Warsaw became a town in 1854. It was named after the Polish capital and as a tribute to Tadeusz Kościuszko. Kościuszko was a national hero who fought for Poland against Russia, and also fought on the American side in the Revolutionary War.

Warsaw is nicknamed "Lake City" because of its numerous surrounding lakes: Pike Lake, Hidden Lake, Center Lake, Winona Lake.

During the Polish-Soviet War, between 1919 and 1921, the fall of the real Warsaw, Poland, seemed inevitable. But Poland pulled out a victory at the Battle of Warsaw. As the Polish army advanced east, the Russians called for peace. The war ended in a cease fire in 1920, but a formal peace treaty (Peace of Riga) wasn't signed until 1921.