About This Place
North Prairie is a village in Waukesha County, Wisconsin. It is located in the Town of Genesee, near the town's southwestern corner. As of the 2000 census, the village had a population of 1,571.
Three prospectors from Mukwonago named the village in 1826. Blacksmiths from Eagle, Chas. Raynaus and Mr. Denny, were the first settlers to arrive that following year, although the first claim came from Stillman Smith. Farmers began to settle the North Prairie in the 1830s to raise their prize livestock and grain. The population grew and in 1840 Raynaus began the first school from his house.
By 1850 the village had a general store and post office. The Milwaukee & Mississippi Railroad went through in 1852, but the village remained mostly rural. North Prairie would later become one of the area's more noted residential centers. A rumor of oil in 1866 enabled the North Prairie Petroleum Company to fund $50,000 "to dig a hole & extract oil or minerals," but this venture was a failure.