Appleton turns 160 years today Local News by: Staff Posted: May 2, 2017 / 07:04 AM CDT / Updated: May 2, 2017 / 08:34 AM CDT The city of Appleton is 160 years old today. A village with a population of about 2,000 people officially became a city on May 2, 1857. The state Legislature agreed to the village of Appleton’s request, and the first election was held a couple of weeks earlier. Amos Story became Appleton’s first mayor. Back then, almost everyone lived north of the Fox River. The city was split into three wards covering that area. The incorporation included plans for a future fourth ward, south of the river. Now, 160 years later, about 75,000 people live within the city’s borders.