Wisconsin's 6th congressional district: Wikis


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Wisconsin's 6th congressional district
District map as of 2002
District map as of 2002
Current Representative Tom Petri (R)
Area 5,641.16 mi²
Distribution 60.63% urban, 39.37% rural
Population (2000) 670,440
Median income $44,242
Ethnicity 95.3% White, 1.1% Black, 1.5% Asian, 2.3% Hispanic, 0.4% Native American, 0.2% other
Occupation 32.5% blue collar, 49.9% white collar, 17.6% gray collar
Cook PVI R + 4

Wisconsin's 6th congressional district is a congressional district of the United State House of Representatives in eastern Wisconsin. The district includes all or portions of the following counties: Adams, Calumet, Dodge, Fond du Lac, Green Lake, Jefferson, Manitowoc, Marquette, Sheboygan, Waushara, and Winnebago. The district is currently represented by Thomas E. Petri (R-Fond du Lac) who came to office in a special election held in April 1979.

While George W. Bush carried the district in 2004 with 56% of the vote, Barack Obama narrowly won the district in 2008 with 49.91% of the vote while John McCain received 48.72%.



Wisconsin's 6th congressional district came into existence in 1863 following the Federal Census of 1860. The first elected Representative from the District was Walter D. McIndoe of Wausau. The district originally comprised the counties of the northern and western parts of the state and shifted eastward as further reapportionment occurred following future censuses.


Census of 1860

Wisconsin Congressional Districts following the 1860 Census

The reapportionment of Congressional Districts, which occurred following the federal census of 1860, gave Wisconsin three additional members to the House of Representatives. Members elected from the newly created 4th, 5th and 6th districts were chosen in the midterm elections of 1862 and took their seats in the lower house as part of the 38th United States Congress.

The 6th District(yellow) originally included the counties of Bad Ax (Vernon), La Crosse, Monroe, Juneau, Adams, Portage, Wood, Jackson, Trempealeau, Buffalo, Pepin, Pierce, St. Croix, Dunn, Eau Claire, Clark, Marathon, Chippewa, Dallas (Barron), Polk, Burnett, Douglas, La Pointe and Ashland. Areas of east central Wisconsin, which make up much of the 6th District today, were originally part of the newly created 5th district.

Census of 1870

Wisconsin Congressional Districts following the 1870 Census

The results of the 1870 Census allowed for Wisconsin to gain two additional seats in the House of Representatives. The new 6th District was shifted eastward and included many counties that are included what is today identified as Northeast Wisconsin. It included the counties of Brown, Calumet, Door, Green Lake, Kewaunee, Outagamie, Waupaca, Waushara and Winnebago. Representative Philetus Sawyer of Oshkosh had been elected to Congress from Wisconsin's 5th District since 1865, was then elected from the new version of the 6th District. He later served the state as a member of the U.S. Senate.

Census of 1880

Wisconsin Congressional Districts following the 1880 Census

The Federal Census of 1880 showed further population growth in Wisconsin and the state gained a 9th Congressional seat. Reapportionment of the state moved the 6th District to a more central location within the state, though the men elected from the district came from the communities along the shores of Lake Winnebago throughout the decade. The 6th District now included the counties of Adams, Green Lake, Marquette, Outagamie, Waushara and Winnebago.

Census of 1890

Wisconsin Congressional Districts following the 1890 Census

Reapportionment following the Federal Census of 1890 allowed for Wisconsin to gain a 10th Congressional seat. The 6th District shifted eastward to a configuration that closely resembled that of today's linear east to west shape with a population of 187,001. The state population was enumerated at 1,686,880. The 6th District then included the counties of Calumet, Fond du Lac, Green Lake, Marquette, Marquette, Waushara and Winnebago.

Census of 1900

Wisconsin Congressional Districts following the 1900 Census

The state's population reached 2,069,042 according to the 1900 Federal Census and Wisconsin gained an additional seat in the House of Representatives. This was the peak of Wisconsin's Congressional representation and they maintained eleven members of the lower house until the opening of the 73rd United States Congress in 1933. The new 6th District was shifted southward and included the counties of Dodge, Fond du Lac, Ozaukee, Sheboygan and Washington. The counties in the vicinity of Lake Winnebago became part of the 8th District. The population of the counties making up the 6th District totaled 184,517.

Censuses of 1910 & 1920

Wisconsin Congressional Districts following the both the 1910 Census and the 1920 Census

The 1910 Census tabulated a population of 2,333,860 citizens for Wisconsin and the 1920 Census saw the state's population grow to 2,632,670. The state's eleven districts were maintained and reapportioned for the elections of 1912. The 6th District was reconfigured in manner closer to that of the 1893 apportionment. The district included the counties of Calument, Fond du Lac, Green Lake, Manitowoc, Marquette and Winnebago. The state was not reapportioned following the 1920 Census. All eleven districts continued in the same configurations until the elections of 1932. The 6th district did grow from 201,637 to 214,206 between the two enumerations.

