Oconomowoc, Wisconsin

Oconomowoc, Wisconsin

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Oconomowoc is a city in Waukesha County
Waukesha County, Wisconsin
Waukesha County is a county in the U.S. state of Wisconsin. As of 2008, the population was 380,629. Its county seat is Waukesha.-History:The part of Wisconsin that Waukesha County now occupies was a part of Michigan when Milwaukee County was organized in September 1834. On July 4, 1836, the...

, Wisconsin
Wisconsin is a U.S. state located in the north-central United States and is part of the Midwest. It is bordered by Minnesota to the west, Iowa to the southwest, Illinois to the south, Lake Michigan to the east, Michigan to the northeast, and Lake Superior to the north. Wisconsin's capital is...

, United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

. The name was derived from Coo-no-mo-wauk, the Potawatomi
Potawatomi language
Potawatomi is a Central Algonquian language and is spoken around the Great Lakes in Michigan and Wisconsin, as well as in Kansas in the United States, and in southern Ontario in Canada, 1300 Potawatomi people, all elderly...

 term for "waterfall." The population was 12,382 at the 2000 census. The city is partially adjacent to the Town of Oconomowoc
Oconomowoc (town), Wisconsin
Oconomowoc is a town in Waukesha County, Wisconsin, United States. The population was 7,451 at the 2000 census. The City of Oconomowoc and the Village of Lac La Belle are located partially in the town...

 and near the Village of Oconomowoc Lake
Oconomowoc Lake, Wisconsin
Oconomowoc Lake is a village in Waukesha County, Wisconsin, United States. The population was 564 at the 2000 census.-History:In 1934, the "Unofficial Village of Oconomowoc Lake" was created. The incorporation process started in 1952. The area was initially a part of the towns of Summit and...



In April 1837, Oconomowoc was settled by Charles Sheldon. He built a cabin where the current LaBelle Cemetery is. The first recorded birth in Oconomowoc was Eliza Dewey in 1840. The first death was a Mrs. Foster in 1841. Until 1845, residents of Oconomowoc had to go to Summit
Summit, Waukesha County, Wisconsin
Summit is a town in Waukesha County, Wisconsin, United States. The population was 4,999 at the 2000 census. The unincorporated communities of Summit Centter and Summit Corners are located in the town.-History:...

 to get their mail. The first locomotive came into Oconomowoc in December 1854.

In 2003 Oconomowoc acquired Pabst Farms from the Town of Summit. Pabst Farms, which had previously been owned by the Pabst family, is being developed as a mixture of commercial and residential property.

On April 2, 2008, a gas line exploded just west of downtown, destroying the First Baptist Church on West Wisconsin Avenue. The church, which was built in 1910, was completely destroyed, except for its bell tower frame. The cause of the explosion was from an old capped off gas line (capped in 1972-73 some time) collapsing due to a construction machine as utility work was being done on Wisconsin Avenue in preparation for reconstruction of the street.


Oconomowoc is located at 43°6′31"N 88°29′49"W (43.108814, -88.497019). It is located in the Lake Country area of Waukesha County.

According to the United States Census Bureau
United States Census Bureau
The United States Census Bureau is the government agency that is responsible for the United States Census. It also gathers other national demographic and economic data...

, the city has a total area of 7.2 square miles (18.6 km²), where 6.7 square miles (17.4 km²) of it is land and 0.5 square miles (1.3 km²) of it (6.81%) is water.


As of the census
A census is the procedure of systematically acquiring and recording information about the members of a given population. It is a regularly occurring and official count of a particular population. The term is used mostly in connection with national population and housing censuses; other common...

of 2000, there were 12,382 people, 4,968 households, and 3,293 families residing in the city. The population density
Population density
Population density is a measurement of population per unit area or unit volume. It is frequently applied to living organisms, and particularly to humans...

 was 1,845.5 people per square mile (712.5/km²). There were 5,239 housing units at an average density of 780.9 per square mile (301.5/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 97.71% White, 0.31% Black or African American
Race (United States Census)
Race and ethnicity in the United States Census, as defined by the Federal Office of Management and Budget and the United States Census Bureau, are self-identification data items in which residents choose the race or races with which they most closely identify, and indicate whether or not they are...

