McFarland, Wisconsin

McFarland, Wisconsin
McFarland, Wisconsin
—  Village  —
Downtown McFarland with its old railroad.
Location of McFarland, Wisconsin
Coordinates: 43°1′7″N 89°17′28″W / 43.01861°N 89.29111°W / 43.01861; -89.29111Coordinates: 43°1′7″N 89°17′28″W / 43.01861°N 89.29111°W / 43.01861; -89.29111
Country United States
State Wisconsin
County Dane
 – Total 3.5 sq mi (9.0 km2)
 – Land 3.5 sq mi (9.0 km2)
 – Water 0.0 sq mi (0.0 km2)
Elevation[1] 869 ft (265 m)
Population (2007)
 – Total 7,665
 – Density 2,136/sq mi (824.7/km2)
Time zone Central (CST) (UTC-6)
 – Summer (DST) CDT (UTC-5)
FIPS code 55-46850[2]
GNIS feature ID 1569214[1]

McFarland is a village in Dane County, Wisconsin, United States, on the eastern shore of Lake Waubesa. The population was 6,416 at the 2000 census.[2] Its ZIP code is 53558.

A suburb of Madison, McFarland is part of the Madison Metropolitan Statistical Area.



McFarland is located at 43°1′7″N 89°17′28″W / 43.01861°N 89.29111°W / 43.01861; -89.29111 (43.018480, -89.291116).[3]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the village has a total area of 3.5 square miles (9.0 km²), all of it land.


As of the census[2] of 2000, there were 6,416 people, 2,434 households, and 1,769 families residing in the village. The population density was 1,839.3 people per square mile (709.8/km²). There were 2,491 housing units at an average density of 714.1 per square mile (275.6/km²). The racial makeup of the village was 97.21% White, 0.34% Black, 0.39% Native American, 0.69% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 0.50% from other races, and 0.84% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.14% of the population.

There were 2,434 households out of which 41.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 60.6% were married couples living together, 9.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 27.3% were non-families. 21.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 7.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.63 and the average family size was 3.10.

In the village the population was spread out with 29.3% under the age of 18, 6.0% from 18 to 24, 1.0% from 25 to 44, 6.9% from 45 to 64, and 7.9% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females there were 100.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 96.2 males.

The median income for a household in the village was $62,969, and the median income for a family was $71,218. Males had a median income of $43,208 versus $31,133 for females. The per capita income for the village was $26,625. About 1.2% of families and 3.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 1.5% of those under age 18 and 10.2% of those age 65 or over.


Panorama along U.S. Route 51

McFarland was founded in 1856 by William H. McFarland. Early industries in the village included harvesting winter ice and fish on nearby Lake Waubesa for rail shipment to markets in Chicago. Later a small resort industry developed in an area called "Edwards Park" near the lake. After World War II, the village became a bedroom community for Madison. In the 1960s, Lloyd Schneider, a local lawyer, led an effort to have petroleum tank farms north of the village that were connected to the Koch pipeline. Because they became part of the village's tax base, their construction enabled the McFarland School District to fund a new high school. In 1989 a major highway project on the nearby Madison highway called the "Beltline" made commuting to the village much easier and enabled rapid residential growth.

On June 17, 1992 an F3 tornado destroyed several dozen homes and injured several people in Waubesa Heights, a nearby housing development in the Town of Dunn, in the McFarland School District. At $18.0 million in damage this was the third costliest tornado in Wisconsin's history behind the Oakfield and Barneveld F5's.[2]

The village celebrated its sesquicentennial in 2006. Among the festivities were banners on light poles, activities such as the Taste of McFarland, and live music at the Gazebo near downtown McFarland. Plaques of "Then and Now" covering McFarland's 150 years of history were placed at the McFarland High School, the local Culver's restaurant, the E.D. Locke Public Library, and other public locations.


The McFarland School District serves the village of McFarland. It operates Conrad Elvehjem Early Learning Center (K), Mcfarland Primary School (1-2),Waubesa Intermediate School (3-5), Indian Mound Middle School (6-8) and, McFarland High School, which is accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools and had a 2007 enrollment of 700 students.[4]

Crime rate

The number of violent crimes in McFarland recorded by the FBI in 2003 was 3. There were no homicides, and the violent crime rate was 0.4 per 1,000 people. McFarland's overall crime rate in 2006 was 156.3, compared to the U.S. rate of 176.7.


Since 1985 McFarland has held an annual fall Family Festival. The festival has carnival rides, train rides, a parade, and many competitions. The three-day festival takes place at McFarland High School parking lot.

Notable people

  • Realf Ottesen Brandt, noted Lutheran minister
  • Al Epperly, MLB player
  • Brad Fischer, Third Base Coach for the Milwaukee Brewers
  • Theodore G. Lewis, jurist
  • Jana Schneider, Actress and Journalist
  • Barbara Thompson, Wisconsin Superintendent of Public Instruction
  • Steve Lacy (Runner) 1980, 1984 Olympic Runner, University of Wisconsin Hall of Fame [5]


External links

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

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