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

Wadena County, Minnesota

Wadena County Education, Geography, and HistoryWadena County, Minnesota Courthouse

Wadena County is a county located in the state of Minnesota. Based on the 2010 census, the population was 13,843. Its county seat is Wadena. The county was formed in 1858 and organized in 1873

Etymology - Origin of Wadena County Name

Received its name from the Wadena Trading Post, derived from an Ojibway word meaning "a little round hill".


County QuickFacts: CensusBureau Quick Facts

Wadena County History

Wadena County was organized on February 21, 1873, at which time Wadena was chosen as the county seat.

Wadena county is composed of fifteen townships, first surveyed in 1863. Each township is 6 miles by 6 miles and contains 36 sections of land (with the exception of Bullard and Thomastown which have a slightly different configuration because their boundaries are aligned with the Leaf and Crow Wing Rivers, respectively). In 1857, a man named Augustus Aspinwall laid out a townsite in what is now Section 15, Thomastown township, at the junction of the Crow Wing and Partridge rivers, and named it Wadena. In 1872, when the railroad went through the area it ran about three miles south of this site and thus the town quickly withered away.

During that period there were five organized townships (Wadena, Aldrich, Thomastown, Leaf River and Wing River) and three county commissioners. The balance of the townships were organized between this time and 1899; the last two, Huntersville and Orton after being organized as one township in 1898, were split in 1899. As of 2010, there are six organized towns in the county: Wadena (the county seat), Verndale, Sebeka, Menahga, Aldrich, and Nimrod.

Geography: Land and Water

As reported by the Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 543 square miles (1,410 km2), of which 536 square miles (1,390 km2) is land and 7.0 square miles (18 km2) (1.3%) is water. Wadena is one of 17 Minnesota counties with more savanna soils than prairie or forest soils.

Neighboring Counties

Bordering counties are as follows:

  • Hubbard County (north)
  • Cass County (east)
  • Todd County (south)
  • Otter Tail County (southwest)
  • Becker County (northwest)


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