Term: Portage County [origin of place name]
Originally named for the Fox-Wisconsin portage, then within its boundaries -- a prominent landmark in early Wisconsin history. The gradual change in the boundaries of this; county (described ante) left the name of the county without significance, save that therein is found Plover portage, an insignificant carrying-place between the waters of Wolf and Wisconsin rivers - Wis. Hist. Colls., i, pp. 113, 118.
Description from John W. Hunt's 1853 Wisconsin Gazetteer: "PORTAGE, County, is bounded on the north by Marathon, on the east by Waupacea, on the south by Waushara and Adams, and on the west by La Crosse, and is 30 miles north and south, by 54 miles east and west. It was set off from Brown, Dec. 7, 1836, at which time it embraced about the present county of Columbia. By an act of the legislature, approved March 14, 1841, the territory forming the present counties of Adams, Portage and Marathon was annexed to Portage county, which was organized for county purposes, the judicial connection being with Dane. The countv seat was established at the Wisconsin Portage, and the county was fully organized Jan. 31, 1844; as now organized, it does not contain any of its original limits. The eastern boundary of the county was extended one range February 27, 1851. Plover, a little east of the centre of the county, is the seat of justice. The Wisconsin river passes about centrally through the county from the north, and with its branches afford many good water powers which are, at present, chiefly used for working up pine timber, with forests of which the country is covered. ¿ The population, as organized in 1840, was 1,623; 1842, 646; 1846, 931; 1847, 1,504; 1850, 1,267. At the last date, including Marathon, there were 13 farms, 30 manufactories, and 280 dwellings."
[Source: Kellogg, Louise Phelps. "Derivation of County Names" in Proceedings of the State Historical Society of Wisconsin for 1909, pages 219-231.