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

Grant County, Minnesota

Grant County Education, Geography, and HistoryGrant County, Minnesota Courthouse

Grant County is a county located in the state of Minnesota. Based on the 2010 census, the population was 6,018. Its county seat is Elbow Lake. The county was founded in 1868 and named for Ulysses S. Grant, 18th President of the United States. It was later organized in 1874.

Etymology - Origin of Grant County Name

Named for Ulysses S. Grant, commander of all Union armies, 1864-65; president of the United States, 1869-77.


County QuickFacts: CensusBureau Quick Facts

Grant County History

Grant County was formed in 1871 when land was detached from Stevens County to the south by an act of legislature. There is some discrepancy with this date. A possible alternate date is March 1868. It is divided into 16 townships, 6 miles square each. They are Pelican Lake, Pomme de Terre, Stony Brook, Lawrence, Erdahl, Sanford, Elbow Lake, North Ottawa, Elk Lake, Lien, Delaware, Gorton, Land, Roseville, Macsville, and Logan. Present day towns include Ashby, established in 1879, Barrett, established in 1888, Elbow Lake, established in 1887, Erdahl, established in 1887, Herman, established in 1871, Hoffman, established in 1891, Norcross, established in 1890, and Wendell, established in 1887. Grant County was named in honor of General Ulysses S. Grant.

Although Grant County was formed in 1871, it was not officially established until 1873 when the governor appointed three commissioners to organize the county. These three were Henry Sanford, K. N. Melby, and S.S. Frogner. Their first task was to choose a county seat and elect officers. The only two settlements that amounted to anything at that time were Herman (which already had rail service) in the southwestern part of the county and Pomme de Terre in the northeast. Mr. Frogner wanted Herman to be the county seat; Mr. Melby wanted Pomme de Terre. Mr. Sanford, caught in the middle, privately suggested to Mr. Frogner that a neutral site should be chosen and that it would then be easier to get the county seat moved to Herman at a later date. At least it wouldn't be in Pomme de Terre. The men chose Elbow Lake as the county seat. It was located next to Sanford's land, nearer to the center of the county than either of the other two choices. It was not until 1878 that a courthouse was even built. Elbow Lake remains the county seat although it was not without a fight. In 1881 Herman was able to get the state legislature to name Herman the county seat if residents of the county voted in its favor. In a special election, it appeared that Herman had won. Although the voting was being appealed, a group from Herman raided the courthouse in Elbow Lake and took all the records to Herman. A courthouse was quickly built there. When an investigation found out that a number of ineligible votes had been cast in the Herman area and that the votes of one of the northeastern townships had not been counted at all, the final vote was overturned and Elbow Lake was again declared the county seat. A number of men from the Elbow Lake area in turn raided the Herman courthouse one night, returning all the records to Elbow Lake.  

Geography: Land and Water

As reported by the Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 575 square miles (1,490 km2), of which 548 square miles (1,420 km2) is land and 27 square miles (70 km2) (4.7%) is water.

Neighboring Counties

Bordering counties are as follows:

  • Otter Tail County (north)
  • Douglas County (east)
  • Pope County (southeast)
  • Stevens County (south)
  • Traverse County (southwest)
  • Wilkin County (northwest)


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