President Van Buren commissioned a party of 45 men, including August Bird, to build a state capitol in Madison. The group of men left Milwaukee on May 26, 1837 and traveled for days in the rain. On June 9, the group emerged at the edge of the prairie and with the sun shining, carved the words 'Sun Prairie" into a tree. Charles Bird returned to the area 2 years later and became the first settler.
The Town of Sun Prairie was created on February 2, 1846 and the City of Sun Prairie, which grew from that town, was incorporated in 1958.