History and Facts of Minnesota Counties
Minnesota Counties – The Minnesota Territory was created on March 3, 1849. The State of Minnesota was founded as the 32nd state on May 11, 1858. It has 87 Counties. The State of Minnesota is bordered by Iowa, Michigan (across Lake Superior), North Dakota, South Dakota, Wisconsin and Canada.
On October 27, 1849 nine counties were established. Among them were Benton, Dahkotah, Itasca, Ramsey, Mahkahta, Pembina, Wabasha, Washington, and Wahnata. Of these Benton, Dakota, Itasca, Ramsey, Wabasha, and Washington still exist as their original names. With the foundation 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.
The names of many of the counties pay tribute to the long history of exploration. Over ten counties names pay tribute to the state’s various Native American groups that are resident in parts of what is now Minnesota. Another fifteen counties are named after physical geographic features, with the remainder being named after politicians.
List of Minnesota Counties
Minnesota is divided into 87 counties.
|County||Created||Created From||Named For||County Seat||Notes|
|Aitkin County||23 May 1857||Pine and Ramsey Counties||In honor of William Alexander Aitken (1785-1851) (whose name is properly spelled with an "e"), a fur trader with the Ojibways||Aitkin||Organized in 1885|
|Anoka County||23 May 1857||Ramsey County||In honor of the Dakota word meaning "on both sides". County was named after the City of Anoka, which was laid out on both sides of the Rum River||Anoka|
|Blue Earth County||18 Mar 1858||Cass and Pembina Counties||In honor of George Loomis Becker (1829-1904), mayor of St. Paul, 1856; state senator, 1868-71||Detroit Lakes|
|Becker County||28 Feb 1866||Unorganized Territory, Itasca, Pembina and Polk Counties||In honor of Giacomo Costantino Beltrami, Italian explorer. Explored northern reaches of Mississippi River, 1823||Bemidji||Organized in 1897|
|Beltrami County||27 Oct 1849||One of nine original counties; formed from residual St. Croix County, Wisconsin Territory.||In honor of Thomas Hart Benton (1782–1858), U.S. Senator from Missouri, 1821-51, who championed the passage of the first homestead land laws||Foley|
|Benton County||20 Feb 1862||Pierce County||In honor of Big Stone Lake. Big Stone is the translation of the Dakota name for the lake, which alludes to large outcropping of granite near the foot of the lake||Ortonville||Organized in 1881|
|Brown County||05 Mar 1853||Unorganized Territory and Dakota County||Blue Earth River, named for blue-green earth found near its mouth and used by the Dakotas as pigment||Mankato|
|Big Stone County||20 Feb 1855||Blue Earth County||In honor of Joseph Renshaw Brown (1805-1870), prominent pioneer, publisher of the Minnesota Pioneer, member of the territorial legislature, 1854-55, 1857||New Ulm|
|Chippewa County||23 May 1857||Pine and St. Louis Counties||In honor of Reuben B. Carlton (1812-1863), one of the first settlers at the Fond du Lac; member of first state senate, 1858||Carlton||Organized in 1870|
|Chisago County||20 Feb 1855||Hennepin and Sibley Counties||In honor of Captain Jonathan Carver (1710–1790), noted explorer and author, traveled through Minnesota in 1766-67||Chaska||Organized in 1855|
|Clay County||31 Mar 1851||Dakota, Pembina, Mankahto, and Wahnata Counties||In honor of Lewis Cass (1782–1866). Explored upper Mississippi to Cass Lake in 1820; governor, Michigan Territory, 1813-31; U.S. Secretary of War, 1831-36; U.S. Senator from Michigan 1945-57; U.S. Secretary of State, 1857-60||Walker||Organized in 1872; Deorganized in 1876; Reorganized in 1897|
|Cook County||20 Feb 1862||Pierce and Davis Counties||Chippewa River. River so named by the Dakotas because of heavy use by Ojibway war parties to access the Minnesota River valley||Montevideo||Organized in 1869|
|Cottonwood County||31 Mar 1851||Washington and Ramsey Counties||Chisago Lake. Chisago is an anglicized version of the Ojibway words kichi and saga which mean "large" and "lovely", respectively||Center City||Organized in 1852|
