Prairie Du Chien, a town and the capital of Crawford co., Wisconsin, on the Mississippi river, 2 m. above the mouth of the Wisconsin river, and on the Chicago, Milwaukee, and St. Paul railroad, 87 m. W. of Madison; pop. in 1870, 2,700. It is beautifully situated on a prairie 9 m. long and 1 m. wide, bordered on the east by high bluffs. It has steamboat communication with St. Paul and other points on the Mississippi, and contains three wagon factories, two plough factories, a chair factory, a planing mill, a saw mill, three cabinet shops, two machine shops, five boot and shoe shops, a flour mill, a brewery, a grain elevator, two large hotels, St. John's college and St. Mary's female institute under the control of the Roman Catholics, two weekly newspapers, and six churches. St. John's college was organized in 1865, and in 1873-'4 had 16 instructors, 120 preparatory and 95 collegiate students, and a library of 3,800 volumes. - The French are said to have formed a settlement here in 1755, but Capt. Carver, who visited the place in 1766, makes no mention of any white inhabitants.
Americans began to settle here about 1835.