Gays Mills, Wisconsin

Gays Mills is a village in Crawford County, Wisconsin, United States. The population was 625 at the 2000 census.


In 1847 James B. Gay, a native of Indiana, decided to build a dam and a sawmill. The sawmill proved to be a flourishing success. When his health started to fail, James convinced his brothers John and Thomas to move into the area. Then in 1865 John built the first flour mill south of the saw mill. In the years between 1848 and 1865, many families moved into the community, which came to be known as Gays Mills in honor of the founder and his brothers.

Gays Mills was also the home of the Twining apple-growing family. One of the Twinings took his apples to the World's Fair, where they were a great success, and generated mild fame for Gays Mills. He and he companions are honored with a Historical Marker on a hill overlooking the village. Consequently, apples are now currently grown heavily in Crawford County, with numerous commercial orchards surrounding the village.

In 2008, a meeting was held to discuss moving the town to higher ground because of repeated flooding, which damaged the local economy.


Gays Mills is located at (43.318241, -90.846554).

According to the United States Census Bureau, the village has a total area of 4.6 square miles (12.0 km²), of which, 4.6 square miles (11.9 km²) of it is land and 0.04 square miles (0.1 km²) of it (0.65%) is water.


As of the census of 2000, there were 625 people, 261 households, and 169 families residing in the village. The population density was 136.0 people per square mile (52.5/km²). There were 289 housing units at an average density of 62.9/sq mi (24.3/km²). The racial makeup of the village was 99.68% White, 0.16% African American and 0.16% Asian. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.48% of the population.

There were 261 households out of which 32.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 50.6% were married couples living together, 11.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 35.2% were non-families. 32.2% of all households were made up of individuals and 19.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.39 and the average family size was 3.04.

In the village the population was spread out with 27.0% under the age of 18, 6.4% from 18 to 24, 25.1% from 25 to 44, 23.0% from 45 to 64, and 18.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40 years. For every 100 females there were 82.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 79.5 males.

The median income for a household in the village was $29,250, and the median income for a family was $36,607. Males had a median income of $32,875 versus $18,295 for females. The per capita income for the village was $17,786. About 11.2% of families and 15.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 16.0% of those under age 18 and 13.2% of those age 65 or over.


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