Term: Bad Axe (county)
Definition: previous name of modern Vernon Co., in western Wisconsin. Description from John W. Hunt's 1853 Wisconsin Gazetteer: "BAD AX, County, is bounded on the north by LaCrosse, on the east by Sauk and Richland, on the south by Richland and Crawford, and on the west by the Mississippi river, and was set off from Crawford and organized March 1, 1851. The county seat was established by a vote of the electors of the county on the 29th day of Jane, 1852, at Viroqua, near the centre of the county. ¿ The streams are the Bad Ax, Kickapoo and Racoon rivers, with their tributaries, and small streams emptying into the Mississippi. A large quantity (41,807 acres,) of that portion of school lands known as the 500,000 acre grant, is situated in Bad Ax county, the soil of which is good, and produces good crops of wheat, oats, corn, &c. This county is comparatively new, and contained in 1850 less than 700 inhabitants. During the last two years the population has increased very fast."
[Source: King, Rufus. "Miwaukee to St. Paul in 1855" at Turning Points in Wis. History (www.wisconsinhistory.org/turningpoints/).]