Mequon, Wisconsin

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Mequon, Wisconsin
Mequon City Hall, listed on the National Register of Historic Places
Official seal of Mequon, Wisconsin
Seal
Location of Mequon in Ozaukee County, Wisconsin.
Location of Mequon in Ozaukee County, Wisconsin.
Mequon, Wisconsin is located in Wisconsin
Mequon, Wisconsin
Mequon, Wisconsin
Location of Mequon in Ozaukee County, Wisconsin.
Coordinates: 43°13′27″N 87°57′36″W / 43.22417°N 87.96000°W / 43.22417; -87.96000
Latitude and Longitude:

43°13′27″N 87°57′36″W / 43.22417°N 87.96000°W / 43.22417; -87.96000
CountryUnited States
State Wisconsin
County Ozaukee
Incorporated1957; 63 years ago (1957)
Government
 • Type Mayor-council
 • MayorJohn Wirth
Area
 • Total46.96 sq mi (121.63 km2)
 • Land46.28 sq mi (119.87 km2)
 • Water0.68 sq mi (1.76 km2)
Elevation669 ft (204 m)
Population
 ( 2010) [3]
 • Total23,132
 • Estimate 
(2018) [4]
24,385
 • Density522.00/sq mi (201.55/km2)
Time zone UTC−6 ( Central (CST))
 • Summer ( DST) UTC−5 (CDT)
ZIP code
53092 and 53097
Area code(s) 262
FIPS code55-51150 [5]
GNIS feature ID1569354 [2]
Website www.ci.mequon.wi.us

Mequon ( /ˈmɛkwɒn/) is a city in Ozaukee County, Wisconsin, United States. The population was 23,132 at the 2010 census.

Toponymy

"Mequon" may have come from the Ojibwe word "Emikwaan" or "Miguan", meaning ladle, referring to the shape of the river in the area. [6] Alternatively, the name may come from an Algonquin word meaning "feather", as suggested by the current Menominee name of the town: Mēkon. [7]

History

The Isham Day House is now a museum located in Settlers Park.

The area was originally inhabited by Native Americans. In early 19th century, the Potawatomi lived west of the Milwaukee River and had a village in present-day Thiensville located on Pigeon Creek, north of Freistadt Road. The Menominee lived in the area between the Milwaukee River and Lake Michigan. [8] The Menominee surrendered their part of the land to the United States Federal Government in 1831 through the Treaty of Washington. The Potawatomi surrendered their land in 1833 through the Treaty of Chicago, which required them to leave the area by 1838. [9]

White trappers, explorers, and traders used the Milwaukee River through the middle of what is now Mequon as a means of transportation. The first permanent white settlers arrived in the mid-1830s from New York, England, and Ireland. One of the first settlers was John Weston, who settled near present-day Thiensville in 1837 and served as the first postmaster of the Town of Mequon. One of the oldest surviving buildings from this period is the Isham Day House, constructed in 1839 on the west bank of the river. The first Germans arrived in 1839, and in the 1840s Germans became the largest ethnic group in Mequon and Ozaukee County. [10]

Freistadt

In October 1839, a party of twenty German families from Pomerania, Prussia, settled the Freistadt community in the western part of the Town of Mequon. They were Old Lutherans who had resisted the Prussian government's attempts to take control over the Protestant churches through the Prussian Union of Churches. [11] In German, "Freistadt" means "Free City". [12]

In 1840, they built a log cabin church, which they named Trinity Lutheran Church. It was the first Lutheran church in Wisconsin. In 1845, what would become the Lutheran Synod of Buffalo was organized in Freistadt. However, the Freistadt church became a part of the Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod in 1848. [13] The wooden church was replaced with a limestone building in 1884. [14]

Thiensville

Joachim Heinrich Thien moved to the area in 1842 from Oldenburg, Prussia, and helped design a plan for the settlement that would become Thiensville. A year later he employed a group of Native American laborers to construct a dam and a canal. He then built a sawmill and a store. Thien hosted the first town meeting for the Town of Mequon in 1846, [8] and in 1857 he established the volunteer fire department and served as its first captain.

Thien was a freethinker, as were many of the early German settlers. The influence of the freethinker societies kept formal churches out of the village until 1919, when St. Cecilia Catholic Church was built. [15]

Thiensville grew in part because of its location on the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul Railway, which was constructed in the early 1870s. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Thiensville was one of the most concentrated communities in the Town of Mequon. While most of Mequon was quite rural, Theinsville functioned as a downtown area with stores, mills, and professional services. The village of Theinsville incorporated in 1910.

