Eau Claire county was originally set off as the Town of Clearwater within Chippewa County, in 1855. The name was changed to the Town of Eau Claire on 31 Mar. 1856. The entire town was separated as Eau Claire County, by an act of the Legislature, on 6 Oct. 1856.
UWEC's Special Collections and Archives, located on the fifth floor of McIntyre Library, houses an extensive collection of public records, books and collections relating to both the city and county of Eau Claire. In addition to vital records (birth, death and marriage) dating to 1907, there are also naturalization records, census records, and civil and circuit court records. These resources are very popular with local genealogists.
Within the local history collection, there are books about immigration to the region, logging, church and cemetery records, reminiscences by local residents, and more.
Special Collections and Archives also houses numerous archives files which relate to Eau Claire County. There are many collections which pertain to logging, the railway industry and agriculture. There are also a number of collections comprised of material concerning the Ojibwa, including the large Veda Stone Collection.
For more information on material housed at UWEC Special Collections and Archives, to search their catalogue, or to contact the department, please visit their website. A link is provided below, under External Links.
Another place to find historical records for Eau Claire County would be the courthouse. In addition to having some of the same records as the UWEC Special Collections, they also have post-1907 vital records, land records, and assessor roles. Special Collections and the Courthouse share divorce records, with each institution housing a portion.
The Chippewa Valley Museum is a great resource for both information and entertainment. Three main centers of focus are logging, the Ojibwa and the Hmong. The museum also houses an extensive collection of photographs.
For more information about the Chippewa Valley Museum, or to contact them, the website is provided below, under External Links.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 645 square miles (1,671 km²), of which, 638 square miles (1,651 km²) of it is land and 8 square miles (20 km²) of it (1.18%) is water.
As of the census of 2000, there were 93,142 people, 35,822 households, and 22,281 families residing in the county. The population density was 146 people per square mile (56/km²). There are 37,474 housing units at an average density of 59 per square mile (23/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 94.96% White, 0.52% Black or African American, 0.54% Native American, 2.52% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 0.33% from other races, and 1.11% from two or more races. 0.94% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 37.4% were of German, 21.5% Norwegian and 7.0% Irish ancestry according to Census 2000. 94.2% spoke English, 1.6% Hmong, 1.6% Spanish and 1.0% German as their first language.
There were 35,822 households out of which 30.00% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 50.60% were married couples living together, 8.60% had a female householder with no husband present, and 37.80% were non-families. 27.10% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.10% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.46 and the average family size was 3.02.
In the county, the population was spread out with 23.40% under the age of 18, 17.10% from 18 to 24, 26.70% from 25 to 44, 20.50% from 45 to 64, and 12.20% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 32 years. For every 100 females there were 93.80 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 90.60 males.