Appleton is a city in Calumet, Outagamie, and Winnebago Counties in the U.S. state of Wisconsin, on the Fox River, 100 miles (161 km) north of Milwaukee. It is the county seat of Outagamie County. The population was 78,086 at the 2010 census. Appleton is the principal city of the Appleton, Wisconsin, Metropolitan Statistical Area, which is included in the Appleton-Oshkosh-Neenah, Wisconsin, Combined Statistical Area.
Fur traders seeking to do business with Fox River Valley Indians were the first European settlers in Appleton. Hippolyte Grignon built the White Heron in 1835 to house his family and serve as an inn and trading post.
Appleton – settled in 1847 and incorporated as a village in 1853 – was named after Samuel Appleton of Boston, father-in-law of Amos Adams Lawrence, founder of Lawrence University. John F. Johnston was the first resident and village president. Appleton was incorporated as a city on March 2, 1857, with Amos Storey as its first mayor. Early in the 20th century, it adopted the commission form of government. In 1890, 11,869 people lived in Appleton; in 1900, there were 15,085; in 1910, 16,773; in 1920, 19,571; and in 1940, 28,436.