Wisconsin Historical Society

Historical Essay


Origin of Mukwonago, Wisconsin

Mukwonago, Wisconsin | Wisconsin Historical Society
Dictionary of Wisconsin History.

1) Me-quon-i-go, from Me-quan-iego-ick, likewise the name of the town. Mic-wan signifies a ladle-a bend in the stream known by that name. So that the resemblence may be detected, it should be noted that the Indian ladle is a very crooked utensil, with the handle turned quite over the bowl.

2) Mukwanago, refers to bears, perhaps bear-trap, which in Chippewa is called "makodassonagan", from "mako", bear, and "dassonagan", a trap. Mukanago is an Algic, but not a Chippewa word.

3) Mukwanago (lake and town) Perhaps from Makwawanagong = "bear lair, or place where the bear lies." (v.) Mu-qwu-yan-u-goog = "people of bear skins." (W.) Perhaps from makwanangog = "bear stars, a constellation of stars, "from makwa = a bear, and anong, a star, or anangog = stars. (V.) More probably the word means the place where the bear constellation is. (w.) Mukwonago--bear hole

 Information obtained by Carlee E. Brown, May 19, 1923, from Sam Wapuka, a Prairie Potawatomi of the Bald Eagle clan, now a resident of Shawnee, Oklahoma, and Milw. Journal Nov. 16, 1926  and from Sheboygan Daily Press. Mar. 19, 1936

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[Source: Card file at the WHS Library reference deskp. 378 of Butterfield's History of Waukesha county.]