Welcome to the Village
of De Soto's Website!
We will do our best to
provide you with as much information about the De Soto, Wisconsin, area
DeSoto is a small village on the banks of the
Mississippi River. Located on the Great River Road,
It was originally part of
the Northwest Territory that was the home of the Winnebago Indians. In
1837, the Winnebago's lost most of their land east of the Mississippi
River in a treaty with the United States. From 1820 to 1854, it was
known as the Winneshiek Landing, Bad Axe County. The first settlers did not like the
Indian name and finally settled on DeSoto after Hernando De Soto, who
discovered the Mississippi River.
Although it was intended to be an exclusive New
England settlement, soon German and Norwegians settled in the area. It
became a center for grain and lumber to be shipped on the river. The
town grew with hotels, a creamery, breweries, sawmills, grain elevators,
warehouse, shoemakers, copper shop and
blacksmith shop, general store, doctors and lawyers.
When the railroad came to Viroqua, the river
dropped off. The growth of the town slowed down. In 1882, the
Chicago, Burlington and Quincy railroad came through DeSoto, It perked up the livestock
market, but DeSoto never regained its importance in the business world.
Today, DeSoto is a small community where people enjoy being away from
the hustle of the city. The DeSoto Area High School is located here
providing superb educational opportunities
for area families.
Restaurants, taverns, motels, and our own boat landing are available to the people who come to
fish, hunt and to enjoy the Great Mississippi River.
here to Visit Great River Road.
Visit these fine Web Pages for more
I am Looking for
copies of any
pictures of De Soto to set up an historical picture page of De Soto,
please contact me by phone(608)648-3331 or E-mail