Jefferson County

Date in History: 1836

In 1836, when a new county split off from Milwaukee County it proudly took the name of the nation’s third president, Thomas Jefferson. The county consisted of 526 square miles and was sectioned off into sixteen townships. Hebron was the site of the first permanent settlement in 1836, though other settlements were quickly established within the same year. Early population figures list 468 people living within the borders of Jefferson County in 1838.

Tribute was paid to Jefferson again when the largest township and the central site of county government also took the name of Jefferson. We were certainly not the only county in the country named after Thomas Jefferson. Many states adopted the name of presidents for their counties, but Jefferson and George Washington lead the list tied at 18 each. Today (2006) over 79,000 people live in Jefferson County, but it is still the same size it was in 1836.

This historic document aired on the radio as an Historic Minute on 03/13/2006.

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