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Minnesota Counties
Minnesota County map
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Minnesota Counties

There are eighty-seven Counties in Minnesota. On October 27, 1849 nine large Minnesota Counties were created. Among them were Benton, Dahkotah, Itasca, Ramsey, Mahkahta, Pembina, Wabashaw, Washington, and Wahnata. Of those Benton, Dakota, Itasca, Ramsey, Wabasha, and Washington still exist as their original name. With the creation of Kittson County on March 9, 1878, Pembina County no longer existed. When Minnesota was organized as a state, 57 of the present 87 Counties were established. The last county to be created was Lake of the Woods County in 1923

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Minnesota Counties: History and Information

Find a brief history of Minnesota CountiesBrief history of Minnersota Counties: Flags of Our Nation

That part of present day Minnesota lying between the Mississippi and the St. Croix Rivers was in the original Northwest Territory and part of the Wisconsin Territory. The settlement, which is now Stillwater, was once part of St. Croix County, Wisconsin. When Minnesota became a territory in 1849 its territorial governor, Alexander Ramsey, proclaimed that the same laws as those existing in Wisconsin would govern the new Minnesota Territory. This, combined with the fact that much of the migration to Minnesota came through Wisconsin, caused the development of both strong county and town forms of government as had been the case in Wisconsin, New York and Michigan.

The first Minnesota counties were Benton, Isanti, Ramsey Wabasha, and Washington established on October 27, 1849. Three other counties, Mankahto, Pembina and Wahnata were created by Laws 1849 but there is no historical evidence to indicate that they were ever organized - or abolished. Fifty-seven of the present 87 counties were established during the territorial period that ended in 1857. Lake of the Woods County was the last one established in Minnesota. It was created by popular vote from territory that had been part of Beltrami County.

Find a brief history of Minnesota Counties
County 2000
Population
Square
Miles
County Seat Created
Aitkin County 15,301 1,819 Aitkin 1857
Anoka County 298,084 424 Anoka 1857
Becker County 30,000 1,310 Detroit Lakes 1858
Beltrami County 39,650 2,505 Bemidji 1866
Benton County 34,226 408 Foley 1849
Big Stone County 5,820 497 Ortonville 1862
Blue Earth County 55,941 752 Mankato 1853
Brown County 26,911 611 New Ulm 1855
Carlton County 31,671 860 Carlton 1857
Carver County 70,205 357 Chaska 1855
Cass County 27,150 2,018 Walker 1851
Chippewa County 13,088 583 Montevideo 1870
Chisago County 41,101 418 Center City 1851
Clay County 51,229 1,045 Moorhead 1862
Clearwater County 8,423 995 Bagley 1902
Cook County 5,168 1,451 Grand Marais 1874
Cottonwood County 12,167 640 Windom 1857
Crow Wing County 55,099 997 Brainerd 1857
Dakota County 355,904 570 Hastings 1849
Dodge County 17,731 440 Mantorville 1855
Douglas County 32,821 634 Alexandria 1858
Faribault County 16,181 714 Blue Earth 1855
Fillmore County 21,122 861 Preston 1853
Freeborn County 32,584 708 Albert Lea 1855
Goodhue County 44,127 759 Red Wing 1853
Grant County 6,289 546 Elbow Lake 1868
Hennepin County 1,116,200 557 Minneapolis 1852
Houston County 19,718 558 Caledonia 1854
Hubbard County 18,376 923 Park Rapids 1883
Isanti County 31,287 439 Cambridge 1857
Itasca County 43,992 2,665 Grand Rapids 1850
Jackson County 11,268 702 Jackson 1857
Kanabec County 14,996 525 Mora 1858
Kandiyohi County 41,203 796 Willmar 1858
Kittson County 5,285 1,097 Hallock 1879
Koochiching County 14,355 3,102 International Falls 1906
Lac Qui Parle County 8,067 765 Madison 1863
Lake County 11,058 2,099 Two Harbors 1856
Lake Of The Woods County 4,522 1,297 Baudette 1923
Le Sueur County 25,426 448 Le Center 1853
Lincoln County 6,429 537 Ivanhoe 1873
Lyon County 25,425 714 Marshall 1871
Mahnomen County 5,190 556 Mahnomen 1906
Marshall County 10,155 1,772 Warren 1879
Martin County 21,802 709 Fairmont 1857
McLeod County 34,898 492 Glencoe 1856
Meeker County 22,644 609 Litchfield 1856
Mille Lacs County 22,330 574 Milaca 1857
Morrison County 31,712 1,124 Little Falls 1856
Mower County 38,603 712 Austin 1855
Murray County 9,165 704 Slayton 1875
Nicollet County 29,771 452 Saint Peter 1853
Nobles County 20,832 716 Worthington 1857
Norman County 7,442 876 Ada 1881
Olmsted County 124,277 653 Rochester 1855
Otter Tail County 57,159 1,980 Fergus Falls 1858
Pennington County 13,584 617 Thief River Falls 1910
Pine County 26,530 1,411 Pine City 1856
Pipestone County 9,895 466 Pipestone 1857
Polk County 31,369 1,970 Crookston 1858
Pope County 11,236 670 Glenwood 1862
Ramsey County 511,035 156 Saint Paul 1849
Red Lake County 4,299 432 Red Lake Falls 1896
Redwood County 16,815 880 Redwood Falls 1862
Renville County 17,154 983 Olivia 1855
Rice County 56,665 498 Faribault 1853
Rock County 9,721 483 Luverne 1857
Roseau County 16,338 1,663 Roseau 1894
Scott County 89,498 357 Shakopee 1853
Sherburne County 64,417 437 Elk River 1856
Sibley County 15,356 589 Gaylord 1853
St. Louis County 200,528 6,226 Duluth 1855
Stearns County 133,166 1,345 Saint Cloud 1855
Steele County 33,680 430 Owatonna 1855
Stevens County 10,053 562 Morris 1862
Swift County 11,956 744 Benson 1870
Todd County 24,426 942 Long Prairie 1855
Traverse County 4,134 574 Wheaton 1862
Wabasha County 21,610 525 Wabasha 1849
Wadena County 13,713 536 Wadena 1858
Waseca County 19,526 423 Waseca 1857
Washington County 201,130 392 Stillwater 1849
Watonwan County 11,876 434 Saint James 1860
Wilkin County 7,138 752 Breckenridge 1858
Winona County 49,985 626 Winona 1854
Wright County 89,986 661 Buffalo 1855
Yellow Medicine County 11,080 758 Granite Falls 1871
County Resources
US Counties
Names given the counties, our most locally based jurisdictions, reflects the "characteristic features of this country!"
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