About This Place
Oshkosh is a city in Winnebago County, Wisconsin, United States, located where the Fox River enters Lake Winnebago. The population was 66,083 at the 2010 census; it had a metropolitan area of 159,972 people. The city is located adjacent to and partially within the Town of Oshkosh.
Oshkosh was named for Menominee Chief Oshkosh, whose name meant "claw" (cf. Ojibwe oshkanzh, "the claw"). Although the fur trade brought the first European settlers to the area as early as 1818, it never became a major player in the fur trade. It was the establishment and growth of the lumber industry in the area that spurred development of Oshkosh. Oshkosh was incorporated as a city in 1853, although it had already been designated the county seat, and had a population of nearly 2,800.
The lumber industry became well established as entrepreneurs took advantage of navigable waterways to provide access to both markets and northern pineries. The 1859 arrival of rail transportation expanded the ability to meet the demands of a rapidly-growing construction market. By 1870, Oshkosh had become the third-largest city in Wisconsin with a population of over 12,000. The Oshkosh Daily Northwestern newspaper (now the Oshkosh Northwestern) was founded around this time.