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Wisconsin's 6th congressional district

Wisconsin's 6th congressional district is a congressional district of the United States House of Representatives in eastern Wisconsin. Located in the rural communities surrounding Madison, Milwaukee, and Green Bay. It also includes a small portion of far northern Milwaukee County around River Hills. The district is represented by Glenn Grothman (R-Campbellsport) who came to office in January 2015.

Wisconsin's 6th congressional district
Wisconsin US Congressional District 6 (since 2013).tif
Wisconsin's 6th congressional district - since January 3, 2013.
  Glenn Grothman
Area5,641.16 sq mi (14,610.5 km2)
  • 60.63% urban
  • 39.37% rural
Population (2018 est.)714,886
Median income$59,868[1]
Cook PVIR+8[2]

The 6th district has a long history of farming livestock in rural areas,[3] and is a major producer of both milk and grains.[4]

In the 2016 presidential election, the district voted 55% for Donald Trump and 38% for Hillary Clinton.[5]


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. Following subsequent congressional reapportionment after each decennial census, the district's boundaries shifted eastward.

Census of 1860Edit

Wisconsin Congressional districts following the 1860 census

The reapportionment of Congressional districts following the federal census of 1860 gave Wisconsin three additional members in 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 originally included the counties of Adams, Ashland, Bad Ax (Vernon), Buffalo, Burnett, Dallas (Barron), Chippewa, Clark, Douglas, Dunn, Eau Claire, Jackson, Juneau, La Crosse, La Pointe, Marathon, Monroe, Pepin, Pierce, Polk, Portage, St. Croix, Trempealeau, and Wood.

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 1870Edit

Wisconsin Congressional districts following the 1870 census

Following the 1870 census Wisconsin gained two seats in the House of Representatives. The new 6th District was shifted eastward and included many counties in 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 newly configured 6th District. He later served the state as a member of the U.S. Senate.

Census of 1880Edit

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 representatives 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 1890Edit

Wisconsin Congressional districts following the 1890 census

Following the census of 1890 Wisconsin gained 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 1900Edit

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 the state maintained 11 members of the House of Representatives until the opening of the 73rd United States Congress in 1933. The 6th District 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 & 1920Edit

Wisconsin Congressional districts following the 1910 and 1920 censuses

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. As a result of this growth, the state retained its 11 seats in the House of Representatives throughout the 1910s and 1920s. Prior to congressional elections in 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. All 11 districts continued in the same configurations until the elections of 1932. The 6th district grew from 201,637 to 214,206 between the two enumerations.

Censuses of 1930, 1940 & 1950Edit

Wisconsin Congressional districts following the 1930, 1940 and 1950 censuses

Wisconsin lost a congressional seat following the census of 1930. The 6th District now 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, ending with the 1962 elections.

Census of 1960Edit

Wisconsin Congressional districts following the 1960 census

The state held on to all 10 of its Congressional seats following the 1960 census. As a result of changing population patterns, the districts were 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 to 1967. Other than this brief interruption, a Republican has been sent to Washington, D.C. in every election since 1938.

Census of 1970Edit

Wisconsin Congressional districts following the 1970 census

The state of Wisconsin gained 465,318 residents for a total of 4,418,683 according to the 1970 census. Because this was a lower increase than other areas of the country, the state lost a seat in the House of Representatives, requiring the state's districts to be reapportioned.

The 6th District now extended farther west than at any time other since 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 the first time, other than in Milwaukee County, that districts did not follow county borders throughout the state. The Town of Waupun in Fond du Lac County was included in the 2nd District. Only the five easternmost towns in Monroe County were included in the 6th District.

Census of 1980Edit

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 towns in 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 1990Edit

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 2000Edit

Following the 2000 census, Wisconsin's population rose to 5,363,675. Because this growth was not as large as in other parts of the nation, 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, Calumet, Dodge, Fond du Lac, Green Lake, Marquette, Manitowoc, Waushara and Winnebago, in addition to small sections of Outagamie and Jefferson counties.

