De Soto | Crawford County

Village of De Soto, Crawford County
"Gateway to the Great River"
Incorporated May 27, 1886
Population: 289

[Note: The population sign says "De Soto", but community websites 
say both "DeSoto" and "De Soto". Very confusing!!!!!
The Spanish explorer for whom the community is named,
spelled his name "Fernando de Soto".]

De Soto Snippets

     ★ The post office established in 1855, with Dr. S. D. Powers as first postmaster.

     ★ The M.E. Church was established in 1855. They met in a building built of railroad ties built for a wagon and blacksmith shop. The first church building was built in 1859.

     ★ In March 1879 a fire burned through the downtown. Eight buildings were consumed including a wagon and blacksmith shop and a fine stock of general merchandise, all owned by Mr. Ingersoll, who sustained losses totaling about $10,000.

     ★ DeSoto Brewery opened in 1884 and was owned and operated by Charles E. Reiter. By 1884 the brewery was producing 400 barrels of beer per annum.

Dr. Charles V. Porter: Locating the Path of the Black Hawk War

Dr. Charles V. Porter (1849-1931) was a veterinary doctor and dairyman living in rural DeSoto in Vernon County who had a passion for distinguishing the history of Bad Ax (now Vernon) and Crawford Counties. In the 1880s and 1890s he devoted considerable effort in locating the path of Black Hawk and his tribe as they fled the U.S. military during the Black Hawk War in 1832. He personally interviewed “many of the early settlers who had used portions of the trail to reach the sites of their future homes”. In 1930, in collaboration with the highway department he placed seven stone markers identifying Black Hawk’s route through Vernon and Crawford counties. One of those markers is located in DeSoto, next to a Wisconsin Historical Society "official" marker honoring area Winnebago Chief Winneshiek.



De Soto is located in Crawford County.


Wisconsin Historical Society "Official" Marker 216:
"Chief Win-no-shik, the Elder"
was erected in De Soto in 1975.
Click here for more information.

Dr. C. V. Porter Marker No. 9 CVP:
"Winneshiek's Landing"
was erected in De Soto in 1930.
Click here for more information.


De Soto is located along Wisconsin's Great River Road.


Little Wisconsin will be available May 7, 2019.

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