LA CROSSE, a city and the county-seat of La Crosse county, Wisconsin, U.S.A., about 180 m. W.N.W. of Milwaukee, and about 1 20 m. S:E. of St Paul, Minnesota, on the E. bank of the Mississippi river, at the mouth of the Black and of the La Crosse rivers. Pop. (1900) 28,895; (191 census) 30,417. Of the total population in 1900, 7222 were foreign-born, 3130 being German and 2023 Norwegian, and 17,555 were of foreignparentage (both parents foreign-born), including 7853 of German parentage, 4422 of Norwegian parentage, and 1062 of Bohemian parentage. La Crosse is served by the Chicago & North Western, the Chicago, Milwaukee & St Paul, the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy, the La Crosse & South Eastern, and the Green Bay & Western railways, and by river steamboat lines on the Mississippi. The river is crossed here by a railway bridge (C.M. & St P.) and wagon bridge. The city is situated on a prairie, extending back from the river about 25 m. to bluffs, from which fine views may be obtained. Among the city's buildings and institutions are the Federal Building (1886-1887), the County Court House (1902- 1903), the Public Library (with more than 20,000 volumes), the City Hall (1891), the High School Building (1905-1906), the St Francis, La Crosse and Lutheran hospitals, a Young Men's Christian Association Building, a Young Women's Christian Association Building, a U.S. Weather Station (1907), and a U.S. Fish Station (1905). La Crosse is the seat of a state Normal School (1909). Among the city's parks are Pettibone (an island in the Mississippi), Riverside, Burns, Fair Ground and Myrick. The city is the see of a Roman Catholic bishop. La Crosse is an important lumber and grain market, and is the principal wholesale distributing centre for a large territory in S.W. Wisconsin, N. Iowa and Minnesota. Proximity to both pine and hardwood forests early made it one of the most important lumber manufacturing places in the North-west; but this industry has now been displaced by other manufactures. The city has grain elevators, flour mills (the value of flour and grist mill products in 1905 was $2,166,116), and breweries (product value in 1905, $1,440,659). Other important manufactures are agricultural implements ($542,425 in 1905), lumber and planing mill products, leather, woollen, knit and rubber goods, tobacco, cigars and cigarettes, carriages, foundry and machine-shop products, copper and iron products, cooperage, pearl buttons, brooms and brushes. The total value of the factory product in 1905 was $8,139,432, as against $7,676,581 in 1900. The city owns and operates its water-works system, the wagon bridge (1890-1891) across the Mississippi, and a toll road (25 m. long) to the village of La Crescent, Minn.
Father Hennepin and du Lhut visited or passed the site of La Crosse as early as 1680, but it is possible that adventurous coureurs-des-bois preceded them* The first permanent settlement was made in 1841, and La Crosse was made the county-seat in 1855 and was chartered as a city in 1856.
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)