In 1945, eighty German prisoners of war from Camp Fredonia in Little Kohler, Wisconsin were contracted to work at the Herbert A. Nieman Canning Company in the village to make up for the loss of labor due to local men fighting in World War II. [16] German prisoners from Camp Rockfield in Rockfield, Wisconsin, (located in present-day Germantown) also worked at the Fromm Bros., Nieman & Co. Fox Ranch in northern Mequon. [17]

In the 20th century, Mequon and the village of Theinsville developed a close relationship, [18] with shared schools, [19] animal clinics, [20] fire departments, libraries, [21] and governmental offices.

City of Mequon

The Town of Mequon experienced significant population growth during the suburbanization that followed World War II. Between 1950 and 1960, the population increased by roughly 110%, from 4,065 to 8,543. With growth came the risk that municipalities such as Thiensville or Milwaukee would try to annex land from the Town of Mequon, as happened to the Milwaukee County's Town of Lake in 1954 and Town of Granville in 1956. With a 1957 population of about 7,500, Mequon incorporated as a city under the terms of Wisconsin statute 66.0215, also known as "The Oak Creek Law," which had been crafted to prevent suburban towns from being annexed by other municipalities. [22] [23].

The city continued to grow with the construction of Interstate 43 in the mid-1960s, making travel to Milwaukee easier. Despite being a city, much of Mequon remains rural, and nearly half of the land in the community in undeveloped.

Geography

Mequon is located at 43°13′27″N 87°57′36″W / 43.22417°N 87.96000°W / 43.22417; -87.96000 (43.224243, −87.960094), about 15 miles (24 km) north of Milwaukee, [24] lying along the western shore of Lake Michigan. [25] Most of the shore is steep cliff-side leading to sandy beaches. The Milwaukee River and its tributary Pigeon Creek flow through the eastern part of the city.

Mequon is part of the Milwaukee metropolitan area. Though much of the population lives in residential areas, approximately half of the land within the city's boundaries is undeveloped or farmed. [25]

Virmond Park in Mequon along Lake Michigan

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 48.77 square miles (126.31 km2), of which, 46.28 square miles (119.86 km2) is land and 2.49 square miles (6.45 km2) is water. [26] As of 2005, Mequon was the third-largest city in terms of land area in the state of Wisconsin. [27]

Climate

Mequon experiences four distinct seasons, with variation in precipitation and temperature being very wide. The overall climate of the city is moderated by nearby Lake Michigan, which causes temperatures to be cooler in summer and especially spring, and which keeps overnight temperatures warmer in winter. In March and April, the temperature in Mequon can be 10 to 15 degrees Fahrenheit (5 to 8 degrees Celsius) cooler than temperatures in towns just 15 miles (25 kilometers) farther from the lake.[ citation needed] In December and January, the effect is reversed, with temperatures in inland towns falling much lower.

In Mequon, the warmest month of the year is July, when the high temperature averages 81 °F (27 °C), with low temperatures of approximately 59 °F (15 °C). June and July are the wettest months of the year, with the majority of rain falling in short-lived thunderstorms. January is the coldest month in Mequon, with average high temperatures averaging only 27 °F (-3 °C), and lows averaging 11 °F (-12 °C). [28] February is the driest month, with almost all precipitation falling in the form of snow. In an average winter, 47.0 in (1.3m) of snow falls. The city's proximity to Lake Michigan often increases the snow received by the city. Most of the city's snowfall comes from systems such as Alberta clippers and Panhandle hooks.[ citation needed]

The highest temperature ever recorded in Mequon was 105 °F (41 °C) on July 24, 1935, and again on July 17, 1995. The coldest temperature ever recorded in the city was -40 °F (-40 °C), on January 17, 1982, also known as Cold Sunday. [28]

Climate data for Mequon, Wisconsin
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °F (°C) 27
(−3)
31
(−1)
42
(6)
55
(13)
66
(19)
76
(24)
81
(27)
79
(26)
72
(22)
59
(15)
45
(7)
31
(−1)
55
(13)
Average low °F (°C) 11
(−12)
14
(−10)
24
(−4)
35
(2)
44
(7)
54
(12)
59
(15)
57
(14)
49
(9)
38
(3)
28
(−2)
16
(−9)
36
(2)
Average precipitation inches (mm) 1.60
(41)
1.50
(38)
1.90
(48)
3.66
(93)
3.66
(93)
4.11
(104)
4.06
(103)
4.11
(104)
3.52
(89)
2.65
(67)
2.47
(63)
1.72
(44)
34.96
(887)
Source: The Weather Channel [28]

