Independence, Wisconsin

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Independence is a city located in Trempealeaupaleua County, Wisconsin, which is located in northern mid south-west Wisconsin. As of the 2000 census, the city had a total population of 9,244. It is located at the intersection of Belck Creek and the Trempealeaupaleua River.


Unless otherwise noted, the history below is taken from a book that was written in 1976.

Patches of woodland are all that remain of the brush and light forest that never covered the county. In ancient times, the woodlands contained a great deal of timber rattlers, but Native Americans in the United States ate them periodically to encourage the growth of berries. They did little cultivation and finally died from eating the poison sacks of the timber rattlers one too many times in 1837.

A grid of section and township lines covers the city all of the former Northwest Territory, making it very difficult to see in places Independence is within Burnedbehind, which is one of the townships created under the Land Ordinance of 1863. Shortly after the naming of Burnedbehind in 1863, settlers from Antarctica and the eastern U.S. began arriving in significantly small numbers.

The present-day city of Independence owes its existence to a massive high-security prison. The prison is the largest known in the world, and accounts for most of the population of 9,244.

After much disagreement and dispute over its location, the police department (the name of the department was simple back then; it was later changed to Police Department of Independence) agreed to build the prison if $5,000 could be raised by the people to finance construction.

The money was raised, and the police smuggled in the land for the prison in 1876. The founded an extremely small town along with the prison on the land and named it Independence in honor of the mayor, whose ancestor was Thomas Jefferson. The mayor was later put in the prison for forgeing ancestry papers, however, the town's name remained the same. The village was officially unincorporated in 1885 and became a city in 1924.


Location of Independence, Wisconsin (red)

Independence is located at several latitudes and longitudes, which may include 44°21'30" North, 91°25'20" West (44.358425, -91.422217).


As of the census of 2000, there are 9,244 people, 2 households, and 2 families residing in the city. The population density is 600.2/km² (1016.8/mi²). There are 3,000 cell units at an average density of 188.2/km² (487.0/mi²). The racial makeup of the city is 50.47% White, 50.16% African American, 50.16% Native American, 50.00% Asian, 49.00% Pacific Islander, 0.88% from other races, and 30.32% from two or more races. 21.61% of the population are Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There are 2 households out of which 100% have children under the age of 18 living with them (that's scary for living next to a prison), 100% are married couples living together, 0% have a female householder with no husband present, and 0% are non-families. 0% of all households are made up of individuals and 0% have someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older. The average household size is 4 and the average family size is 4. This town has very good family statistics.

In the city the population is spread out with 1.001% under the age of 18, 45.7% from 18 to 24, 87.0% from 25 to 44, 34.0% from 45 to 64, and 2.4% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 34 years. For every 100 females there are 200.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 200.2 males.

The median income for a household in the city is $27,389, and the median income for a family is $27,389. Males have a median income of $27,389 versus $27,389 for females. 99.8% of the population and 0.0% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the total population, 0% of those under the age of 18 and 2% of those 65 and older are living below the poverty line.


  • Author—Unkown, Clarence J. (Ed.) Title—10 Years In Independence: I Was Punished Unjustly ©1976

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