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Columbia County, Wisconsin Genealogy and History

Home » Wisconsin Counties and Towns » Columbia County

County Seat: Portage
Parent: Portage County

* Records before the establishment of the county may be in the parent records.

Neighboring Counties

From: Handbook of Wisconsin by S. Silas, 1855

pg. 55-56

Population in 1850, 9,565; in 1855, 17960; increase 8,395.

The County is nearly in the centre of the present settled portion of the State, and lies on both the Wisconsin and Fox Rivers, which approach within two miles of each other at Portage City--the former a rapid, changeful current, subject to sudden rises, flowing between high banks and over falls; the latter sluggish and unchanging, with marshy banks, or spreading itself into doubtful lakes, and navigable with little water.

The land of the whole ofthis (sic) country is good, the surface diversified with rolling prairies and burr oak openings. There is little timber growing in this County, but the want of it is well supplies by the Wisconsin pineries, the timber from which is floated down the Wisconsin River to and past this county.

Few counties in the State have increased within the past five years with the rapidity of this. All north of the Fox River, then known as Indian lands, is now well filled with people. There is consequently little good Government land to be had--in truth, it was nearly all taken as soon as brought into market.

Portage City, on the Wisconsin and Fox, here connected by a canal, is the county seat, and one of the most prosperous and busy towns of the State. The Wisconsin is navigated up to this place. It contains a bank, two weekly papers are published there, and it commands the trade of a large country, especially that lying up the Wisconsin River.

Columbus, on the Catfish, contains a population of about 1,000, and is a busy, thriving place.

The La Crosse and Milwaukee, and the Milwaukee and Watertown Rail Roads are both to pass through this County, and will soon reach it. The Wisconsin Central Road has its terminus at Portage, connecting it with Chicago direct.

General Genealogy and History Links

This section contains links to websites that have multiple databases or webpages with genealogical information.

Vital Records

Birth, Death, & Marriage Records:
Earliest Registration Dates*:
Births 1860
Deaths 1877
Marriages 1849

Columbia Register of Deeds
400 DeWitt St. (location)
P.O. Box 133 (mailing)
Portage, WI 53821
Telephone: (608) 742-9677

Cemetery and Obituary Links

Census Links

Censuses contain valuable information about families. This section contains links to transcribed censuses, census indexes or census images for the county.

Residents of the County

This section contains links to family tree websites, biographies and information about individuals that lived in the county.

Area History

This section contains links of published histories and historical information about the county, its villages, cities or towns. Sometimes within these histories is information about founders, or other people that settled in the area. It may also include ethnic or religious histories of the communities.

Maps and Atlases


Societies, Libraries and Offline Resources