Census of 2010Edit

Wisconsin held on to its eight seats in the House of Representatives following the census of 2010, although the district boundaries were changed by the state legislature to include Columbia and Ozaukee County, while no longer including Adams, Calumet, and most of Dodge County.

List of representativesEdit

Congress(es) Representative Party Years District home Notes
District created March 4, 1863
38th39th   Walter D. McIndoe Republican March 4, 1863 – March 3, 1867 Redistricted from 2nd district, Retired
40th41st   Cadwallader C. Washburn Republican March 4, 1867 – March 3, 1871
42nd   Jeremiah McLain Rusk Republican March 4, 1871 – March 3, 1873 Redistricted to 7th district
43rd   Philetus Sawyer Republican March 4, 1873 – March 3, 1875 Redistricted from 5th district
44th   Alanson M. Kimball Republican March 4, 1875 – March 3, 1877
45th46th   Gabriel Bouck Democratic March 4, 1877 – March 3, 1881 Oshkosh
47th49th   Richard W. Guenther Republican March 4, 1881 – March 3, 1887 Oshkosh Redistricted to 2nd district
50th51st   Charles B. Clark Republican March 4, 1887 – March 3, 1891 Neenah
52nd  Lucas M. Miller Democratic March 4, 1891 – March 3, 1893 Oshkosh
53rd Owen A. Wells Democratic March 4, 1893 – March 3, 1895 Fond du Lac
54th   Samuel A. Cook Republican March 4, 1895 – March 3, 1897 Neenah
55th57th   James H. Davidson Republican March 4, 1897 – March 3, 1903 Oshkosh Redistricted to 8th district
58th61st   Charles H. Weisse Democratic March 4, 1903 – March 3, 1911 Sheboygan Falls
62nd   Michael E. Burke Democratic March 4, 1911 – March 3, 1913 Beaver Dam Redistricted to 2nd district
63rd64th   Michael K. Reilly Democratic March 4, 1913 – March 3, 1917 Fond du Lac
65th   James H. Davidson Republican March 4, 1917 – August 6, 1918 Oshkosh Died
Vacant August 6, 1918 – November 5, 1918
65th71st Florian Lampert Republican November 5, 1918 – July 18, 1930 Oshkosh Died
Vacant July 18, 1930 – November 4, 1930
71st75th   Michael K. Reilly Democratic November 4, 1930 – January 3, 1939 Fond du Lac
76th81st Frank B. Keefe Republican January 3, 1939 – January 3, 1951 Oshkosh
82nd88th William K. Van Pelt Republican January 3, 1951 – January 3, 1965 Fond du Lac
89th   John A. Race Democratic January 3, 1965 – January 3, 1967 Fond du Lac
90th95th   William A. Steiger Republican January 3, 1967 – December 4, 1978 Oshkosh Died, elected to 96th Congress but died before serving
Vacant December 4, 1978 – April 3, 1979
96th113th   Tom Petri Republican April 3, 1979 – January 3, 2015 Fond du Lac
114th   Glenn Grothman Republican January 3, 2015 – Present Campbellsport

Living former members of the U.S. House of Representatives from Wisconsin's 6th Congressional DistrictEdit

As of April 2015, one former member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Wisconsin's 6th Congressional District is alive. The most recent representative to die was William Van Pelt (served 1951–1965) on June 2, 1996. The most recently serving representative to die was William A. Steiger (served 1967–1978), who died in office on December 4, 1978.

U.S. Representative U.S. House of Representatives Term Date of birth (and age)
Tom Petri 1979–2015 (1940-05-28) May 28, 1940 (age 79)

Historical district boundariesEdit

2003 - 2013

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Center for New Media & Promotion (CNMP), US Census Bureau. "My Congressional District".
  2. ^ "Partisan Voting Index – Districts of the 115th Congress" (PDF). The Cook Political Report. April 7, 2017. Retrieved April 7, 2017.
  3. ^ "Agriculture | U.S. Representative Glenn Grothman". Retrieved 2018-06-29.
  4. ^ (PDF) Missing or empty |title= (help)
  5. ^ "2016 Presidential Recount | Wisconsin Elections Commission". Retrieved 2017-05-18.

External linksEdit