, 0.28% Native American, 0.53% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 0.47% from other races
Race (United States Census)
Race and ethnicity in the United States Census, as defined by the Federal Office of Management and Budget and the United States Census Bureau, are self-identification data items in which residents choose the race or races with which they most closely identify, and indicate whether or not they are...

, and 0.69% from two or more races. About 1.65% of the population were Hispanic
Hispanic is a term that originally denoted a relationship to Hispania, which is to say the Iberian Peninsula: Andorra, Gibraltar, Portugal and Spain. During the Modern Era, Hispanic sometimes takes on a more limited meaning, particularly in the United States, where the term means a person of ...

 or Latino
The demonyms Latino and Latina , are defined in English language dictionaries as:* "a person of Latin-American descent."* "A Latin American."* "A person of Hispanic, especially Latin-American, descent, often one living in the United States."...

 of any race.

Approximately 30.7% of households had children under the age of 18 living with them, 54.7% were married couples
Marriage is a social union or legal contract between people that creates kinship. It is an institution in which interpersonal relationships, usually intimate and sexual, are acknowledged in a variety of ways, depending on the culture or subculture in which it is found...

 living together, 8.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 33.7% were non-families. Some 28.6% of all households were made up of individuals and 13.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.40 and the average family size was 2.98.

In the city the population was spread out with 24.7% under the age of 18, 7.2% from 18 to 24, 29.5% from 25 to 44, 21.7% from 45 to 64, and 16.9% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females there were 89.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 86.5 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $51,250, and the median income for a family was $62,950. Males had a median income of $42,683 versus $29,057 for females. The per capita income
Per capita income
Per capita income or income per person is a measure of mean income within an economic aggregate, such as a country or city. It is calculated by taking a measure of all sources of income in the aggregate and dividing it by the total population...

 for the city was $25,716. About 0.8% of families and 1.6% of the population were below the poverty line, including 1.5% of those under age 18 and 3.3% of those age 65 or over.


Oconomowoc is home to Oconomowoc High School
Oconomowoc High School
Oconomowoc High School is a public high school located in Oconomowoc, Wisconsin. Its mascot is the Racoon. It is part of the Oconomowoc Area School District...

, which is a member of the Wisconsin Little Ten Conference
Wisconsin Little Ten Conference
The Wisconsin Little Ten Conference is a high school athletic conference in south-eastern Wisconsin.-Current members:-Conference Sports:There are 15 sports in the Wisconsin Little Ten Conference.*Men's Baseball*Men's/Women's Basketball...

. The school sits on 53 acres (214,483.6 m²) and includes a sports complex. Over 1,400 students attended the school in the 2005-2006 school year. Elementary schools in Oconomowoc include: Greenland Elementary, Summit Elementary, Park Lawn Elementary, Meadow View Elementary, and Ixonia Elementary. Oconomowoc has two middle schools which are Silver Lake and Nature Hill Intermediate schools. These opened for the 2008-2009 year. They are all part of the Oconomowoc Area School District (OASD).


  • The Wizard of Oz
    The Wizard of Oz (1939 film)
    The Wizard of Oz is a 1939 American musical fantasy film produced by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. It was directed primarily by Victor Fleming. Noel Langley, Florence Ryerson and Edgar Allan Woolf received credit for the screenplay, but there were uncredited contributions by others. The lyrics for the songs...

    premiered at the Strand Theatre in Oconomowoc on August 12, 1939.
  • Oconomowoc is mentioned in episodes of Law & Order
    Law & Order
    Law & Order is an American police procedural and legal drama television series, created by Dick Wolf and part of the Law & Order franchise. It aired on NBC, and in syndication on various cable networks. Law & Order premiered on September 13, 1990, and completed its 20th and final season on May 24,...

