- This article is about Edgerton, Wisconsin. For other municipalities with the same name, see Edgerton
|• Total||4.14 sq mi (10.72 km2)|
|• Land||4.14 sq mi (10.72 km2)|
|• Water||0 sq mi (0 km2)|
|Elevation||817 ft (249 m)|
|• Estimate (2012)||5,503|
|• Density||1,319.1/sq mi (509.3/km2)|
|Time zone||Central (CST) (UTC-6)|
|• Summer (DST)||CDT (UTC-5)|
|GNIS feature ID||1564443|
Edgerton is a city in Dane and Rock counties in the U.S. state of Wisconsin. The population was 5,461 at the 2010 census. Of this, 5,364 were in Rock County, and 97 were in Dane County. Known locally as "Tobacco City U.S.A.," because of the importance of tobacco growing in the region, Edgerton continues to be a center for the declining tobacco industry in the area.
Edgerton is located at  According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 4.14 square miles (10.72 km2), all of it land. None of the area is covered with water, except for Saunders Creek, although the city is within a five-minute drive of Lake Koshkonong.(42.836108, -89.072919).
As of 2000 the median income for a household in the city was $44,684, and the median income for a family was $52,555. Males had a median income of $34,890 versus $24,231 for females. The per capita income for the city was $20,481. About 3.7% of families and 5.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including 7.9% of those under age 18 and 7.9% of those age 65 or over.
As of the census of 2010, there were 5,461 people, 2,227 households, and 1,426 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,319.1 inhabitants per square mile (509.3 /km2). There were 2,410 housing units at an average density of 582.1 per square mile (224.8 /km2). The racial makeup of the city was 94.9% White, 0.9% African American, 0.8% Native American, 0.5% Asian, 1.4% from other races, and 1.4% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 4.1% of the population.
There were 2,227 households of which 34.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 47.2% were married couples living together, 11.0% had a female householder with no husband present, 5.8% had a male householder with no wife present, and 36.0% were non-families. 29.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 12% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.43 and the average family size was 3.01.
The median age in the city was 35.7 years. 26% of residents were under the age of 18; 7% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 29.4% were from 25 to 44; 24.8% were from 45 to 64; and 12.7% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 48.8% male and 51.2% female.
In 1886, Catholic parents in Edgerton protested the reading of the King James Bible in the village schools because they considered the Douay version the correct translation. The school board argued that Catholic children could ignore the Bible readings or sit in the cloak room while the rest of the children listened to the reading of a Protestant version of the Bible. Because the school board refused to change their policy, several families brought suit on the grounds that the schools' practice conflicted with the Wisconsin Constitution, which forbade sectarian instruction in the public schools.
The circuit court rejected their argument, deciding in 1888 that the readings were not sectarian because both translations were of the same work. The parents appealed their case to the Wisconsin Supreme Court, which on March 18, 1890, overruled the circuit court, concluding that reading the Bible did, in fact, constitute sectarian instruction, and thus illegally united the functions of church and state.
At one time, there were as many as forty tobacco warehouses dotting the streets of Edgerton. Queen Anne style mansions along Edgerton's Washington Street testify to the wealth and prominence some merchants once had. The 1890s Carlton Hotel, once located on Henry Street, also once served as an additional reminder of the tobacco industry's influence. Although built by a brewing firm, the hotel (which burned to the ground in the 1990s) was frequented by tobacco buyers and sellers.
Beyond its connection to author Sterling North's boyhood and its onetime place as Wisconsin's premiere tobacco city, Edgerton's other major claim to fame is its association with Pauline Jacobus. Jacobus and her husband, Oscar Jacobus, were responsible for the first artistic pottery created in Chicago in the mid-1880s. By 1888, the couple had moved their business to Edgerton. Although Oscar's death and an economic depression disrupted the business in the 1890s, Pauline Jacobus continued making pottery in Edgerton until the early 1900s' fire that destroyed her rural Edgerton home, "The Bogart". Much admired and sought-after as an American art form, "Pauline Pottery" is recognized in antique and art galleries throughout the world. A log cabin from the old Bogart site and the factory warehouse where Pauline Pottery was first made in Edgerton still survive.
The Pomeroy and Pelton Tobacco Warehouse, known as the T. W. Dickinson & Son Tobacco Warehouse after it was purchased by Weetman Dickinson, is on the National Register of Historic Places. It is the oldest free-standing brick warehouse in Wisconsin.
The childhood home of authors Sterling North, and Jessica Nelson North MacDonald is open as a museum. Sterling North, whose most famous book, Rascal, was set in Edgerton, used the town as the setting for several of his books, where he referred to it as "Brailsford Junction."
Because Edgerton was once the center of the tobacco growing region in Wisconsin, the community's annual celebration is called Tobacco Days. The community celebration includes live music, food, family entertainment, a craft fair, an open air market, living history events and demonstrations, tobacco demonstrations, citywide rummage sales, book sales, a parade, and a car show.
The Sterling North Book and Film Festival, which takes place annually the last weekend in September, brings together authors and filmmakers with the community.
- Rich Bickle, NASCAR driver
- David Blanchard, Speaker of the Wisconsin State Assembly
- George W. Blanchard, U.S. Representative
- Harland E. Everson, Wisconsin State Assemblyman
- Ryan Fox, US National Rower
- Pauline Jacobus, pottery artisan
- Jimmy Johnson, member of the College Football Hall of Fame
- Simon Lord, Wisconsin State Senator
- John T. Manske, Wisconsin State Assemblyman
- Jessica Nelson North, author
- Sterling North, author
- Arielle North Olson, author
- Steve Stricker, PGA Tour golfer
- Rollie Williams, NFL player
- "US Gazetteer files 2010". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2012-11-18.
- "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
- "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2012-11-18.
- "Population Estimates". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2013-06-24.
- "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
- "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23.
- Edgerton (Origin of Placename)
- 'Wisconsin Magazine of History,' vol. 4, Wisconsin Historical Society; 1921, Biographical Sketch of Benjamin Hyde Edgerton, pg. 354-357
- Source: Geiger, John O. "The Edgerton Bible Case: Humphrey Desmond's Political Education of Wisconsin Catholics," Journal of Church and State, vol. 20. no. 1 (1978): 13-27; U.S. Reports 374 U.S. 203, pp. 282 & 292.]
- "Pomeroy and Pelton Tobacco Warehouse". National Register of Historic Places. Retrieved 2009-07-05.[dead link]
- "Pomeroy and Pelton Tobacco Warehouse". Wisconsin Architecture & History Inventory. Retrieved 2009-07-05.
- "Sterling North Book and Film Festival website". Retrieved 29 Jul 2013.
- Edgerton, Wisconsin city website
- The Sterling North Society Website with link to the Museum
- Sterling North Book and Film Festival
- Photo of Pomeroy and Pelton (Dickinson) Tobacco Warehouse
- Edgerton Public Library