About Crawford County
Fur traders first impacted the economic development of Crawford County in the 1700s when Prairie du Chien became a major trading post along the confluence of the Mississippi and Wisconsin Rivers. Early settlers prospered through the fur trade. Abundant woodlands served as rich hunting and trapping grounds. Other early industries, such as button manufacturing, also relied on natural resources – in this case Mississippi River clam shells. Rivers such as the Kickapoo, streams, and spring-fed lakes provided still other opportunities for fishing or hunting waterfowl.
As two great American rivers, the Mississippi and Wisconsin offered clear transportation advantages, facilitating commerce that increased the area’s population. Cities, towns and villages were established and grew where there was access to waterways. These same natural resources continue to play a major role in the manufacturing, agricultural and tourist industries into the present.
Crawford County is one of Wisconsin’s two original counties, established in 1818 under President James Monroe. Prairie du Chien, the county seat, is the oldest community on the Upper Mississippi River. It is home to the Fort Crawford Medical Museum and the Villa Louis estate. Other larger communities are Gays Mills, Eastman, Wauzeka, Mount Sterling, Soldiers Grove, and Ferryville.
Top Ten Employers
|Employer||Service or Product||Number of Employees|
|Cabela’s Wholesale Inc||Mail‐order houses||1000 or more employees|
|3M Co||Abrasive product manufacturing||500‐999 employees|
|Miniature Precision Components||All other plastics product manufacturing||250‐499 employees|
|Prairie du Chien Memorial Hospital||General medical and surgical hospitals||250‐499 employees|
|Wal-Mart||Warehouse clubs and supercenters||250‐499 employees|
|Design Homes Inc.||Prefabricated wood building manufacturing||100‐249 employees|
|Department of Corrections||Correctional institutions||100‐249 employees|
|Prairie Industries Inc.||Packaging and labeling services||100‐249 employees|
|Clinicare Corp||Residential mental and substance abuse care||100‐249 employees|
|Cabela’s||Sporting goods stores||100‐249 employees|
Source: WI DWD, Bureau ofWorkforce Training, QCEW, OEAspecial request, Sept. 2013
Population and Demographics
|Apr 1, 2010 Census||Jan 1, 2013 Estimate||Numeric Change||Proportional Change|
|Prairie du Chien, City||5,911||5,888||‐23||‐0.4%|
|Prairie du Chien, Town||1,023||1,014||‐9||‐0.9%|
|Soldiers Grove, Village||592||584||‐8||‐1.4%|
Source: Demographic Services Center, Wisconsin Department of Administration