Mequon, Wisconsin

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Mequon (pronounced /ˈmɛkwɒn/ MEK-won) is a city in Ozaukee County, Wisconsin, United States. It had a population of 21,823 at the 2000 census, and an estimated population of 23,739 in July 2009. The mayor is Curt Gielow.

In July 2005, CNN's Money Magazine listed Mequon 19th among its 100 Best Small Cities in the United States, ranked jointly with Thiensville, a village completely surrounded by Mequon.[3]



The area was originally inhabited by Native Americans; by the early 19th century, the Potawatomi occupied land west of the Milwaukee River, while the Menominee lived between the Milwaukee River and Lake Michigan.[4] European trappers, explorers and traders used the Milwaukee River through the middle of what is now Mequon as a means of transportation. The name "Mequon" is thought to have come from the Native-American word "Emikwaan" or "Miguan," meaning ladle.[5] This refers to how the Milwaukee River curves like a ladle in the Mequon area. The spelling was undoubtedly influenced by the French in the area at the time.

Between 1834 and 1836, a surveyor named Brink, along with his assistant Mr. Follett, surveyed the land to create the Town of Mequon.[6] Around this time, settlers came from New York and England, soon followed by German and Irish immigrants. In 1839, a group of immigrants from Saxony settled near the Milwaukee River. In the same year, twenty families from Pomerania founded Freistadt (German Free place) in the western part of the Town of Mequon. The first Lutheran church in Wisconsin was built by these families in 1840.

John Weston served as the first postmaster of the Town of Mequon, having settled in present-day Thiensville in 1837. He later sold his holdings to John Henry Thien. Thien, a wealthy immigrant from Saxony, had traveled north from Milwaukee and settled along the Milwaukee River, where his family built a dam and grist mill. Thien hosted the first town meeting for the Town of Mequon in 1846.[7] The area around his estate, one square mile in the middle of Mequon township, was later incorporated as the village of Thiensville in 1910. The Town of Mequon was incorporated as a city in 1957.[8]

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