|Cass County||18 Mar 1858||Pembina County||In honor of Henry Clay (1777-1852), American statesman. U.S. Senator and Congressman from Kentucky variously during the period 1806-52; U.S. Secretary of State, 1825-29; three times Speaker of the House, and three times a candidate for president||Moorhead||Organized in 1872|
|Carlton County||20 Dec 1902||Beltrami County||Clearwater river and lake; Clearwater is a translation of the Ojibway word "Ga-wakomitigweia", describing the appearance of the water||Bagley|
|Clearwater County||03 Nov 1874||Lake County||In honor of Major Michael Cook of Faribault. Territorial and state senator, 1857-62; killed in the American Civil War at the Battle of Nashville||Grand Marais||Organized in 1897|
|Carver County||23 May 1857||Brown County||Cottonwood River; Cottonwood is a translation of "Waraju", the Dakota name for "the river", reflecting the abundance of the tree on its banks||Windom||Organized in 1873|
|Crow Wing County||23 May 1857||Ramsey County||In honor of the Crow Wing River. Crow Wing is loose translation of "Kagiwigwan", the Ojibway name for "the river". A more accurate translation of this name may be "raven feather"||Brainerd||Deorganized in 1867; Reorganized March 3, 1870|
|Dakota County||27 Oct 1849||Unorganized Territory||In honor of the Dakota people, meaning "an alliance or league"||Hastings||Organized in 1853|
|Dodge County||20 Feb 1855||Rice County and Unorganized Territory||In honor of Henry Dodge (1782–1867) and his son Augustus. Henry Dodge, was territorial governor, delegate in Congress and U.S. Senator from Wisconsin, 1836-57. Augustus Dodge was delegate to Congress for Iowa Territory, 1840-47 and U.S. Senator from Iowa, 1848-55||Mantorville||Organized in 1855|
|Douglas County||08 Mar 1858||Cass and Pembina Counties||In honor of Stephen Arnold Douglas (1813-1861), member of Congress from Illinois 1843-47, U.S. Senator from Illinois, 1847-61; candidate for president in 1860; advocated Minnesota statehood as chairman of Senate Committee on Territories||Alexandria|
|Faribault County||20 Feb 1855||Blue Earth County||In honor of Jean-Baptiste Faribault (1775-1860), first white settler to farm in Minnesota. Major figure in trade with the Dakotas, 1803-60||Blue Earth||Organized in 1857|
|Fillmore County||05 Mar 1853||Wabasha County||in honor of Millard Fillmore (1800-1874), member of Congress from New York 1833-35 and 1837-43; 13th President of the United States, 1850-53||Preston|
|Freeborn County||20 Feb 1855||Blue Earth and Rice Counties||In honor of William S. Freeborn (1816-1900), member of the council in the territorial legislature, 1854-57; second mayor of Red Wing, 1858||Albert Lea||Organized in 1857|
|Goodhue County||05 Mar 1853||Wabasha and Dakota Counties||In honor of James Madison Goodhue, first printer and editor in Minnesota. Printed first issue of the Minnesota Pioneer on April 28, 1849||Red Wing||Organized in 1854|
|Grant County||06 Mar 1868||Stevens, Wilkin, and Traverse Counties||In honor of Ulysses S. Grant (1822-1885), commander of all Union armies (1864-65) during the American Civil War; 18th President of the United States (1869-77)||Elbow Lake||Organized in 1883|
|Hennepin County||06 Mar 1852||Dakota County||In honor of Father Louis Hennepin (1626-1705), Franciscan missionary, author and explorer. Explored large section of Mississippi River and named Falls of St. Anthony, 1680||Minneapolis||Organized in 1852|
|Houston County||04 Apr 1854||Fillmore County||In honor of Sam Houston (1793–1863), member of Congress from Tennessee (1823-27); governor of Tennessee (1827-29); president of Texas (1836-38, 1841-44); U. S. Senator from Texas (1845-59); and governor of Texas (1859-61)||Caledonia|
|Hubbard County||26 Feb 1883||Cass County||In honor of Lucius Frederick Hubbard (1836-1913), editor of Red Wing Republican; state senator (1872-75); and governor of Minnesota (1882-87)||Park Rapids||Organized in 1887|