    , The Cosby Show
    The Cosby Show
    The Cosby Show is an American television situation comedy starring Bill Cosby, which aired for eight seasons on NBC from September 20, 1984 until April 30, 1992...

    and Married... with Children
    Married... with Children
    Married... with Children is an American surrealistic sitcom that aired for 11 seasons that featured a dysfunctional family living in Chicago, Illinois. The show, notable for being the first prime time television series to air on Fox, ran from April 5, 1987, to June 9, 1997. The series was created...

  • Bobby Shaftoe
    Bobby Shaftoe
    Bobby Shaftoe may refer to:*Bobby Shafto, 18th Century English politician and subject of a famous song.*Bobby Shafto's Gone to Sea, the song itself.*Bobby Shaftoe, a lead character in Neal Stephenson's novel Cryptonomicon....

    , fictional U.S. Marine Corps
    United States Marine Corps
    The United States Marine Corps is a branch of the United States Armed Forces responsible for providing power projection from the sea, using the mobility of the United States Navy to deliver combined-arms task forces rapidly. It is one of seven uniformed services of the United States...

     hero of Neal Stephenson
    Neal Stephenson
    Neal Town Stephenson is an American writer known for his works of speculative fiction.Difficult to categorize, his novels have been variously referred to as science fiction, historical fiction, cyberpunk, and postcyberpunk...

    's novel Cryptonomicon
    Cryptonomicon is a 1999 novel by American author Neal Stephenson. The novel follows the exploits of two groups of people in two different time periods, presented in alternating chapters...

    , hailed from Oconomowoc.
  • The protagonist in Dave Eggers
    Dave Eggers
    Dave Eggers is an American writer, editor, and publisher. He is known for the best-selling memoir A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius and for his more recent work as a screenwriter. He is also the co-founder of the literacy project 826 Valencia.-Life:Eggers was born in Boston, Massachusetts,...

    ' novel You Shall Know Our Velocity
    You Shall Know Our Velocity
    You Shall Know Our Velocity! is a 2002 novel by Dave Eggers. It was Eggers's debut novel, following the success of his memoir A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius ....

    is beaten up by a townie in Oconomowoc.
  • Oconomowoc is mentioned in Chapter XXXI of Theodore Dreiser
    Theodore Dreiser
    Theodore Herman Albert Dreiser was an American novelist and journalist of the naturalist school. His novels often featured main characters who succeeded at their objectives despite a lack of a firm moral code, and literary situations that more closely resemble studies of nature than tales of...

    's The Titan
    The Titan
    The Titan is a novel written by Theodore Dreiser in 1914. It is Dreiser's sequel to The Financier.-Plot summary:Cowperwood moves to Chicago with his new wife Aileen. He decides to take over the street-railway system. He bankrupts several opponents with the help of John J. McKenty and other...

  • The Archer Hotel in N.D. Wilson's Ashtown Burials #1: The Dragon's Tooth is said to be near Oconomowoc.

Notable people

  • Stuart Briscoe
    Stuart Briscoe
    Dr. D. Stuart Briscoe is an evangelical Christian author, international speaker and the former senior pastor of Elmbrook Church, in Brookfield, Wisconsin. Elmbrook is the largest church in Wisconsin, averaging 7,000 in attendance per week, making it one of the 100-largest churches in the United...

     - Evangelical author and speaker; former senior pastor of Elmbrook Church
    Elmbrook Church
    Elmbrook Church is a non-denominational, evangelical Christian megachurch located in the Greater Milwaukee-area suburb of Brookfield, Wisconsin, in Waukesha County. Since the church's founding in 1958, it has become one of the largest churches in the United States...

    , the largest church in Wisconsin
    Wisconsin is a U.S. state located in the north-central United States and is part of the Midwest. It is bordered by Minnesota to the west, Iowa to the southwest, Illinois to the south, Lake Michigan to the east, Michigan to the northeast, and Lake Superior to the north. Wisconsin's capital is...

  • Jill Briscoe
    Jill Briscoe
    Jill Briscoe is an evangelical Christian author and international speaker. In 1970, Briscoe came to Elmbrook Church in Brookfield, Wisconsin from England when her husband, Stuart was called as senior pastor. She immediately established a youth ministry called God Squad and later took the lead in...

