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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

Jackson County, Minnesota

Jackson County Education, Geography, and HistoryJackson County, Minnesota Courthouse

Jackson County is a county located in the state of Minnesota. Based on the 2010 census, the population was 10,266. Its county seat is Jackson. The county was named for Henry Jackson, the first merchant in St. Paul.

Etymology - Origin of Jackson County Name

Named for Henry Jackson, the first merchant in St. Paul and a member of the first territorial legislature


County QuickFacts: CensusBureau Quick Facts

Jackson County History

Jackson county was only one of nine counties in southwestern Minnesota created by the act of May 23, 1857." Section two of the act described the boundaries:

That so much of the territory of Minnesota as lies within the following boundaries be, and the same is hereby, established as the county of Jackson: Beginning at the southeast corner of township 101 north, of range 34 west; thence due north to the northeast corner of township 104 north, of range 34 west; thence due west to the northwest corner of township 104 north, of range 38 west; thence due south to the southwest corner of township 101 north, of range 38 west; thence due east to the place of beginning.
Of the nine counties created only Martin, Jackson, Nobles and Big Sioux were declared to be organized counties and "invested with all the immunities to which organized counties are entitled by law." These four counties were attached to the third judicial district for judicial purposes and to the tenth council district for legislative purposes. Provision was made for the early organization of Jackson county. Residents of the county were to be named by the governor as commissioners to perfect the organization. These commissioners were to meet during the first week in July, 1857, at the county seat and set in motion the machinery of the government. The county seat was temporarily located at Jackson, the townsite of Springfield having been renamed Jackson a short time before, as will be told later. Provision for the permanent location was made in section twelve, which reads as follows:

On the petition of twenty legal voters in any of said counties, at any time after the passage of this act, it shall be the duty of the county commissioners to order the legal voters of any of the said counties to vote at any general election for the location of the county seats of said counties, and the point receiving the highest number of votes shall be the county seat of said county.
Jackson county was named in honor of Hon. Henry Jackson, the first merchant of St. Paul, according to the best authorities. The only dissension from this consensus of opinion is by Hon. William P. Murray, of St. Paul, who was a member of the legislature that established the county. Mr. Murray thinks the county was named in honor of President Andrew Jackson, but as he is not positive of this it is reasonably certain the honor belongs to Henry Jackson.

It is perhaps needless to say that Jackson county was not organized in July, 1857, as the act provided. It is doubtful if there were enough men in the county at the time, excepting the soldiers, to fill the necessary county offices. But within a short time permanent settlers again came to the county and the organization was duly perfected, as will be told in due chronological order.

The boundaries of Jackson county were surveyed in September, 1858, but township and section lines were not run until later. The mail route during the latter part of this year was under the management of Orrin Nason and a Mr. Bedow, of Mankato, under the firm name of Nason and Bedow, and those gentlemen carried the mail between Mankato and Sioux City from that time until 1862, when the service was abandoned. The route was across Jackson county by way of the little settlement of Jackson.

During the year 1858 Jackson county was organized under the act of the legislature of May 23, 1857. John B. Fish, Alexander Wood and a gentleman by the name of Britton were chosen commissioners by the citizens to perfect the organization, but owing to some informality the governor, who had the appointing power, did not recognize these commissioners, but appointed others.17 The commissioners appointed other residents to fill the various county offices and the machinery of county government was set in motion. These appointees served until their successors, elected in the fall of 1858, qualified.

This county organization was maintained until August, 1862, when it was discontinued because of the Sioux outbreak and the consequent depopulation of the county. It is greatly to be regretted that so little is known of the county government under this first organizations With a very few exceptions, all records have been lost, only a few miscellaneous records having been preserved-just enough to make certain that the government was maintained during these years.

Geography: Land and Water

As reported by the Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 719 square miles (1,860 km2), of which 703 square miles (1,820 km2) is land and 16 square miles (41 km2) (2.3%) is water.

Neighboring Counties

Bordering counties are as follows:

  • Cottonwood County (north)
  • Watonwan County (northeast)
  • Martin County (east)
  • Emmet County, Iowa (southeast)
  • Dickinson County, Iowa (south)
  • Osceola County, Iowa (southwest)
  • Nobles County (west)


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