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
19403,068
19504,06532.5%
19608,543110.2%
197015,15077.3%
198016,1936.9%
199018,88516.6%
200021,82315.6%
201023,1326.0%
Est. 201824,385 [4]5.4%
U.S. Decennial Census [29]

2010 census

As of the census [3] of 2010, there were 23,132 people, 8,598 households, and 6,561 families residing in the city. The population density was 499.8 inhabitants per square mile (193.0/km2). There were 9,145 housing units at an average density of 197.6 per square mile (76.3/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 92.0% White, 2.8% African American, 0.1% Native American, 3.6% Asian, 0.3% from other races, and 1.2% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.0% of the population.

There were 8,598 households of which 32.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 68.9% were married couples living together, 5.1% had a female householder with no husband present, 2.4% had a male householder with no wife present, and 23.7% were non-families. 20.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.56 and the average family size was 2.97.

The median age in the city was 45.9 years. 23.1% of residents were under the age of 18; 9.2% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 16.2% were from 25 to 44; 34.1% were from 45 to 64; and 17.3% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 48.6% male and 51.4% female.

U.S. Census Bureau estimated the median income for a household in the city in 2009-2011 to be $106,647, and the median income for a family to be $124,422. [30] The per capita income for the city estimated at $64,530. [30] About 1.2% of families and 3.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 1.2% of those under age 18 and 3.4% of those age 65 or over. [30] During the same period, the median household value for Mequon was estimated at $357,200. [31]

2000 census

As of the census [5] of 2000, there were 21,823 people, 7,861 households, and 6,406 families residing in the city. The population density was 472.5 people per square mile (182.5/km²). There were 8,162 housing units at an average density of 176.7 per square mile (68.2/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 94.16% White, 2.25% African American, 0.10% Native American, 2.39% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 0.23% from other races, and 0.83% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.20% of the population.

There were 7,861 households out of which 38.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 74.8% were married couples living together, 4.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 18.5% were non-families. 16.1% of all households were made up of individuals and 7.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.75 and the average family size was 3.09.

In the city, the population was spread out with 28.1% under the age of 18, 4.2% from 18 to 24, 22.9% from 25 to 44, 31.2% from 45 to 64, and 13.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 42 years. For every 100 females, there were 97.4 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 93.8 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $90,733, and the median income for a family was $101,793 (These figures had risen to $97,797 and $113,265, respectively, as of a 2007 estimate [32]). Males had a median income of $72,762 versus $40,280 for females. The per capita income for the city was $48,333. About 1.3% of families and 1.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including 1.2% of those under age 18 and 2.7% of those age 65 or over.

Government

Since its incorporation in 1957, Mequon has had a mayor-council form of government. The mayor is elected for a three-year term. Aldermen are elected to the Common Council from eight aldermanic districts. [33]

From To Mayor
1957 1965 Carl F. Wilbert
1965 1971 James Egan [34]
1971 1977 Thomas P. Leisle [35] [36]
1977 1980 James Hanley [37]
1980 1986 Lynn Eley [38]
1986 1992 Constance "Connie" Pukaite [39]
1992 1998 James Moriarty [40]
1998 2010 Christine Nuernberg [41]
2010 2013 Curt Gielow [42]
2013 2019 Dan Abendroth [42]
2019 present John Wirth [43]

Education

Concordia University of Wisconsin's School of Pharmacy, in Mequon.

Most of Mequon is served by the Mequon-Thiensville School District, although six square miles (16 km2) in the far northwest are served by the Cedarburg School District. [44] Three elementary schools, two middle schools, and one high school, Homestead High School, are part of the Mequon-Thiensville School District. In 2009, Homestead was ranked by BusinessWeek magazine as the state's top high school. [45] The school's mascot is a Highlander. [46]

Mequon has a number of higher education institutions, including Concordia University Wisconsin, the Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary, and the northern campus of the Milwaukee Area Technical College.

Parks and recreation

Mequon is home to ten National Register-listed historic places, including the Jonathan Clark House.

Mequon contains more than two dozen parks and hundreds of acres[ clarification needed] of community parks and nature preserves operated by the city, and some operated by the county. The Ozaukee Interurban Trail runs for 5.85 miles (9.41 km) south to north through the city. [47] The Mequon-Thiensville Recreation Department conducts classes and programs for children and adults. [48]

The John Reichert Farmhouse, built in 1885.

