French in Wisconsin | Wisconsin Historical Society

Historical Essay

French in Wisconsin

French in Wisconsin | Wisconsin Historical Society
Dictionary of Wisconsin History.


Although many Wisconsin towns bear French names, French immigration and settlement in Wisconsin was minimal. The French played an important economic role in 17th and 18th century Wisconsin, but they never contributed many permanent residents. In 1763, the French lost control of Wisconsin to the British in the French and Indian War (1754-1763). Many sources on our site document the colorful history and powerful influence of early French explorers, traders, missionaries, and soldiers. After that era, between 1820 and 1950, only 18,398 French immigrants settled in Wisconsin, most in Milwaukee and Dane counties.  

[Source: Wisconsin's Cultural Resource Study Units, Wisconsin Historical Society]

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