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Sheboygan County, Wisconsin Genealogy & History

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History of Sheboygan County


    It is to the Indian occupants of the county that Sheboygan owes its name. The derivation and meaning of the word has never been satisfactorily settled. The most favorably received tradition is that the Indians applied the name, Sheub-wau-wau-gun, to the river, meaning where the water disappears under the ground, because of the idea conceived by them that the stream now known as Sheboygan River contained no more water below the confluence of the Mullet and Onion Rivers than above it. Others incline to the opinion that the name indicates a crater connection between lakes, as the Sheboygan River has its source near Lake Winnebago and flows into Lake Michigan. Still others understand the term to have signified rumbling water, the Indians conceiving that they could hear a roar or rumbling of waters upon placing the ear to the ground. The modification of Sheub-wau-wau-gun (other spelling being Sheub-wau-wa-gum and She-wau-wau-gun) with Ship wa-gun, and finally contracted into the present Sheboygan, presents an easy transition.

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