City parks

  • Garrison's Glen: 22 acres (8.9 ha). Neighborhood park on Pioneer Road near the Milwaukee River. Contains walking trail and canoe launch.
  • Grasslyn Nature Preserve: 15 acres (6.1 ha). Nature preserve in the southeast of the city. Contains a walking trail and prairie area.
  • Highland Woods: 85 acres (34 ha). Nature preserve on Green Bay Road north of Thiensville. Contains a walking trail and forest.
  • Katherine Kearney Carpenter Park: 35 acres (14 ha). Dog walking park in southeastern Mequon. Contains walking trail.
  • Lemke Park: 41 acres (17 ha). Neighborhood park in southwestern Mequon. Contains playground, picnic tables, archery range, soccer fields, volleyball court, baseball diamond.
  • Lilly Lane Nature Preserve: 12 acres (4.9 ha). Nature preserve in southern Mequon. Contains walking trail.
  • Little Menomonee Site: 20 acres (8.1 ha). Nature preserve in western Mequon, along the Little Menomonee River
  • Mequon Community Park: 16 acres (6.5 ha). Community park just south of Thiensville. Contains swimming pool, baseball diamond, picnic area, playground, and access to the Ozaukee Interurban Trail. [49]
  • Mequon Nature Preserve: 408 acres (165 ha). Nature preserve in southwestern Mequon. Contains walking trails, education centers, woodland, and observation tower.
  • Prinz Site: 10 acres (4.0 ha). Nature preserve north of Thiensville.
  • River Barn Park: 37 acres (15 ha). Community park in southern Mequon along the Milwaukee River. Contains baseball, soccer, and football fields and a playground.
  • River Forest Nature Preserve: 62 acres (25 ha). Nature preserve in central Mequon along the Milwaukee River. Contains walking trail.
  • Riverview Park: 20 acres (8.1 ha). Neighborhood park in central Mequon along the Milwaukee River. Contains bridge, canoe launch, playground, walking trail, and baseball diamond.
  • Rotary Park: 75 acres (30 ha). Community park in northern Mequon. Contains basketball court, baseball diamonds, soccer fields, fishing ponds, and walking paths. Also contains Pukaite Woods which contains a handicapped accessible nature trail.
The O'Brien-Peuschel Farmstead, is a National Historic registered site in northwest Mequon.
  • Scout Park: 12 acres (4.9 ha). Nature preserve in eastern Mequon along the Milwaukee River. Contains a walking trail and river access.
  • Settlers Park: 1.2 acres (0.49 ha). Historical park just south of Thiensville along the Milwaukee River. Contains the historic Isham Day House museum and a walking trail.
  • Shoreland Nature Preserve: 19 acres (7.7 ha). Nature preserve in northeastern Mequon along the Milwaukee River. Contains walking trials.
  • Swan Road Prairie: 20 acres (8.1 ha). Nature preserve in southwestern Mequon.
  • Trinity Creek Wetland Habitat: 35 acres (14 ha). Wetland park in southern Mequon. Contains walking trails and educational facility.
  • Villa Grove Park: 5 acres (2.0 ha). Community park east of Thiensville along Milwaukee River. Contains picnic tables and boat launch.
  • Willow Bay Nature Preserve: 22 acres (8.9 ha). Nature preserve in northeastern Mequon along the Milwaukee River. [50]

Ozaukee County parks

  • Mee-Kwon Park: County park in northern Mequon. Contains public golf course, sledding hill and fishing pond. [51]
  • Virmond Park: 63 acres (25 ha). County park in eastern Mequon on Lake Michigan. Contains volleyball and tennis courts, baseball diamond, soccer field, picnic area. [52]

Recognition

In 2005, Money (magazine) ranked Mequon 19th among its 100 Best Small Cities in the United States, ranked jointly with Thiensville, a village surrounded by Mequon. [53]

In 2017, Money (magazine) ranked Mequon as the 41st best place to live in the United States. [54]

Notable people

References

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  27. ^ Estimated Population per Square Mile of Land Area, Wisconsin Municipalities Archived 2011-10-05 at the Wayback Machine. The cities of Milwaukee (96.14 sq mi) and Madison (75.40 sq mi) are larger. Green Bay (45.53 sq mi) is the next largest city. The village of Kronenwetter is also larger, as are more than 200 towns.
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External links