EAU CLAIRE COUNTY

General Info

The area of Eau Claire was originally part of the Territory of Wisconsin which was organized in 1836 and included all of present day Iowa and Minnesota as well as parts of both Dakotas. The area was originally inhabited by Chippewa, Sioux, Algonquin and Iroquois Indians. In 1848 Wisconsin entered statehood and counties were established. Eau Claire County originally named the town of Clearwater in 1855 but was changed to the town of Eau Claire which is the French term for clear water on March 31, 1956. The town was separated from Chippewa County on October 6, 1856 when Eau Claire County was created by an act of the Wisconsin State Legislature. The county was dominated by the lumber industry because of the large amounts of timber and rivers for travel in the area. By the end of the nineteenth century it became one of the largest lumber producers in the United States. As timber resources became exhausted the lumber industry began its decline. Agriculture became one of the largest industries since and still continues to thrive to this day. By 1900 Eau Claire County had a population of 31,692 residents. Today Eau Claire County is home to approximately 99,409 residents.