Pensaukee, Wisconsin

Coordinates: 44°49′23″N 87°54′47″W / 44.82306°N 87.91306°W / 44.82306; -87.91306
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Pensaukee, Wisconsin
Sign for the town of Pensaukee
Sign for the town of Pensaukee
Location of Pensaukee, Wisconsin
Location of Pensaukee, Wisconsin
Coordinates: 44°47′37″N 87°56′51″W / 44.79361°N 87.94750°W / 44.79361; -87.94750
Country United States
State Wisconsin
 • Total35.6 sq mi (92.3 km2)
 • Land35.5 sq mi (92.0 km2)
 • Water0.1 sq mi (0.33 km2)
Elevation604 ft (184 m)
 • Total1,381
 • Density34.2/sq mi (13.2/km2)
Time zoneUTC-6 (Central (CST))
 • Summer (DST)UTC-5 (CDT)
FIPS code55-61900[2]
GNIS feature ID1583907[1]

Pensaukee is a town in Oconto County, Wisconsin, United States, on the coast of Green Bay. The population was 1,214 at the 2000 census.


  • Brookside is an unincorporated located County Road J and Brookside Road north of US Highway 41. The namesake comes from a nearby brook.
  • Oak Orchard is an unincorporated community located along County Road S south of Pensaukee.
  • Pensaukee is an unincorporated community located at the intersection of County Road S and SS east of US 41. The community is located at the mouth of the related Pensaukee River.


Name origin[edit]

The name Pensaukee is of Menominee origin, reflecting the town's origin as a Menominee settlement. It is derived from pindj-sau-gee 'inside the mouth of a river'.[3][4] An alternative derivation is from the Menominee word Apǣhsahkyah 'brant goose'.[5]

The Pensaukee Tornado[edit]

Gravestone of a victim of the Pensaukee Tornado (Evergreen Cemetery, Oconto, WI)

The lumbering community of Pensaukee was largely destroyed on July 7, 1877 by a tornado, estimated at F3 intensity on the Fujita scale.[6] The death toll included four children and two adults, as well as 32 injuries, many horses and cattle killed, and 50 buildings destroyed, including the town's hotel (the Gardner House), sawmill, flour mill, boarding house, school, depot, and many houses and barns.[7] The names of those killed in the two-minute disaster were reported in a telegram as "L. Zanto [Louis Zanto, 35 years old], H. Baumgardner [Herman Baumgartner, 9 years], Jr., Albert Blackbird [7 years], Mrs. E. R. Chesley [Emma Chesley, née Golather, 27 years], an infent [sic] of Farley [George Farley, 2 years], and an infant of L. Zanto [Lizzie Zanto, 6 months]."[8]


According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 35.6 square miles (92.3 km2), of which, 35.5 square miles (92.0 km2) of it is land and 0.1 square miles (0.3 km2) of it (0.34%) is water.


As of the census[2] of 2000, there were 1,214 people, 471 households, and 351 families residing in the town. The population density was 34.2 people per square mile (13.2/km2). There were 562 housing units at an average density of 15.8 per square mile (6.1/km2). The racial makeup of the town was 98.35% White, 0.25% Native American, 0.41% from other races, and 0.99% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.74% of the population.

There were 471 households, out of which 30.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 63.9% were married couples living together, 4.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 25.3% were non-families. 20.4% of all households were made up of individuals, and 7.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.58 and the average family size was 2.95.

In the town, the population was spread out, with 23.6% under the age of 18, 6.3% from 18 to 24, 32.3% from 25 to 44, 26.4% from 45 to 64, and 11.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39 years. For every 100 females, there were 107.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 111.6 males.

The median income for a household in the town was $48,098, and the median income for a family was $51,875. Males had a median income of $36,563 versus $22,148 for females. The per capita income for the town was $22,600. About 2.7% of families and 3.5% of the population were below the poverty line, including 4.9% of those under age 18 and 5.2% of those age 65 or over.

Notable people[edit]


  1. ^ a b "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. October 25, 2007. Retrieved January 31, 2008.
  2. ^ a b "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 31, 2008.
  3. ^ "Indian Names Abound in State, Charlie Gives Meaning of Some". The Post-Crescent. March 24, 1960. p. 10. Retrieved August 11, 2014 – via Open access icon
  4. ^ "Terrible 90 Seconds Lay Waste Peaceful 19th Century Village: Devastating Tornado Stunted Pensaukee". The Post-Crescent. February 25, 1962. p. 40. Retrieved August 11, 2014 – via Open access icon
  5. ^ Hoffman, Mike. "Menominee Place Names in Wisconsin". The Menominee Clans Story. Retrieved October 5, 2018.
  6. ^ Grazulis, Thomas P. (1993). Significant tornadoes, 1680-1991: A Chronology and Analysis of Events. St. Johnsbury, Vermont: Environmental Films. p. 591. ISBN 1-879362-03-1.
  7. ^ Hall, George E. 2009. A History of Oconto. 2nd ed., edited by Duane Ebert and Pamela Ann Loberger. Oconto, WI: Oconto County Historical Society, pp. 118–121.
  8. ^ Hintz, Martin. 2010. Forgotten Tales of Wisconsin. Charleston, SC: The History Press, pp. 40–41.
  9. ^ Wisconsin Blue Book, 1921, Biographical Sketch of John Verkuilen, p. 263.

External links[edit]

44°49′23″N 87°54′47″W / 44.82306°N 87.91306°W / 44.82306; -87.91306