Appleton is home of the Swift County Fairgrounds, the Applefest Celebration held annually in September and a city bike trail. Also it’s the only city in the United States to honor all of its fallen war heroes in this most unique manner. In 1946, Appleton’s mayor, Robert P. Miller, proposed that streets bear the names of local heroes instead of conventional numbers and other names. On May 30, 1947, in a large Memorial Day service, all the street names were changed so that each one is named after a local war hero. Today the community proudly continues this tradition in tribute to those who gave the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom.
The town was originally named Phelps, after Addison Phelps, whose family moved west in 1858. Other settlers at the time included two Civil War veterans, the Lathrop Brothers, who built a flour mill on the banks of the town’s Pomme de Terre River.
These first settlers were of Scandinavian and German descent. Eventually the township’s name was changed to Appleton in honor of the town in Wisconsin where Phelps grew up.
Appleton is a major river access point for paddling adventures down the Pomme de Terre River. It also offers a 9-hole golf course, a 325 acre OHV and 4x4 park and Mill Pond Park Municipal Campground. Appleton is centrally located to all the major state parks, national wildlife refuges, wildlife management areas and regional rivers and lakes. Winter snowmobile trails link up with other counties for added fun.