|Isanti County||13 Feb 1857||Ramsey County||In honor of a division of the Dakotas known as the Izatys, which may be translated to mean "dwell at Knife Lake", where they resided||Cambridge||Organized in 1871|
|Itasca County||27 Oct 1849||Unorganized Territory||In honor of Lake Itasca. Lake Itasca was named by the explorer Henry R. Schoolcraft in 1832. He made up the name by combining the Latin words veritas and caput, which mean "truth" and "head", respectively. Schoolcraft discovered the source of the Mississippi river at the lake||Grand Rapids||Organized in 1891|
|Jackson County||23 May 1857||Brown County||In honor of Henry Jackson, the first merchant in St. Paul and a member of the first territorial legislature||Jackson||Organized in 1866|
|Kanabec County||12 Oct 1858||Pine County||Snake River; "Kanabec" is the Ojibway word for snake||Mora||Organized in 1881|
|Kandiyohi County||20 Mar 1858||Meeker, Renville, Pierce, Davis, and Stearns Counties||Kandiyohi Lake; "Kandiyohi" is the Dakota name for several lakes, meaning "where the buffalo fish come"||Willmar||Organized in 1871|
|Kittson County||25 Feb 1879||Unorganized Territory||In honor of Norman Kittson (1814-1888), an early fur trader & partner of the American Fur Company. He increased the fur trading traffic significantly by increasing the use of oxcarts. He was also responsible for the pioneering of the steamboat in the Red River and was active with James J. Hill in the development of the railroad.||Hallock||Organized in 1897. Pembina County was created on October 27, 1849 from Unorganized Territory. It was organized in 1852 then deorganized in 1853. On February 25, 1879 the county name was changed to Kittson County (Organized in 1897). Part of the Pembina District until organization, the county also included the western portion of what is now Roseau County until 1894|
|Koochiching County||19 Dec 1906||Itasca County||Ojibway version of the Cree name for Rainy Lake and Rainy River||International Falls|
|Lake County||07 Nov 1871||Redwood County||Lac qui Parle Lake; "Lac qui Parle" is French meaning "the lake that talks", a translation of the Dakota name for the lake, "Mdeiyedan"||Madison||Organized in 1873|
|LIncoln County||01 Mar 1856||Itasca County||Lake Superior, which forms the southeastern boundary of the county||Two Harbors||Organized in 1891|
|Lake of the Woods County||28 Nov 1922||Beltrami County||Lake of the Woods; Translation of the Cree name for "the lake". The lake was first mapped and named Lac des Bois in 1737||Baudette|
|Lac qui Parle County||05 Mar 1853||Dakota County||In honor of Pierre-Charles Le Sueur (1657-1704), French-Canadian trader and explorer who traveled sections of the Mississippi River starting in 1683||Le Center|
|Le Sueur County||04 Nov 1873||Lyon County||In honor of Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865), member of Congress from Illinois (1847-49); 16th President of the United States (1861-65) during the American Civil War||Ivanhoe||Organized in 1881|
|Lyon County||02 Nov 1869||Redwood County||in honor of General Nathaniel Lyon (1818–1861) who worked against secession in Missouri; served in frontier duty with U.S. Army in Minnesota and Dakota territory (1853-61); killed in the American Civil War at the Battle of Wilson's Creek, Missouri (1861)||Marshall||Organized in 1870; Deorganized in 1873; Reorganized in 1875|
|McLeod County||01 Mar 1856||Carver and Sibley Counties||In honor of Martin McLeod, pioneer fur trader, member of the council in the territorial legislature (1849-53); one of the founders of the City of Glencoe (1855)||Glencoe|
|Meeker County||27 Dec 1906||Norman County||"Mahnomen" or "manomin" is the Ojibway word for "wild rice"||Mahnomen|
|Mahnomen County||25 Feb 1879||Kittson County||In honor of William Rainey Marshall (1825-1896), governor of Minnesota, 1866-70 and a general in 7th Minnesota Regiment during the American Civil War||Warren||Organized in 1881|
