December 9, 1910: Superior retains its status as second largest city in Wisconsin 

On this day across the bay in 1910, census officials announced that Superior had retained its status as the second largest city in Wisconsin—only Milwaukee had a larger population. With a recorded 40,384 citizens, Superior topped other Wisconsin communities vying to be the state’s Second City, including Racine (38,002), Oshkosh (33,063), La Crosse (30,417), Madison (25,531), and Green Bay (25, 236)—Milwaukee’s population was 373,857. Superior had superior numbers to those communities in 1905 and 1900 as well, and had gained nearly 10,000 citizens since the turn of the century. But still, it wasn’t enough for Superiorites, who felt the number should have been even larger and some citizens considered filing a protest. The 1910 figure would represent the city’s peak population. In 1890, the first census after Superior City and West Superior joined into one community, Superior had 11,983 citizens. In 1900 the number had jumped to 31,091, then as reported above 40,384 in 1910. But in 1920 it had dropped to 39,671. It has slowly and steadily declined ever since, and in 2014 the population was estimated at 26,705. Looking at those same cities on the 2010 census, Milwaukee had 594,833 people, Madison 233,209, Green Bay 104,057;, Racine 78,860, Oshkosh 66,083;, and La Crosse 51,320. Superior is now the 27th largest city in the state.

Subscribe to This Day in Duluth!