Merrill, Wisconsin

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This article is about the city. For the adjacent town, see Merrill (town), Wisconsin.
City of Merrill
Looking west at the western downtown
Looking west at the western downtown
Nickname(s): City of Parks
Location of Merrill within Wisconsin
Location of Merrill within Wisconsin
Coordinates: 45°10′57″N 89°41′44″W / 45.18250°N 89.69556°W / 45.18250; -89.69556Coordinates: 45°10′57″N 89°41′44″W / 45.18250°N 89.69556°W / 45.18250; -89.69556
Country United States
State Wisconsin
County Lincoln County
Name Adopted 1881
First Mayor and City Council 1883
Government
 • Mayor William Bialecki
Area[1]
 • Total 7.81 sq mi (20.23 km2)
 • Land 7.24 sq mi (18.75 km2)
 • Water 0.57 sq mi (1.48 km2)  7.30%
Elevation 1,316 ft (401 m)
Population (2010)[2]
 • Total 9,661
 • Estimate (2012[3]) 9,483
 • Density 1,334.4/sq mi (515.2/km2)
Time zone CST (UTC-6)
 • Summer (DST) CDT (UTC-5)
Zipcode 54452
Area code(s) 715 & 534
Website http://www.cityofparks.us

Merrill is a city in Lincoln County, Wisconsin, United States. It is located to the south of and adjacent to the Town of Merrill. The population was 9,661, according to the 2010 census.[4] Merrill is part of the United States Census Bureau's Merrill MSA, which includes all of Lincoln County. Together with the Wausau MSA, which includes all of Marathon County, it forms the Wausau-Merrill CSA.

History[edit]

Merrill was first inhabited by the Chippewa Native Americans. The first settlement there was a logging town named Jenny Bull Falls. By 1843 a trading post was constructed near the town; John Faely was the first settler. Within four years a dam, started by Andrew Warren, was constructed over the Wisconsin River. Warren then established the first mill powered by the dam, and other saw mills in the area. In 1870, T.B. Scott succeeded Warren, and the mill soon became increasingly successful. In 1899 the mill burned down. During that time the name of the community was changed to Merrill,[5] in honor of S.S. Merrill, the general manager of the Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul, and Pacific Railroad.[6]

in 1881, the Wisconsin Telephone company began operation, with 20 phones in service. In 1883 the first City Council met and T.B. Scott was named the first mayor. By 1885 the population had risen to 7,000, approximately 3,000 less than Merrill's population today.[5] The railroad and passenger depot was a hub of social activity through the lumber industry's boom years and after. It later became a community youth center, but has since been razed. By 1900, the timber industry was in decline and the community was compelled to diversify its economy.

In July 1912, the Wisconsin River and several of its tributaries flooded from Rothschild to Merrill, destroying several dams (active and abandoned), as well as causing hundreds of thousands of dollars in damage in Merrill.

Geography[edit]

Merrill is located at 45°10′57″N 89°41′44″W / 45.18250°N 89.69556°W / 45.18250; -89.69556 (45.182569, -89.69559),[7] along the Wisconsin River at its confluence with the Prairie River.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 7.81 square miles (20.23 km2), of which, 7.24 square miles (18.75 km2) is land and 0.57 square miles (1.48 km2) is water.[1]

Merrill is located west of US Route 51 on State Highway 64 (Main Street).

Council Grounds State Park is west of the city.

Demographics[edit]

2010 census[edit]

As of the census[2] of 2010, there were 9,661 people, 4,175 households, and 2,516 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,334.4 inhabitants per square mile (515.2 /km2). There were 4,619 housing units at an average density of 638.0 per square mile (246.3 /km2). The racial makeup of the city was 96.3% White, 0.5% African American, 0.4% Native American, 0.6% Asian, 0.8% from other races, and 1.2% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.0% of the population.

There were 4,175 households of which 29.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 43.0% were married couples living together, 12.4% had a female householder with no husband present, 4.9% had a male householder with no wife present, and 39.7% were non-families. 35.0% of all households were made up of individuals and 17.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.25 and the average family size was 2.88.

The median age in the city was 40.4 years. 23.9% of residents were under the age of 18; 7.2% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 24.9% were from 25 to 44; 24.5% were from 45 to 64; and 19.4% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 47.6% male and 52.4% female.

2000 census[edit]

As of the census[8] of 2000, there were 10,146 people, 4,183 households, and 2,631 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,441.7 people per square mile (556.4/km²). There were 4,397 housing units at an average density of 624.8 per square mile (241.1/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 97.77% White, 0.20% Black or African American, 0.54% Native American, 0.42% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 0.36% from other races, and 0.66% from two or more races. 1.03% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 4,183 households out of which 31.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 47.2% were married couples living together, 11.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 37.1% were non-families. 32.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 17.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.34 and the average family size was 2.96.

In the city the population was spread out with 25.3% under the age of 18, 8.5% from 18 to 24, 27.5% from 25 to 44, 19.1% from 45 to 64, and 19.7% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females there were 89.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 84.4 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $33,098, and the median income for a family was $45,860. Males had a median income of $30,789 versus $21,372 for females. The per capita income for the city was $17,429. About 5.7% of families and 9.5% of the population were below the poverty line, including 10.7% of those under age 18 and 15.0% of those age 65 or over.

Government[edit]

Lincoln County Courthouse

The Lincoln County Courthouse, begun in 1903, was completed at a cost of $119,882. Its central rotunda is 32 feet in diameter; second floor offices lead off its balcony. A 48-inch bell and one-ton clock were mounted on the roof tower.[9] It was added to the National Register of Historic Places on April 19, 1978.

Education[edit]

Merrill Area Public Schools is the area's school district, which covers the majority of Lincoln County and small areas of the neighboring counties. Northcentral Technical College's Public Safety Training center was built in Merrill in 2005.

Public schools[edit]

City hall
  • Merrill High School
  • Prairie River Middle School
  • Jefferson Elementary School
  • Kate Goodrich Elementary School
  • Maple Grove Elementary School
  • Pine River Elementary School
  • Washington Elementary School

Private schools[edit]

  • Trinity Lutheran School
  • St. John's Lutheran School
  • St. Francis Xavier Catholic School
  • New Testament Church Christian Academy

Transportation[edit]

US 51.svg
U.S. 51 Northbound US 51 to Woodruff, Wisconsin. Southbound, US 51 routes to Wausau, Wisconsin.
WIS 17.svg
WIS 17 travels north to Rhinelander, Wisconsin.
WIS 64.svg
WIS 64 travels east to Antigo, Wisconsin, and west to Medford, Wisconsin.

From 1889 to 1921 a streetcar line was operated by the Merrill Railway & Lighting Co., which also operated one of the earliest trolleybus lines in the United States in 1913.

Parks and recreation[edit]

Parks[edit]

Community Parks:

  • Lion's Park
  • Stange Park
  • Merrill Area Recreation Complex (MARC)[1]

Neighborhood Parks:

  • Streeter Square
  • Ott's Park
  • Riverside Park
  • Stange Kitchenette
  • Normal Park

Special Use:

  • Athletic Park
  • Gebert Park
  • Memorial Forest Wildlife Area

Other:

  • Camp Newood County Park
  • Cenotaph Memorial Park
  • Jack Pines Park
  • Tug Lake Recreation Area[10]

Recreation[edit]

  • GRABAAWR
  • MARC/Smith Center
  • Merrill Soccer

Historic places[edit]

Notable people[edit]

Images[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]