|Mille Lacs County||23 May 1857||Faribault and Brown Counties||In honor of either Henry Martin or Morgan Lewis Martin (1805-1887). Henry Martin was a prominent landowner from Connecticut. Morgan Lewis Martin was a delegate to Congress from Wisconsin and introduced a bill for the organization of the Minnesota Territory||Fairmont|
|Morrison County||23 Feb 1856||Davis County||In honor of Bradley B. Meeker (1813–1873), associate justice of the Minnesota Supreme Court, 1849-53; member of the constitutional convention, 1857; member of the territorial legislature, 1851||Litchfield||Organized in 1866|
|Mower County||23 May 1857||Ramsey County||Mille Lacs Lake; "Mille Lacs" is French for "a thousand lakes", in reference to the region known by voyageurs and traders to contain a large number of lakes||Milaca||Organized in 1860|
|Marshall County||25 Feb 1856||Benton County||In honor of the brothers William and Allen Morrison. William Morrison, fur trader for American Fur Company, established trading posts from Grand Portage to the Lake of the Woods. Allen Morrison was a representative in the first territorial legislature||Little Falls||Organized in 1856|
|Martin County||20 Feb 1855||Rice County||In honor of John Edward Mower (1815–1879), member of the council in the territorial legislature (1854-55); and a state representative (1874-75)||Austin||Organized in 1856|
|Murray County||23 May 1857||Brown County||In honor of Willian Pitt Murray (1825–1910), member of the territorial legislature (1852-55 and 1857); member of the constitutional convention; state representative (1863 and 1868); state senator (1866-67 and 1875-76); served seventeen years on the St. Paul City Council and was St. Paul City Attorney for thirteen years||Slayton||Organized in 1879|
|Nicollet County||05 Mar 1853||Dakota County||In honor of Joseph Nicolas Nicollet (1786–1843), geographer and explorer, who led expedition to Minnesota and parts of North and South Dakota||St. Peter|
|Nobles County||23 May 1857||Brown County||In honor of William H. Nobles, member of the territorial legislature in 1854 and 1856||Worthington||Organized in 1870|
|Norman County||08 Nov 1881||Polk County||To commemorate the great number of immigrants in the county of Norwegian (Norseman or Norman) descent||Ada|
|Olmstead County||20 Feb 1855||Fillmore, Wabasha, and Rice Counties||In honor of David Olmsted, first mayor of St. Paul (1854); member of the council of the first territorial legislature (1849 and 1850)||Rochester||Organized in 1855|
|Otter Tail County||18 Mar 1858||Pembina and Cass Counties||Otter Tail Lake; Otter Tail is the translation of the Ojibway name for "the lake", characterized by a long, narrow sand bar in the shape of an otter's tail||Fergus Falls||Organized in 1870|
|Pennington County||23 Nov 1910||Red Lake County||Edmund Pennington (b. 1848), president of the Minneapolis, St. Paul & Sault Ste. Marie Railway Company||Thief River Falls|
|Pine County||01 Mar 1856||Chisago and Ramsey Counties||large stands of white and red pine found at one time in the county||Pine City||Organized in 1857, Deorganized in 1858 and Reorganized in 1871|
|Pipestone County||23 May 1857||Brown County||Sacred Dakota quarry of red pipestone found in the county, used in the making of ceremonial pipes||Pipestone||Organized in 1879. County was originally called Rock County and Rock County used to be called Pipestone County. The Counties swapped names in 1862|
|Polk County||20 Jul 1858||Pembina County||In honor of James K. Polk (1795-1849), member of Congress from Tennessee (1825-39); governor of Tennessee (1839-41); 11th President of the United States (1845-49). On his last day in office, Polk approved the act of Congress which organized the Minnesota Territory||Crookston|
