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Sparta, Wisconsin
Bicycling Capital of America
Location of Sparta in Monroe County, Wisconsin.
Location of Sparta in Monroe County, Wisconsin.
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Coordinates: 43°56′35″N 90°48′42″W / 43.94306°N 90.81167°W / 43.94306; -90.81167Coordinates: 43°56′35″N 90°48′42″W / 43.94306°N 90.81167°W / 43.94306; -90.81167
Country United States
State Wisconsin
County Monroe
 • Total 8.06 sq mi (20.88 km2)
 • Land 8.01 sq mi (20.74 km2)
 • Water 0.06 sq mi (0.15 km2)
 • Total 9,522
 • Estimate 
 • Density 1,227.93/sq mi (474.13/km2)
Time zone UTC-6 (CST)
 • Summer (DST) UTC-5 (CDT)
ZIP Code
FIPS code 55-75325

Sparta is a city in and the county seat of Monroe County, Wisconsin, United States, along the La Crosse River. The population was 9,522 at the 2010 census.


A post office has been in operation at Sparta since 1852. The city was named after Sparta, the ancient Greek city-state.


Sparta is located at 43°56′35″N 90°48′42″W / 43.94306°N 90.81167°W / 43.94306; -90.81167 (43.943061, −90.811818).

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 6.60 square miles (17.09 km2), of which 6.54 square miles (16.94 km2) is land and 0.06 square miles (0.16 km2) is water.


Sparta's location in the United States' upper midwest gives the area a temperate, continental climate. The warmest month of the year is July, with an average high temperature of 85 °F (29 °C), with overnight low temperatures averaging 63 °F (18 °C). January is the coldest month, with high temperatures averaging 26 °F (−4 °C), with the overnight low temperatures around 6 °F (−14 °C).


The Sparta/Fort McCoy Airport serves general aviation for the area.

Railroad tracks owned by Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) pass through Sparta, providing freight service.

The city is served by several major highways, including Interstate 90, Wisconsin State Highway 16, Wisconsin State Highway 21, Wisconsin State Highway 27, and Wisconsin State Highway 71.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1860 1,284
1870 2,314 80.2%
1880 2,387 3.2%
1890 2,795 17.1%
1900 3,555 27.2%
1910 3,973 11.8%
1920 4,466 12.4%
1930 4,949 10.8%
1940 5,820 17.6%
1950 5,893 1.3%
1960 6,080 3.2%
1970 6,258 2.9%
1980 6,934 10.8%
1990 7,788 12.3%
2000 8,648 11.0%
2010 9,522 10.1%
2019 (est.) 9,832 3.3%
U.S. Decennial Census

2010 census

As of the census of 2010, there were 9,522 people, 3,986 households, and 2,342 families living in the city. The population density was 1,456.0 inhabitants per square mile (562.2/km2). There were 4,192 housing units at an average density of 641.0 per square mile (247.5/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 92.2% White, 1.5% African American, 0.6% Native American, 0.5% Asian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 3.5% from other races, and 1.6% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 6.8% of the population.

There were 3,986 households, of which 31.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 39.3% were married couples living together, 14.0% had a female householder with no husband present, 5.4% had a male householder with no wife present, and 41.2% were non-families. 33.7% 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 2.95.

The median age in the city was 36.5 years. 24.9% of residents were under the age of 18; 9.1% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 26.6% were from 25 to 44; 24.9% were from 45 to 64; and 14.6% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 48.8% male and 51.2% female.

Annual events

Butterfest is an annual event in the city. Incorporated on February 14, 1984, it was formed to raise funds and conduct fund raising projects for the advancement of the general welfare of the city of Sparta. Other events include:

  • Concerts in the Park
  • Sound Taps Wisconsin July 4 Celebration
  • Sparta Area Cancer Support Walk
  • Leon Gatorfest
  • Crazy Dayz
  • Women's Softball Tournament


Sparta is the home and international headquarters of several businesses including Century Foods International, Northern Engraving Corp., Spartek, Mathews Inc., F.A.S.T. Corp., Sparta Brush Company, McPherson Guitars, Multistack, Lake States Lumber, and Wesco Home Furnishings.

Notable people

  • William H. Atwell, U.S. District Court Judge in Texas
  • Larry Baumel, NASCAR driver
  • William H. Blyton, Wisconsin politician
  • Ray Boland, Secretary of the Wisconsin Department of Veterans Affairs
  • George Bunn, Minnesota jurist
  • David D. Cheney, Wisconsin politician
  • David W. Cheney, Wisconsin politician
  • Kathryn F. Clarenbach, the co-founder of NOW, the National Organization for Women
  • James DeMott Condit, Wisconsin politician
  • Leighton I. Davis, U.S. Air Force Lieutenant General
  • Harland E. Everson, Wisconsin politician
  • Robert Herman Flock, Roman Catholic bishop
  • James Gillett, Governor of California
  • James Handlan, Minnesota politician
  • Edgar Stillman Kelley, Wisconsin classical composer
  • Lawrence P. Kelly, Wisconsin politician
  • Ben Lawrence, NFL player
  • James R. Lyon, Wisconsin politician
  • Robert Bruce McCoy, United States National Guard officer
  • Milton Montgomery, Union Army general
  • Joseph McKeen Morrow, Wisconsin politician
  • Ivan A. Nestingen, Wisconsin politician
  • Alex L. Nicol, Wisconsin politician
  • Mike O'Callaghan, 23rd Governor of Nevada
  • Daniel B. Priest, lawyer
  • Robert Quackenbush, Wisconsin politician
  • Doane Robinson, born here, he became a lawyer and moved to South Dakota, where he is known for conceiving of a sculpture project in the Black Hills; Mount Rushmore was completed in 1941.
  • James A. Runde, banker
  • Tim Schendel, NASCAR driver
  • Deke Slayton, astronaut
  • Howard Teasdale, Wisconsin politician
  • Mason A. Thayer, Wisconsin politician
  • Eli Waste, Wisconsin politician
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