     - Evangelical author and speaker
  • Dirk J. Debbink
    Dirk J. Debbink
    Dirk J. Debbink is a Vice Admiral in the United States Navy.-Biography:A native of Oconomowoc, Wisconsin, Debbink holds a bachelor's degree from the United States Naval Academy and an MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business...

     - U.S. Navy Vice Admiral, Chief of Navy Reserve
  • Glenn Derby
    Glenn Derby
    Glenn Evans Derby, Jr. is a former American football offensive lineman in the National Football League. He played two seasons for the New Orleans Saints as a tackle and guard. He played at the collegiate level at the University of Wisconsin–Madison.Derby is the brother of former NFL player John...

     - NFL player
  • John Derby
    John Derby
    John Derby is a former linebacker in the National Football League . Derby was a member of the Detroit Lions during the 1992 NFL season....

     - NFL player
  • Steven Foti
    Steven Foti
    Steven Foti is a Wisconsin politician and legislator.Born in Oconomowoc, Wisconsin, Foti was a real estate salesman and ex-bartender before serving in the Wisconsin State Assembly from 1983 until 2003. Foti was named majority leader by Assembly Republicans in 1997. After leaving the Wisconsin...

     - Wisconsin politician
  • Byron L. Johnson
    Byron L. Johnson
    Byron Lindberg Johnson was an economist and U.S. Representative from Colorado.-Early life and education:Born in Chicago, Illinois, Johnson graduated from Oconomowoc High School, Oconomowoc, Wisconsin, in 1933. He earned his B.A. at University of Wisconsin–Madison in 1938, and completed his M.A. ...

     - U.S. Representative from Colorado
    Colorado is a U.S. state that encompasses much of the Rocky Mountains as well as the northeastern portion of the Colorado Plateau and the western edge of the Great Plains...

  • John Kaiser
    John Kaiser
    John Frederick Kaiser is a former professional American football player who played linebacker for four seasons for the Seattle Seahawks and Buffalo Bills....

     - NFL player
  • Rebecca Kleefisch
    Rebecca Kleefisch
    Rebecca Kleefisch is a former television news anchor, turned American politician, and is currently serving as the 44th Lieutenant Governor of Wisconsin...

     - former WISN-TV
    WISN-TV, virtual channel 12.1 , is a television station located in Milwaukee, Wisconsin serving as an affiliate of the ABC television network. Its signal covers most of southeastern Wisconsin and parts of northeastern Illinois, including Racine, Kenosha, Sheboygan and Waukesha...

     news anchor and current Lieutenant Governor of Wisconsin
    Lieutenant Governor of Wisconsin
    The Lieutenant Governor of Wisconsin is the first person in the order of succession of Wisconsin's executive branch, thus serving as governor in the event of the death, resignation, removal, impeachment, absence from the state, or incapacity due to illness of the Governor of Wisconsin...

  • Harry G. Snyder
    Harry G. Snyder
    Harry G. Snyder is a former member of the Wisconsin State Assembly and Judge of the Wisconsin Court of Appeals.-Biography:Snyder was born on February 11, 1938 in Davenport, Iowa. He graduated from Oconomowoc High School in Oconomowoc, Wisconsin and attended Ripon College, the University of...

     - Wisconsin State Assemblyman and Wisconsin Court of Appeals Judge
  • Andy Thompson
    Andy Thompson (baseball)
    Andrew John Thompson is a former Major League Baseball left fielder who played for the Toronto Blue Jays in ....

    , MLB player
  • Jane Wiedlin
    Jane Wiedlin
    Jane Marie Genevieve Wiedlin is an American musician, singer-songwriter, and actress. She is best known as the rhythm guitarist of the all-female New Wave band The Go-Go's.-Early life:...

     - rhythm guitarist of The Go-Go's
    The Go-Go's
    The Go-Go’s are an all-female American rock band formed in 1978. They made history as the first all-female band that both wrote their own songs and played their own instruments to top the Billboard album charts....

    , actress

External links