Appleton Public Library Local History Collection

URLs to browse or search the collections

The first title in this group is a unique gem for genealogical researchers. Record of the Pioneers of Outagamie County is a wonderful collection of information, often including photos, about the individuals and families who lived in Outagamie County in 1898. The introduction explains how this book came to be, and how it grew to include “over 1200 names, including the children of the pioneers.” The record was intended to be useful “in settling estates, as many people are very neglectful in keeping their family records.” An earlier edition provides biographical sketches of about 100 of the earliest settlers of the county, their families, their children, and their grand-children, as well as the records of the Pioneer Association from 1875 to 1895.

As land ownership records are also useful tools for genealogical research, this collection includes four Outagamie County plat books representing dates from 1889 to 1942. Some indexes are included within the plat books themselves, while a separate name index to the 1889 Outagamie plat book is available at the Appleton Public Library. Those not available yet online are in the process of being made accessible from the Library’s Local History page at

City Directories for the area include the years 1887-88, 1889-90, 1891-92, 1893-94 and 1925. The last one, 1925, is important because it is the year the address system was changed so it connects the “old” and the “new” address. Two narrative histories of the area are also included: Land of the Fox, Saga of Outagamie County and Commemorative Biographical Record of the Fox River Valley Counties of Brown, Outagamie and Winnebago.

Two celebratory compilations show Appleton’s growth in Appleton’s 75th Anniversary Celebration and George Washington Bi-Centennial, 1857-1932 , and Our First 100 Years, 1857-1957. Buildings that have survived are presented in the 1978 and 1989 Historic Building Surveys.

Many more local history resources, including historic photographs and postcards, are available at



The Appleton Library Local History Collection is collaborative project completed by the UWDCC and the Appleton Public Library.

The Appleton Library Local History Collection was funded, in part, through a 2005 and 2006 Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) grant. This grant provided financial support for public libraries to digitize and make available online, their local library
resources. For more information about LSTA grants in Wisconsin, contact the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (DPI) Division for Libraries and Technology or visit the LSTA grant Web site at