A town was platted July 22, 1871, in anticipation of the coming of the railroad. Named for Judge Samuel Wisner, vice president of the Sioux City & Pacifi c Railway, lots sold at auction for an average of $129 each. The town of Wisner incorporated on May 14, 1873.
The early water supply was a water pump in the hotel square. In 1884, bonds were issued to construct a city waterworks, thought to be one of the earlier systems in the state.
The Scandinavian Lutheran Church was organized in 1872, the Methodist in 1874, the Catholic Church in 1879, and the Congregational Church in 1880.
In 1909, the village had become a Second Class City. By 1926, with its paved streets, splendid lighting, fine water system, good schools, churches, and modern homes, Wisner was a good place to live.