Skip to main content

On this day in 1855 and 1862...

  • Author:
  • Updated:

17 of Minnesota's 87 counties are created.

In 1855, 12 are named for people that have been significant in the state's history: Brown is named for territorial legislature and territorial house of representatives member Joseph R. Brown; Carver for explorer and writer Jonathan Carver; Dodge for politician and one-time Wisconsin Territory governor Henry Dodge; Faribault for fur trader Jean Baptiste Faribault (the city would later be named for his eldest son Alexander); Freeborn for member of the territorial legislature and western U.S. explorer William Freeborn; Mower for Stillwater lumberman and architect John E. Mower; Olmsted for the first mayor of St. Paul David Olmsted; Renville for fur trader and translator Joseph Renville; Stearns for legislator and St. Cloud developer Charles Thomas Stearns; Steele for pioneer and idea-man behind the first Mississippi bridgeat Hennepin Avenue Franklin Steele; Todd for Fort Ripley commander and delegate to the U.S. House of Representatives John Blair Smith Todd; and Wright for east coast Democrat Silas Wright.

In 1862, five more counties were named, three for bodies of water (Chippewa County for the Chippewa River, Big Stone for Big Stone Lake, and Traverse for Lake Traverse), two for men with Minnesota connections (Pope for general John Pope who led the Army of the Mississippi in the Civil War, and Stevens for the first Washington governor Isaac Stevens who also served as a general in the U.S. Army).

Next Up

Screen Shot 2022-05-25 at 8.01.45 AM

6-year-old and his grandparents killed in trailer home fire

"Found among the charred debris were two adults and a child," the sheriff's office said in a release.


Uvalde massacre: MN schools react with horror, increase security

A gunman killed 19 children and two adults in Texas Tuesday afternoon.

Screen Shot 2022-05-24 at 5.21.04 PM

Ex-South St. Paul coach dies by suicide 2 days before sentencing

Matthew McCollister was to be sentenced for fraud in federal court on Wednesday.


Minnesota 'glampground' named one of 10 best in U.S.

In Nevis, Minnesota, campers can stay in a refurbished 1905 train car.

Screen Shot 2022-01-28 at 9.04.12 AM

Two men charged over terrifying armed robbery at Newport apartment

They shot the woman who lives in the apartment in the abdomen, and put a gun to a man's head.

Minneapolis police

Minneapolis 2-year-old identified in suspicious death case

The cause of death has not yet been revealed due to an ongoing investigation.

Arianna Vos

Victim of wrong-way driver crash ID'd as Hutchinson 19-year-old

Three women, ages 19, 20 and 20, were in the vehicle struck by a wrong-way driver early Sunday morning.

Julissa Thaler

Eli Hart killing: Police investigating multiple crime scenes

An announcement Tuesday confirmed potential crime scenes in Mound and Minnetrista.

SEIU Healthcare Minnesota strike.

Twin Cities mental health workers gather for 1-day strike

More than 400 mental health workers are participating in the unionized strike on Tuesday.

Bloomington Fire

HAZMAT team at Bloomington hotel following chemical spill in pool

The fire department said two hotel employees are being evaluated by paramedics.

Screen Shot 2022-03-24 at 9.21.32 AM

Big Brothers Big Sisters Twin Cities gets $6M of Mackenzie Scott donation

The donation is the largest the organization has ever seen from a single individual.