Racine, a S. E. county of Wisconsin, bordering on Lake Michigan; area, about 350 sq. m.; pop. in 1870, 26,740. It is watered by several streams, and is traversed by the Chicago, Milwaukee, and St. Paul, the Chicago and Northwestern, and the Western Union railroads. The surface is nearly level, and the soil productive. Limestone is found. The chief productions in 1870 were 339,739 bushels of wheat, 376,398 of Indian corn, 393,127 of oats, 25,983 of barley, 164,219 of potatoes, 164,321 lbs. of wool, 610,228 of butter, and 43,070 tons of hay. There were 5,395 horses, 7,257 milch cows, 6,747 other cattle, 37,620 sheep, and 7,423 swine; 12 manufactories of agricultural implements, 6 of boots and shoes, 5 of brick, 13 of carriages and wagons, 22 of clothing, 2 of iron castings, 3 of lime, 8 of saddlery and harness, 3 of sash, doors, and blinds, 2 of woollens, 7 flour mills, 8 tanneries, 6 currying establishments, 6 breweries, and 3 planing mills. Capital, Racine.
Racine, a city and the county seat of Racine co., Wisconsin, on Lake Michigan, at the mouth of Root river, and on the Chicago and Northwestern railroad, 23 m. S. of Milwaukee and 62 m. N. of Chicago; pop. in 1860, 7,822; in 1870, 9,880; in 1875, 13,282. It is built on a plateau projecting about 5 m. into the lake and elevated about 40 ft. above its level. The climate is cold in winter and cool and bracing in summer; the mean annual temperature is about 44°. The streets are wide and cross each other at right angles, the principal ones being bordered by shade trees. Main street is the business thoroughfare, and its upper portion is lined with elegant residences. The city is connected with Rock Island, III., by the Western Union railroad. The harbor is one of the best on the lake, and is accessible by vessels drawing 14 ft. A considerable tonnage is owned here, and the lake commerce is important. The lumber trade is large and increasing. Manufacturing is the chief interest, and to this Racine owes most of its wealth and prosperity.
The value of products in 1874 was $4,179,265. The principal establishments are 8 wagon factories, 8 carriage factories, 5 fanning-mill works, 10 tanneries, 2 trunk factories, 5 harness and saddle factories, 3 sash and blind manufactories, 3 founderies and machine shops, 6 saw mills, a paper machine factory, a woollen mill, a wire manufactory, a wagon lock manufactory, a manufactory of threshers, a linseed oil mill, a basket factory, and a silver-plating factory, besides many other establishments. There are two national banks, with a joint capital of $400,000, two elevators, a dredge company, and seven hotels. The assessed value of property in 1875 was $4,200,000. The public schools are excellent, and the Roman Catholics have a flourishing academy. Racine college, under the control of the Episcopalians, was founded in 1852. The buildings are situated in handsome grounds, 10 acres in extent, at the upper end of Main street. The institution comprises a collegiate department, with classical and scientific courses, and a grammar school, with classical and mathematical courses. In 1874-5 it had 18 instructors, 180 students, of whom 135 were in the grammar school, and a library of 3,000 volumes. Four weekly newspapers are published, of which one is in the Bohemian language.
There are 24 churches. - Racine was first settled in 1834. The first post office was established in 1836; the first steamer entered the harbor in 1844. It was incorporated as a city" in 1848. Its growth has been rapid.