Minnesota Counties
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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

Clearwater County, Minnesota

Clearwater County Education, Geography, and HistoryClearwater County, Minnesota Courthouse

Clearwater County is a rural county located in the state of Minnesota. Based on the 2010 census, the population was 8,695. Its county seat is Bagley.

Clearwater County is home to Lake Itasca, the source of the Mississippi River. Portions of the Red Lake and White Earth Indian reservations extend into the county.

Etymology - Origin of Clearwater County Name

Named after Clearwater river and lake. Clearwater is a translation of the Ojibway word Ga-wakomitigweia, describing the appearance of the water


County QuickFacts: CensusBureau Quick Facts

Clearwater County History

The 83rd of Minnesota' 87 counties was established by the proclamation of Governor Samuel Van Sant on December 20, 1902. It is 60 miles in its length and 18 miles in width, lying north and south. Its name was taken from the Ojibwe word 'gawakomitgweia,' which means 'clear water'?. The county' topography is unique, with the northern part being drained through the Clearwater River and eventually the waters going to Hudson Bay, while the southern part has its drainage into the Mississippi River and then to the Gulf of Mexico. Undoubtedly the most famous fact about Clearwater County is that it is the home of the source of the mighty Mississippi River whose headwaters are in Lake Itasca which lies inside equally famous Itasca State Park. Itasca Park still contains over 3,000 acres of old growth pine, which in earlier years was abundant throughout the county.

Geography: Land and Water

As reported by the Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 1,030 square miles (2,700 km2), of which 999 square miles (2,590 km2) is land and 31 square miles (80 km2) (3.0%) is water.

Neighboring Counties

Bordering counties are as follows:

  • Beltrami County (northeast)
  • Hubbard County (southeast)
  • Becker County (south)
  • Mahnomen County (southwest)
  • Polk County (northwest)
  • Pennington County (northwest)


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