History: British explorers first claimed this area and French explorers set up an early trading post at Rice Lake dealing with the Sioux Indians. It was claimed by the U.S. in 1787 as part of the Northwest Territory and later became part of the Territory of Wisconsin. This area was at that time part of Crawford County and in 1840 was annexed to St. Croix County. In 1859 Dallas County was established and it became Barron County in 1869. Named after a prominent Wisconsin pioneer, it is a surveyed county, that is, its borders are set up by survey rather than by natural boundaries.