Columbus City Hall
|Nickname(s): "Red Bud City"|
Location of Columbus in the state of Wisconsin
|• Mayor||Michael Thom|
|• Total||4.25 sq mi (11.01 km2)|
|• Land||4.21 sq mi (10.90 km2)|
|• Water||0.04 sq mi (0.10 km2)|
|Elevation||871 ft (265 m)|
|• Estimate (2012)||5,013|
|• Density||1,185.5/sq mi (457.7/km2)|
|Time zone||Central (UTC-6)|
|• Summer (DST)||Central (UTC-5)|
Columbus is a city in Columbia (mostly) and Dodge Counties in the south-central part of the U.S. state of Wisconsin. The population was 4,991 at the 2010 census. All of this population resided in the Columbia County portion of the city. Columbus is located about 28 miles (45 km) northeast of Madison on the Crawfish River. It is part of the Madison Metropolitan Statistical Area. Nearly all of the city is located within the town of Columbus in Columbia County, though a small portion lies within the town of Elba in Dodge County.
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H. A. Whitney, a Yankee peddler from Vermont, moved to Columbus in 1845 and constructed the first wood frame store building in the community on the land where the Whitney now stands. The building served as a combination store/tavern/rooming house and post office, with Whitney as the first postmaster. In 1857, the building burned down and was replaced by the current Whitney Hotel in 1858. This cream brick, Italianate-style hotel's third floor ballroom was heated by six wood-burning stoves. The local newspaper reported on a ball there in 1863, "if you ever hear of a ball by Fuller, ask no questions, but go at once, and enjoy yourselves, and for one night forget the 'fear of the draft'".
During the 1880s, The Whitney hosted traveling health practitioners whose expertise ranged from "delivering a 40-foot long tape worm" to a local couple to curing piles. Near the turn of the 20th century, the ballroom was turned into an apartment, and from then on served as commercial, professional, and apartment space.
In the 1950s, a restaurant and bar occupied the first floor of the building. From the 1960s to the present, a succession of owners occupied the building and maintenance was deferred. In the 1950s, the building fell into disrepair and as a result of its continued decline, faced demolition in 1990. In February 1991, Heartland Properties, Inc. helped local citizens create the Columbus Downtown Development Corporation (CDDC), which served as the developer to restore the Whitney.
Today, the Whitney provides affordable housing for eight households and 1,570 square feet of downtown retail space for local businesses, including the Daily Citizen newspaper.[not in citation given]
Columbus is located at (43.337366, -89.022753).
In 1900, 2,349 people lived in Columbus, Wisconsin; in 1910, there were 2,523 residents.
As of the census of 2010, there were 4,991 people, 2,123 households, and 1,336 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,185.5 inhabitants per square mile (457.7/km2). There were 2,287 housing units at an average density of 543.2 per square mile (209.7/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 95.7% White, 0.9% African American, 0.3% Native American, 0.6% Asian, 1.1% from other races, and 1.4% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 3.3% of the population.
There were 2,123 households of which 31.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 48.5% were married couples living together, 9.8% had a female householder with no husband present, 4.6% had a male householder with no wife present, and 37.1% were non-families. 30.8% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.33 and the average family size was 2.91.
The median age in the city was 38.3 years. 24.1% of residents were under the age of 18; 7.1% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 27.7% were from 25 to 44; 27.2% were from 45 to 64; and 14.1% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 48.8% male and 51.2% female.
As of the census of 2000, there were 4,479 people, 1,843 households, and 1,194 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,122.7 people per square mile (433.4/km²). There were 1,927 housing units at an average density of 483.0 per square mile (186.5/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 98.28% White, 0.36% Black or African American, 0.22% Native American, 0.31% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 0.29% from other races, and 0.51% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.98% of the population.
There were 1,843 households out of which 32.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 52.0% were married couples living together, 9.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 35.2% were non-families. 31.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 14.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.37 and the average family size was 2.98.
In the city, the population was spread out with 26.0% under the age of 18, 6.6% from 18 to 24, 29.9% from 25 to 44, 20.2% from 45 to 64, and 17.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females there were 91.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 87.1 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $42,667, and the median income for a family was $52,604. Males had a median income of $36,518 versus $22,891 for females. The per capita income for the city was $21,435. About 3.7% of families and 5.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 4.0% of those under age 18 and 11.7% of those age 65 or over.
Columbus is served by the Columbus School District, which operates an elementary school, a middle school, and a high school:
- Columbus Elementary School (K-3)
- Columbus Middle School (4-8)
- Columbus High School (9-12)
The Columbus School District also covers the cost of 4-year-old kindergarten provided by four local pre-schools.
Other schools in Columbus:
- St. Jerome Catholic School, Roman Catholic, grades K-8
- Zion Lutheran School, WELS (Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod), grades K-8
- Wisconsin Academy, Seventh Day Adventist, grades 9-12
Columbus is also served by Lamers Bus Service which provides a Connect to Madison, Wisconsin from Amtrak.
- Adolphus and Sarah Ingalsbe House
- Albert M. and Alice Bellack House
- Columbus City Hall
- Columbus Post Office
- Columbus Fireman's Park Complex
- Columbus Public Library
- E. Clarke and Julia Arnold House
- Farmers and Merchants Union Bank
- Frances Kurth Sharrow House
- Fred and Lucia Farnham House
- George Griswold House
- Gov. James T. Lewis House
- Kurth Brewery
- Reinhard and Amelia Schendel House
- Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church and Parsonage
- Amtrak station (1906).
- Chapel Street Water Tower
- Christopher Columbus Museum
- Farmers and Merchants Union Bank, a "jewel box" bank building designed by architect Louis Sullivan
The Redbud Festival occurs in May around Mother's Day. Each year the community crowns a prince and princess during the budding of the "Columbus Wisconsin Strain" of the redbud tree (cercis canadensis). The festival includes brats, music, and trees in full bloom.
- Michael Adams, Wisconsin State Assemblyman and businessman
- Charles L. Dering, Wisconsin State Senator
- Francis Fagan, Navy Cross recipient
- Harmon J. Fisk, Wisconsin State Assemblyman
- William M. Griswold, Wisconsin State Senator
- Joshua James Guppey, Union Army general
- William Jones, Wisconsin State Assemblyman
- Frank Lange, major league baseball player
- James T. Lewis, Governor of Wisconsin
- Lewis Ludington, founded the city
- Heather Miller, athlete
- Peter Morris, major league baseball player
- Bob Poser, major league baseball player
- Frederick J. Stare, nutritionist
- Samuel R. Webster, Wisconsin State Assemblyman
- Russel R. Weisensel, Wisconsin State Assemblyman
- E. W. Ziebarth, radio broadcaster
Downtown Columbus on Highway 73
- "History". Columbus Area Chamber of Commerce. Retrieved March 11, 2016.
- "US Gazetteer files 2010". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on 2012-07-14. Retrieved 2012-11-18.
- "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2012-11-18.
- "Population Estimates". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on 2013-06-17. Retrieved 2013-06-24.
- "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23.
- "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". Retrieved June 9, 2017.
- "Census of Population and Housing". Census.gov. Archived from the original on April 22, 2013. Retrieved June 4, 2015.
- "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on 2013-09-11. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
- 'Wisconsin Blue Book 1883,' Biographical Sketch of Michael Adams, pg. 486
- 'Wisconsin bluebook 1880,' Biographical Sketch of Charles Dering, pg. 505
- Stare, Fred A. (ed.). Story of Columbus.
- "The City of Columbus" in The History of Columbia County, Wisconsin. Chicago: Western Historical Company, 1880.
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