Nekoosa is a city in Wood County, Wisconsin, United States. Its name derives from the Ho-Chunk word, "Nįįkuusra", "Nakrusa", or "Nįkusara" which translates to "running water." The population was 2,580 at the 2010 census.
An article dated March 16, 1916 from the long defunct newspaper The Nekoosa Tribune detailing the early history of Nekoosa may be found at the Wisconsin Historical Society web site. It is a letter written by a resident to Nekoosa High School students to support them writing a history term paper.
"Five rapids covering a distance of about three miles in this area were referred to as Nekoosa (swift water) by the Chippewa Indians, who made their campground on high Swallow Rock overlooking the rapids. Wakeley's tavern served as a rendezvous and resting place for the river traveler and lumber raftsman. Wakeley's was the nucleus for the development of a settlement named Point Basse (low point). The name was later changed to Nekoosa.
The settlement became a key town during the colorful era when lumber was rafted down the river from the pineries of the North to Mississippi River markets.
Daniel Whitney built the first sawmill on the Wisconsin River here at Whitney's Rapids in 1831 making Nekoosa the birthplace of Wood County. From this first harnessing of the river's power developed scores of power facilities making the Wisconsin River the hardest worked river in the world." [Point Basse historical marker, erected 1963]
Nekoosa is located at 44°19′09″N 89°54′00″W (44.319081, -89.899937).
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 3.39 square miles (8.78 km2), of which, 3.38 square miles (8.75 km2) is land and 0.01 square miles (0.03 km2) is water.
As of the census of 2010, there were 2,580 people, 1,065 households, and 688 families living in the city.