Censuses of 1930, 1940 & 1950

Wisconsin Congressional Districts following the 1930, 1940 and 1950 Censuses

Wisconsin lost a congressional seat following the Census of 1930. Now with 10 seats awarded to the state, the new 6th District included Calumet, Fond du Lac, Ozaukee, Sheboygan, Washington and Winnebago counties. According to the 1950 Census, the population of the district was 315,666. This southeastern shift of the district remained in effect for 30 years and ended with the 1962 elections.

Census of 1960

Wisconsin Congressional Districts following the 1960 Census

The state again held on to all ten of its Congressional seats following the 1960 Census. Due to changing population patterns, the districts were finally reapportioned. Green Lake County was added to the existing counties of the 6th District, which were Calumet, Fond du Lac, Ozaukee, Sheboygan, Washington and Winnebago. This slight western shift gave the district a population of 391,743.

It was also during this era, that the Republican Party's domination of the district was broken. Democrat John Abner Race, represented the district from 1965-1967. Other than this brief interruption, a Republican has been sent to Washington, D.C. in every election since 1938.

Census of 1970

Wisconsin Congressional Districts following the 1970 Census

The state of Wisconsin gained 465,318 citizens for a total of 4,418,683 according to the 1970 Census. This was not enough of an increase to keep up with other areas of the country and the state lose a seat in the House of Representatives. The loss again required the state's districts to be reapportioned.

The 6th District now extended farther west than at any time other than its original configuration in 1860. It now included all or portions of Adams, Calumet, Fond du Lac, Green Lake, Juneau, Manitowoc, Marquette, Monroe, Sheboygan, Waushara and Winnebago counties.

This was also the first time, other than in Milwaukee County, that districts did not follow county borders throughout the state. The township of Waupun in Fond du Lac County was included in the 2nd District. Only the five eastern most townships in Monroe County were included in the 6th District.

Census of 1980

Wisconsin Congressional Districts following the 1980 Census

Following the 1980 Census the 6th District again expanded in size. All of Monroe County now became part of the district, which was a further westward expansion. All of Waupaca County and the southwest corner of Wood County expanded the district to the north. Southern townships in of Adams, Juneau, Fond du Lac and Sheboygan counties, as well as the city of Sheboygan were removed from the district and included in the 2nd District and 9th District. In addition, the counties of Calumet, Green Lake, Manitowoc, Marquette, Waushara and Winnebago were included in their entirety. The population of the 6th District according to the 1980 Census was 522,546.

Census of 1990

Wisconsin Congressional Districts following the 1990 Census

The 1990 Census saw Wisconsin retain its nine seats in the House of Representatives and created only minor changes to the 6th District. All or portions of Adams, Brown, Calumet, Fond du Lac, Green Lake, Juneau, Manitowoc, Marquette, Monroe, Outagamie, Sheboygan, Waupaca, Waushara and Winnebago counties were part of the Sixth.

Census of 2000

Following the 2000 Census, Wisconsin's population rose to 5,363,675. Unfortunately for the state, this amount of growth was not as substantial as in other part's of the nation and Wisconsin lost a congressional seat. Now with only eight seats, a major redistricting took place in the state for the first time since the state's loss of its 10th seat following the Census of 1970. The new 6th District included the counties of Adams, Calument, Dodge, Fond du Lac, Green Lake, Marquette, Manitowoc, Waushara and Winnebago, in addition to small sections of Outagamie and Jefferson counties.

Census of 2010

Predictions for the Census of 2010 thus far indicate that Wisconsin will hold on to its eight seats in the House of Representatives.

List of Representatives

Name Party Years District home Notes
Walter D. McIndoe Republican 1863-03-04 – 1867-03-03 Redistricted from 2nd district
Cadwallader C. Washburn Republican 1867-03-04 – 1871-03-03
Jeremiah McLain Rusk Republican 1871 – 1873 Redistricted to 7th district
Philetus Sawyer Republican 1873 – 1875
Alanson M. Kimball Republican 1875 – 1877
Gabriel Bouck Democratic 1877-1881 Oshkosh
Richard W. Guenther Republican 1881-1887 Oshkosh
Charles B. Clark Republican 1887-1891 Neenah
Lucas M. Miller Democratic 1891-1893 Oshkosh
Owen A. Wells Democratic 1893-1895 Fond du Lac
Samuel A. Cook Republican 1895-1897 Neenah
James H. Davidson Republican 1897-1903 Oshkosh
Charles H. Weisse Democratic 1903-1911 Sheboygan Falls
Michael E. Burke Democratic 1911-1913 Beaver Dam
Michael K. Reily Democratic 1913-1917 Fond du Lac
James H. Davidson Republican 1917-1919 Oshkosh
Florian Lampert Republican 1919-1930 Oshkosh
Michael K. Reily Democratic 1930-1939 Fond du Lac
Frank B. Keefe Republican 1939-1951 Oshkosh
William K. Van Pelt Republican 1951-1965 Fond du Lac
John A. Race Democratic 1965-1967 Fond du Lac
William A. Steiger Republican 1967-1979 Oshkosh
Thomas E. Petri Republican 1979-Incmb Fond du Lac

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