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Marathon County, Wisconsin Genealogy and History

Home » Wisconsin Counties and Towns » Marathon County

Established: 1850
County Seat: Wausau
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. 81-83

Extends from between towns 26 and 27 north to Michigan, 128 miles in its longest part, and is 42 miles wide. The southern part only is surveyed, though the surveyors are now pushing towards the north. Its principal business is in lumber, and it sends a large amount down the Wisconsin. The soil is not generally good for agriculture, though good farms can be selected. The greater portion of the land is in the hand of Government.

Wausau is the County Seat, and a flourishing place.

Little Bull Falls, about eight miles below Wausau, is also a prosperous lumbering place, and has in its vicinity some of the best farming lands in that region. All the County is in the Steven's Point land district.

The surveyors, now employed in towns 33 and 34 N. and ranges 5, 6, 7 and 8 E., report a very rugged country, with but a moderate quantity of pine, prevailing timber being birch, hemlock, maple, elm, tamarack, &c. The County is well watered with clear running streams, many small lakes, and occasional beautiful ridges of farming lands. As to the pine lands, on the upper part of the Wisconsin River, a heavy district of the best kind, as yet but little explored, lies on the Eagle branch in towns 37 and 38 N., ranges 8 and 9 E., as yet unsurveyed. This will soon be surveyed and brought into market. It lies on the road from Wausau to Lake Superior, and a settlement there will form a resting place between the two.

From Steven's Point to Virgini Falls, 45 miles, is a good wagon road--from that to Lake Agogebec, 87 miles, is only a trail--from the Lake to Ontonagon, 30 miles, there is also a good wagon road;--making the whole distance from Steven's Point to Ontonagon 132 miles. Efforts are making to have this established as a mail route. It is travelled frequently every year by drovers with herds of cattle. The country from Wausau to Boileaux Rapids is a timbered region, mostly composed of pine and hemlock, with an occasional hard wood ridge of maple, butternut, ash, &c., and the soil good.

The Boileaux Rapids, or Grandfather Bull Falls, is a magnificent series of falls and rapids for about four miles, with bold, rocky banks. The river is quite narrow, and navigation with rafts is rendered impossible by large numbers of immense boulders the whole length of the fall. The whole fall is about 75 feet. This may, therefore, fairly be called the head of navigation of the Wisconsin.

General Genealogy and History Links

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

Vital Records

Marathon Birth, Death, & Marriage Records:
Earliest Registration Dates*:
Births 1870
Deaths 1868
Marriages 1865

Marathon Register of Deeds:
500 Forest Street
Wausau, WI 54403-5568
Telephone: (715) 261-1470

  • Marathon County Wisconsin Genealogy Index - Search for pre-1907 Vital Records (VR), including birth, death, and marriage records as well as for 150,000 Wisconsin Name Index (WNI) records, including biographical sketches, obituaries, and newspaper articles published before 2000. -

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

  • Marathon County GIS Viewer - Internet Map Server for Marathon County and City of Wausau, WI -
  • Original Field Notes and Maps - Marathon County - From Wisconsin Public Land Survey Records. his website provides access to scanned images of the original General Land Office survey field notes and plat maps. (FREE) -
  • Places of Marathon County - In this section you will find a combination of text, maps, photographs, and documents to demonstrate how the communities throughout Marathon County began. Presented by Marathon County Historical Society (FREE) -


Societies, Libraries and Offline Resources