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Oconto, Wisconsin
City
The Oconto County Courthouse in Oconto
The Oconto County Courthouse in Oconto
Location of Oconto in Oconto County, Wisconsin.
Location of Oconto in Oconto County, Wisconsin.
Oconto, Wisconsin is located in Wisconsin
Oconto, Wisconsin
Oconto, Wisconsin
Location in Wisconsin
Country  United States
State  Wisconsin
County Oconto
Area
 • Total 7.14 sq mi (18.48 km2)
 • Land 6.79 sq mi (17.57 km2)
 • Water 0.35 sq mi (0.91 km2)
Population
 (2010)
 • Total 4,513
 • Estimate 
(2019)
4,545
 • Density 669.86/sq mi (258.65/km2)
Time zone UTC-6 (Central (CST))
 • Summer (DST) UTC-5 (CDT)
ZIP codes
54153
Area code(s) 920
FIPS code 55-59350

Oconto is a city in Oconto County, Wisconsin, United States. The population was 4,513 at the 2010 census. It is part of the Green Bay Metropolitan Statistical Area. The city is located partially within the town of Oconto.

History

Oconto is home to Copper Culture State Park, which has remains dated to around 5000-6000 B.C. It is a burial ground of the Copper Culture Indians. This burial ground is considered to be the oldest cemetery in Wisconsin and one of the oldest in the nation.

The French Jesuit, Roman Catholic priest, and missionary, Father Claude-Jean Allouez said the first Mass in Oconto on December 3, 1669.

The city of Oconto was incorporated in 1869. The city took its name from the nearby Oconto River.

The first church in the world built for the Christian Science Church was erected in 1886 in Oconto and still stands at the corner of Main Street and Chicago Street. The land was donated by Henry (1837–1904) and Victoria Sargent (1848–1930).

In the summer of 1952, during a two-day period, an estimated 175,000,000 Leopard frogs emerged from nearby marshes and enveloped the town. The water level of Lake Michigan rose in the spring, flooding the wetlands. The Leopard frogs laid their eggs, and when the lake level receded with the heat of summer, most of the eggs would die. But in 1952, Lake Michigan remained high, and a huge number of frog eggs grew into live amphibians.

Geography

Oconto is located at 44°53′N 87°52′W / 44.883°N 87.867°W / 44.883; -87.867 (44.8877, -87.8704).

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 7.38 square miles (19.11 km2), of which, 6.86 square miles (17.77 km2) is land and 0.52 square miles (1.35 km2) is water.

Oconto is located at the mouth of the Oconto River, which feeds into Lake Michigan.

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
1860 885
1870 2,655 200.0%
1880 4,171 57.1%
1890 5,219 25.1%
1900 4,646 −11.0%
1910 5,629 21.2%
1920 4,920 −12.6%
1930 5,030 2.2%
1940 5,362 6.6%
1950 5,055 −5.7%
1960 4,805 −4.9%
1970 4,667 −2.9%
1980 4,505 −3.5%
1990 4,474 −0.7%
2000 4,708 5.2%
2010 4,513 −4.1%
Est. 2019 4,545 0.7%
U.S. Decennial Census

The table at right with historical census data indicates that the population has remained relatively flat throughout the 20th century.

2010 census

As of the census of 2010, there were 4,513 people, 1,872 households, and 1,172 families residing in the city. The population density was 657.9 inhabitants per square mile (254.0/km2). There were 2,094 housing units at an average density of 305.2 per square mile (117.8/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 96.4% White, 0.7% African American, 1.1% Native American, 0.4% Asian, 0.4% from other races, and 1.2% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.4% of the population.

There were 1,872 households, of which 30.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 45.1% were married couples living together, 11.4% had a female householder with no husband present, 6.1% had a male householder with no wife present, and 37.4% were non-families. 32.2% of all households were made up of individuals, and 15.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.35 and the average family size was 2.95.

The median age in the city was 39.6 years. 23.4% of residents were under the age of 18; 8.9% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 24.5% were from 25 to 44; 27.3% were from 45 to 64; and 15.8% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 49.7% male and 50.3% female.

Transportation

Major highways

Airport

J. Douglas Bake Memorial Airport (KOCQ) serves the city and surrounding communities.

Notable people

  • George E. Ansorge, Wisconsin State Representative
  • Lewis S. Bailey, Wisconsin State Representative
  • Alexander Brazeau, Wisconsin State Representative
  • John B. Chase, Wisconsin State Senator
  • David Guy Classon, U.S. Representative
  • Pahl Davis, NFL player
  • Thomas A. Delaney, Wisconsin State Representative
  • Jake Dickert, Head Football Coach, Washington State University
  • Tony Dollinger, NFL player
  • Hermina Franks, AAGPBL ballplayer
  • Ernst Funke, Wisconsin State Representative
  • George Clay Ginty, Union Army general
  • Charles Hall, Wisconsin State Representative
  • Fay Holderness, actress
  • Richard W. Hubbell, Wisconsin State Representative
  • Reuben La Fave, Wisconsin State Senator
  • Marty Larsen, Wisconsin State Representative
  • Frank J. Lingelbach, Wisconsin State Representative
  • Red Mack, NFL player
  • Bob McDougal, NFL player
  • Jab Murray, NFL player
  • Alvin O'Konski, U.S. Representative
  • Louis P. Pahl, Wisconsin State Representative
  • Edward Scofield, Governor of Wisconsin
  • Warren R. Smith, Wisconsin State Treasurer
  • Landy Scott, champion race car driver
  • William T. Sullivan, Wisconsin State Representative
  • Deral Teteak, football player
  • Blaine Walsh, sports announcer
  • Arthur J. Whitcomb, Wisconsin State Representative and lawyer
  • William Henry Young, Wisconsin State Representative
  • John E. Youngs, Wisconsin State Representative

Education

OcontoWisconsinSigns
Welcome signs on U.S. Route 41
OcontoWisconsinUS41WIS22EastTerminus
Looking north at the eastern terminus of Wisconsin Highway 22 at U.S. Route 41 in Oconto

The following schools are available in Oconto:

  • Oconto Elementary School
  • Oconto Literacy Charter School
  • Oconto Middle School
  • Oconto High School
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