%
1990 2,910 −5.6%
2000 3,450 18.6%
2010 3,738 8.3%
2019 (est.) 3,796 1.6%
U.S. Decennial Census

2010 census

Downtown Kiel

At the 2010 census there were 3,738 people in 1,565 households, including 1,021 families, in the city. The population density was 1,477.5 inhabitants per square mile (570.5/km2). There were 1,697 housing units at an average density of 670.8 per square mile (259.0/km2). The racial makup of the city was 96.9% White, 0.4% African American, 0.6% Native American, 0.6% Asian, 0.7% from other races, and 0.8% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.0%.

Of the 1,565 households 33.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 53.4% were married couples living together, 8.1% had a female householder with no husband present, 3.8% had a male householder with no wife present, and 34.8% were non-families. 29.9% of households were one person and 13.8% were one person aged 65 or older. The average household size was 2.39 and the average family size was 2.98.

The median age was 38.7 years. 26.5% of residents were under the age of 18; 5.3% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 27.6% were from 25 to 44; 25% were from 45 to 64; and 15.7% were 65 or older. The gender makeup of the city was 48.0% male and 52.0% female.


Wisconsin Highway 67 run north/south at the extreme east edge of Kiel. Highways 32 and 57 run through downtown Kiel, entering the city from the north at the northwest corner of the city and enter from the east at the southeast corner of the city. Wisconsin Highway 149 (now CTH XX east of Kiel) originally had its western terminus in Kiel. It later was extended west to Fond du Lac. Many years later the original route from Cleveland to Kiel was decommissioned and the eastern terminus of the highway was located in Kiel. The entire route was decommissioned in the 2000s.The Sheboygan River enters the city from the Kiel Marsh at the southwest edge of the city under a railroad trestle, meanders through downtown under a wooden footbridge and vehicular bridge, and exits the city in the east side of the city. The river is rarely used as a means of transportation, though it is used for recreational purposes, including canoeing and fishing in warm weather and, in the winter, ice skating and snowmobiling. There is a dam in downtown Kiel, another downstream in Rockville, and a third several miles downstream in Millhome.

Kiel is served by the Wisconsin and Southern Railroad. Historically this line was built in 1872 by the Milwaukee Road.

Notable people

  • Trevor Casper, former Wisconsin State Trooper killed in the line of duty
  • Henry F. Belitz, founder, Union officer in the American Civil War, and presidential elector of Abraham Lincoln in 1864
  • Karl Schleunes, historian and educator

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