Village History

Rudolph, the second town to be established in Wood County, is located about seven miles to the north of Wisconsin Rapids. It was named after Rudolph Hecox, the first white boy born here. A large sawmill, stave mill and plenty of farm land drew many men into the area. Incorporated in 1960, the village of Rudolph now has a population of 432 and combining the population of both the village and towns of Rudolph, the total is approximately 1814. Rudolph is primarily a community of single-family residences. Each home has its own well. A village sanitary sewer system is available for all buildings. Garbage pickup is also village wide. Quarterly cost of sewer and garbage pickup is $64.15 per residence.

Rudolph is one of the best dairy areas in Wisconsin. Dairy State Cheese, located at the corner of Main Street and Highway 34 is known throughout the United States. It sells over 100 varities of cheeses, as well as Pete's Market home made sausage, and novelty cheeses.

Pete's Market is a combination local butcher shop, grocery store, and meat processing plant. Successful deer hunters from mid-Wisconsin and northern Wisconsin areas bring their venison to be processed at Pete's Market.

The Rudolph Fire Department has two paid personnel as well as 76 volunteers. The department has four stations serving a 226 square mile radius and a population of 5,600. Communities included in their protection are the village of Rudolph, town of Rudolph, town of Siegel, town of Linwood, and town of Eau Plaine. The Rudolph Fire Department has an insurance rating of 6.

Active organizations in the village are the American Legion Elmer Blonien Post #485 American Legion Auxillary, Senior Citizens, Boy Scouts, Cub Scouts, Rudolph's Country Christmas, Rudolph Firefighters Auxiliary and 4-H.

The Moravian Church and Catholic Church, St. Philip's are part of the community. The Moravian Church celebrated its centennial in 1995. St. Philip's celebrated its 125th anniversary in 2003.

Rudolph public elementary school and St. Philip's elementary school have large enrollments. The schools are recognized for their educational excellence.

HLM and Wood County Telephone Company provide Cable service to the community. Hi-speed internet service is available through area providers.

Three baseball diamonds are busy every night in the summer with Little Leagues as well as an adult league. The adult league has two softball tournaments, one in June and one in July. The baseball diamonds are on the premises of the Rudolph Community Park. The enclosed shelter house at the park can be rented for a nominal fee. Reservations can be made by calling (715) 435-3689, or emailing

Financial needs can be fulfilled at the Farmers and Merchants Bank. Bank-A-Count Corporation is also located in Rudolph. This firm produces amortization schedules, loan payment coupon books, Christmas club coupon books, personalized and buisness checks for the U.S. finance industry.

Fischer's Antiques, is open weekdays. Rudolph Oasis (gas station) and Resteraunt, on Highway 34, is open seven days a week at convenient hours. 34 Truck and Auto Body Sho is a local repair service. Ricky's Bar and Bowl is open Tuesday through Sunday and Skmo's Place is open 7 days a week. Main Street Hair Styles is available for hair care while SOS Studios is available for hair care and massage therapy.

Rudolph is also known as "home of the famous Grotto Shrine and Wonder Cave" where there are 30,000 annual visitors. The Grotto Shrine can be viewed at

Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer is highly regarded in his namesake Wood County community. A large, stuffed Rudolph is a permanent fixture in the Fisher Antique store window. The post office has a special reindeer stamp, RUDOLPH WISCONSIN, Home of Rudolph, the Red Nosed Reindeer can be imprinted on outgoing mail. For the past two Decembers the Rudolph Postmistress has commissioned an elementary student to draw a one-day cancellation stamp using Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. "Welcome to Rudolph" signs featuring a picture of a reindeer with a lighted nose greet visitors entering the community on Highway 34. Even street signs in the community have a picture of the red-nosed reindeer.

The annual Rudolph's Country Christmas event, held the second Saturday in December, is the year-end climax to the celebration of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. The first celebration was held in 2002. In 2003 a lighted Christmas parade was added. For details and pictures of last year's event click on the calendar of events.

All images and graphics are by gooch's