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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Steele County is a county located in the state of Minnesota. Based on the 2010 census, the population was 36,576. Its county seat is
Owatonna. The county was named for Franklin Steele, a prominent early resident of the state.
Steele County comprises the Owatonna, MN Micropolitan Statistical Area.
Etymology - Origin of Steele County Name
Named for Franklin Steele, prominent Minneapolis pioneer and
businessman; member of first board of regents of the University of Minnesota.
Steele County was created on February 20, 1855 (Organized in 1856) from Blue Earth County, Le Sueur County and Rice
County. The county was named in honor of Franklin Steele (1813-1880), prominent Minneapolis pioneer and businessman; member of first board of
regents of the University of Minnesota. The County Seat is located in Owatonna
Geography: Land and Water
As reported by the Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 432 square miles (1,120 km2), of which 430 square miles (1,100 km2) is
land and 2.7 square miles (7.0 km2) (0.6%) is water.
The Straight River flows northwardly through the county, and the Le Sueur River flows through its southwestern corner. The Middle Fork of the
Zumbro River has its headwaters in the northeastern part of the county.