|Pope County||20 Feb 1862||Pierce and Cass Counties||In honor of General John Pope (1822–1892), who explored sections of the Red, Crow Wing and Mississippi Rivers in 1849; based in St. Paul as commander of the Department of the Northwest during the Dakota War, 1863-64||Glenwood||Organized in 1866|
|Ramsey County||27 Oct 1849||St. Croix County||In honor of Alexander Ramsey (1815-1903), first governor of Minnesota Territory (1849-53); second mayor of St. Paul (1855); second governor of Minnesota (1860-63); U.S. Senator (1863-75); and U.S. Secretary of War (1879-81)||Saint Paul|
|Redwood County||24 Dec 1896||Polk County||Red Lake River; Red Lake is the translation of the Ojibway name for this geographic feature, so named because of the color of the lake at sunset||Red Lake Falls||Organized in 1897|
|Renville County||04 Nov 1862||Brown County||Redwood River; Redwood is the translation of the Dakota name "Chanshayapi"||Redwood Falls||Organized in 1865|
|Rice County||20 Feb 1855||Nicollet, Pierce, and Sibley Counties||In honor of Joseph Renville (1779-1846), captain in the British Army who led the Dakotas in attacks on the American frontier during the War of 1812; served as interpreter in Long Expedition to Red River and Lake Winnipeg in 1823; later employed as a trader for the American Fur Company||Olivia||Organized in 1866|
|Red Lake County||05 Mar 1853||Dakota and Wabasha Counties||In honor of Henry Mower Rice (1816-1894), one of the first two U.S. Senators from Minnesota (1858-63)||Faribault||Organized in 1855|
|Rock County||23 May 1857||Brown County||The prominent outcrop of quartzite, north of the City of Luverne||Luverne||Organized in 1874. County was originally called Pipestone County, and Pipestone County used to be called Rock County. The counties swapped names in 1862.|
|Roseau County||28 Feb 1894||Kittson and Beltrami Counties||Roseau Lake and River; Roseau is the French translation of the Ojibway name "ga-shash-agunushkokawi-sibi", meaning "place of the rushes"||Roseau||Organized in 1897|
|Scott County||05 Mar 1853||Dakota County||In honor of General Winfield Scott (1786–1866), commander in chief, U.S. Army (1841-61); commander of American forces in the Mexican War (1847). On his recommendation, the name of Ft. St. Anthony was changed to Ft. Snelling in 1825||Shakopee|
|Sherburne County||25 Feb 1856||Benton County||In honor of Moses Sherburne (1813–1873), associate justice, Minnesota Supreme Court (1853-57)||Elk River||Organized in 1862|
|Sibley County||05 Mar 1853||Dakota County||In honor of General Henry Hastings Sibley (1811-1891), delegate to Congress from Minnesota Territory (1849-53); first governor of Minnesota (1858-60)||Gaylord||Organized in 1854|
|St. Louis County||01 Mar 1856||Itasca and Newton Counties||St. Louis River; the St. Louis River was named by the French explorer Verendrye in honor of being awarded the order of St. Louis by the King of France in 1749||Duluth||Organized in 1857|
|Stearns County||20 Feb 1855||Cass, Nicollet, Pierce, and Sibley Counties||In honor of Charles Thomas Stearns (1814-1888), member of the council of the territorial legislature (1854-55)||St. Cloud|
|Steele County||20 Feb 1855||Rice, Blue Earth, and Le_Sueur Counties||In honor of Franklin Steele (1813-1880), prominent Minneapolis pioneer and businessman; member of first board of regents of the University of Minnesota||Owatonna||Organized in 1856|
|Stevens County||20 Feb 1862||Pierce County and Unorganized Territory||in honor of Isaac Ingalls Stevens (1818-1862). Directed the northern surveys conducted for the construction of a Pacific railroad; governor of Washington Territory, 1853-57; delegate to Congress from Washington Territory, 1857-61; general in Civil War, killed in the battle of Chantilly, Virginia||Morris||Organized in 1871|
|Swift County||18 Feb 1870||Chippewa County||In honor of Henry Adoniram Swift (1823-1869), state senator, 1862-65; governor of Minnesota, 1863||Benson||Organized in 1897|
