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Kenosha is a city in and the county seat of Kenosha County, Wisconsin, United States. Kenosha is on the southwestern shore of Lake Michigan. With an estimated population of 99,889 as of July 1, 2013, it is the fourth-largest city in Wisconsin and the fourth-largest city on Lake Michigan. The city is part of the United States Census Bureau's Chicago Combined Statistical Area (CSA).
Early archaeological sites have been discovered in the Kenosha vicinity; the discoverer of two sites believes they antedate the Clovis culture, making them contemporaneous with the ice age. Paleo Indians settled in the area at least 13,500 years ago.
The Potawatomi originally named the area Kenozia (also transcribed ginoozhe, kinoje) "place of the pike".
The early name by the Ojibwa Indians is reported as Masu-kinoja. This describes the place of spawning trout as "trout (pike) come all at same time". Thousands of fish were entering the rivers from Lake Michigan. Harvesting these fish provided food for the coming months.
The land was ceded by the Potawatomi in 1833, when they sold the last of their land in Illinois and Wisconsin to the United States. They had hoped to protect their land claims by fighting alongside the United States in the Black Hawk War of 1832, but growing poverty forced them to sell their land in exchange for territory in Iowa and economic investments in schools and agriculture.
The first white settlers, part of the Western Emigration Company, arrived immediately following the land cession in the early 1830s from Hannibal and Troy, New York, led by John Bullen, Jr., who sought to purchase enough land for a town.
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