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It was the establishment and growth of the lumber industry in the area that spurred development of Oshkosh.Oshkosh was incorporated as a city in 1853, although it had already been designated the county seat, and had a population of nearly 2,800.On April 28, 1875, Oshkosh had a "Great Fire" that consumed homes and businesses along Main Street north of the Fox River.The fire had engulfed 70 stores, 40 factories, and 500 homes costing nearly .5 million (or .2 million in 2010 money) in damage.1.69% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.52.2% were of German and 6.3% Irish ancestry according to Census 2000.The racial makeup of the city was 90.5% White, 3.1% African American, 0.8% Native American, 3.2% Asian, 0.7% from other races, and 1.7% from two or more races.
The Oshkosh Daily Northwestern newspaper (now the Oshkosh Northwestern) was founded around this time, as was the Oshkosh State Normal School (now the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh).
The average household size was 2.24 and the average family size was 2.90. 18.6% of residents were under the age of 18; 18.7% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 26.7% were from 25 to 44; 23% were from 45 to 64; and 12.9% were 65 years of age or older.
The gender makeup of the city was 51.2% male and 48.8% female.
As of the census of 2000, there were 62,916 people, 24,082 households, and 13,654 families residing in the city.
The population density was 2,662.2 people per square mile (1,028.0/km²).
There were 26,138 households of which 25.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 38.7% were married couples living together, 10.0% had a female householder with no husband present, 4.3% had a male householder with no wife present, and 47.1% were non-families.