|Todd County||20 Feb 1855||Cass County||In honor of John Blair Smith Todd, commander of Fort Ripley (1849-56); general in the American Civil War; delegate in Congress from Dakota Territory (1861 and 1863-65); governor of Dakota Territory (1869-71)||Long Prairie||Organized in 1873|
|Traverse County||20 Feb 1862||Pierce County and Unorganized Territory||Lake Traverse; a translation of the Dakota name "Mdehdakinyan", which means "lake lying crosswise" (compared to Big Stone and Lac qui Parle Lakes)||Wheaton||Organized in 1881|
|Wabasha County||27 Oct 1849||Unorganized Territory||Three generations of chiefs who had great influence among the Dakotas living along the Mississippi River||Wabasha||Organized in 1853|
|Wadena County||11 Jun 1858||Cass and Todd Counties||Wadena Trading Post, derived from an Ojibway word meaning "a little round hill"||Wadena||Organized in 1881|
|Wilkin County||27 Feb 1857||Steele County||Dakota word meaning "rich and fertile," apparently in reference to the soil found in the county||Waseca|
|Winona County||27 Oct 1849||Old St. Croix County and Unorganized Territory||in honor of George Washington (1732-1799), commander-in-chief during the American Revolutionary War (1775-1783); and first President of the United States (1789-97)||Stillwater|
|Wright County||06 Nov 1860||Brown County||Watonwan River; translation of the Dakota word "watanwan", meaning "where fish bait bounds"||St. James||Organized in 1871|
|Waseca County||18 Mar 1858||Cass and Pembina Counties||In honor of Colonel Alexander Wilkin (1820-1864), U.S. marshal for Minnesota and secretary of the Minnesota Territory (1851-53); killed during the American Civil War at the Battle of Tupelo, Mississippi (1864)||Breckenridge||Organized in 1872|
|Washington County||04 Apr 1854||Fillmore and Wabasha Counties||Dakota woman, cousin of the last chief Wabasha; from the Dakota word for "first born daughter"||Winona|
|Watonwan County||20 Feb 1855||Cass and Sibley Counties||In honor of Silas Wright (1795-1847), member of Congress from New York (1827-29); U.S. Senator from New York (1833-44); governor of New York (1845-47). Personal friend of a Monticello resident who urged the legislature to establish the county||Buffalo||Organized in 1855|
|Yellow Medicine County||07 Nov 1871||Redwood County||As a translation of the Dakota name "Pajutazee", in reference to yellow-rooted plants used for medicinal purposes found along river||Granite Falls||Organized in 1874|
List of Old Former / Extinct Minnesota Counties
Minnesota has counties that no longer are in existence. A lot of these counties were established and disbanded within the 19th century; county borders have modified very little since 1900 in the vast most of states.
The below Minnesota counties no longer exist:
?? County, Minnesota
- Andy Johnson County: See Toombs County below.
Toombs County was renamed Andy Johnson County after President Andrew Johnson and to disassociate with Mr. Toombs. The county again changed its name to Wilkin County in March 6, 1868.
- Big Sioux County: Created in December, 1857 from Brown County. County was disbanded in 1859 and land became part of North Dakota
- Breckenridge County: Created on March 18, 1858. Iit was named for John C. Breckenridge, Vice President of the United States from 1857-1861. After the Civil War started, Breckenridge joined the army of the south. Pressure by Minnesota residents resulted in the State Legislature of Minnesota passing a bill on March 6, 1862, rescinding the name of Breckenridge. The county was then renamed Clay County for Henry Clay (1777-1852). Clay was known as a statesman and orator, and called “The Great Pacificator”.
- Buchanan County: Created on May 23, 1857. It comprised the 24 northern townships, now forming the northern half of Pine County, Minnesota. The Buchanan County seat was Sandstone. The county disbanded and merged into Pine County in 1861. Brown County was attached to Chisago and St. Louis Counties for county and or judicial purposes. Some early records may be found there.
- Davis County: Created in 1855 from Cass, Nicollet, Pierce and Sibley Counties. In 1862 the county was disbanded and what was left was merged into Chippewa and Lac qui Parle Counties. Davis County was attached to Stearns and Lac qui Parle Counties for county and or judicial purposes. Some early records may be found there.
- Doty County: Created on February 20, 1855 from Itasca County. The name changed to Newton County on March 3, 1855.
- Lac Qui Parle (old) County: Created in 1862 from Davis and Pierce Counties. In 1868 the county was disbanded and merged into Stevens and Chippewa Counties. Lac Qui Parle County was attached to Renville County for county and or judicial purposes. Some early records may be found there.
- Lincoln (old) County: Created in 1861 from Renville County. In 1868 the county was disbanded and merged back into Renville County. Lincoln County was attached to McLeod County for county and or judicial purposes. Some early records may be found there.
- Mahkahto County: Created on October 27, 1849 from Unorganized Territory. The county was disbanded in 1851 and the land became part of Pembina and Cass Counties. Mahkahto County was attached to Ramsey County for county and or judicial purposes. Some early records may be found there.
- Manomin County: Created on May 23, 1857 when it was split from Ramsey County. The name Manomin is a variant spelling of manoomin, the Ojibwe word for wild rice, a staple of their diet. The county seat was Manomin (present-day Fridley).The land shifted hands among three other counties for the next decade. When it was formed, it was the smallest county in the United States at roughly 18 square miles. It was deorganized in 1858 and administratively attached to St. Louis, Minnesota. Two years later in 1860 it was attached to Anoka County. At the time, the area’s population was 136. In 1863, it was attached to Hennepin County, but it was finally merged into Anoka County and eliminated in 1869.
- Monongalia County: Monongalia County is a former county in the U.S. state of Minnesota. It was identified in 1858, although the Dakota War of 1862 delayed its organization until 1861. The county seat was at New London.In 1870 the state legislature ordered it merged with Kandiyohi County, its southern neighbor. Neither county had been able up till then to raise enough money to build a courthouse. In February of 1871, they finally agreed to make Willmar the new county seat.
- Newton County: Doty County was renamed Newton County on March 3, 1855. On March 1, 1856, St. Louis County to the east became Lake County while Newton County was renamed St. Louis County.
- Pembina County: Created on October 27, 1849 from Unorganized Territory. County was organized in 1852 then deorganized in 1853. Name was changed to Kittson County in 1878. At some point Pembina County was attached to Morrison, Crow Wing, Douglas, Becker and Clay Counties for county and or judicial purposes. Some early records may be found there.
- Pierce County: ?
- St. Croix County: ?
- St. Louis (old) County: ?
- Superior County: ?
- Toombs County: Created on March 8, 1858, named after Robert Toombs (1810-85) of Georgia, who had been a member of Congress, 1845-53, and was U.S. senator, 1853-61. Mr. Toombs became a leading disunionist, then a Confederate secretary of state in 1861, and later was a Confederate general. In 1863, the county was renamed Andy Johnson County (see above). Toombs County was formed from Pembina County. It is the parental county for Traverse County, and now are parts of Clay, Otter Tail, Grant, Stevens, Douglas and Pope Counties.
- Wahnata County: ?
Map of Minnesota County Boundary Changes from 1801 to 1937
This Interactive Map of Minnesota Counties show the historical boundaries, names, organization, and attachments of every county, extinct county and unsuccessful county proposal from the creation of Minnesota from 1801-1937.
Fun Facts about Minnesota Counties
County Name Facts
The County names:
- 0 of them named for Native American words or people,
Counties by Year
In 1849 the first Minnesota counties were formed.
The last county to be formed was Lake of the Woods County in 1922.
Facts for County Size
- ? County (000 sq mi) is the largest county in Minnesota.
- ? County (000 sq mi) is the smallest county in Minnesota.
Facts for County Population (2017 Est.)
- ? County (000) is the most populated county in Minnesota.
- ? County (000) is the least populated county in Minnesota.
Facts for Minnesota Counties and Cities
Minnesota’s 10 largest cities (2010) are: