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Blue Earth County, Minnesota

Blue Earth County, Minnesota
Map of Minnesota highlighting Blue Earth County
Location in the state of Minnesota
Map of the United States highlighting Minnesota
Minnesota's location in the U.S.
Founded March 5, 1853[1]
Named for Blue Earth River
Seat Mankato
Largest city Mankato
Area
 • Total 766 sq mi (1,984 km2)
 • Land 748 sq mi (1,937 km2)
 • Water 18 sq mi (47 km2), 2.3%
Population (est.)
 • (2014) 65,385
 • Density 86/sq mi (33/km²)
Congressional district 1st
Time zone Central: UTC-6/-5
Website .us.mn.blue-earth.cowww

Blue Earth County is a county located in the State of Minnesota. As of the 2010 census, the population was 64,013.[2] Its county seat is Mankato.[3] The county is named for the Blue Earth River and for the deposits of blue-green clay once evident along the banks of the Blue Earth River.

Blue Earth County is part of the Mankato–North Mankato, MN Metropolitan Statistical Area.

Contents

  • History 1
  • Geography 2
    • Lakes 2.1
    • Major highways 2.2
    • Adjacent counties 2.3
  • Climate and weather 3
  • Demographics 4
  • Communities 5
    • Cities 5.1
    • Townships 5.2
    • Census-designated place 5.3
    • Unincorporated communities 5.4
  • See also 6
  • References 7
  • External links 8

History

The area of Blue Earth County was once known as the "Big Woods" and was occupied by the Dakota Indians. It was started by a French explorer, Pierre-Charles Le Sueur. He was one of the first White people in this area, arriving at the point where the Minnesota and Blue Earth rivers meet. There, he made an unsuccessful attempt to mine copper from the blue earth found in the area. The area remained under French control until 1803, but soon after was passed to the United States by the Louisiana Purchase. When Minnesota became a territory in 1849, the territorial government became interested in having the river valley for settlement. In 1850 the first steamboat trip, starting in St. Paul, traveled on the Minnesota River and came to the Blue Earth River. The first White settlers, P.K. Johnson and Henry Jackson came off the boat and settled in present day Mankato. The ratification of the Mendota and Traverse des Sioux Treaties in 1851 effectively forced the Dakota to leave the area for nearby reservations.

The county of Blue Earth was finally created after a division of the Minnesota Territory on March 5, 1853 from portions of Dakota County and free territory. It was named after the Blue Earth River.[4] The first government officials were appointed by Alexander Ramsey, who was the territorial governor at that time. That October the first election was held for government officials with a total of 22 ballots being taken.

Unfulfilled treaty promises and starvation on the Indians reservation led to the Dakota War of 1862, which resulted in Dakota defeat and the largest mass execution in US history in Mankato. In 1868 the railroads arrived. They helped with the growth and development of many areas, including Blue Earth. The railroads allowed many different White ethnic immigrants and Yankee settlers into the area. Blue Earth has grown into a very good county for agriculture, industry, business, education, and culture, and still continues to grow today.

Presidential Election Results 2000-2008
Year Democratic Republican
2008 55% 19325 42% 14782
2004 50.92% 16865 47.52% 15737
2000 44.99% 12329 47.23% 12942

Geography

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 766 square miles (1,980 km2), of which 748 square miles (1,940 km2) is land and 18 square miles (47 km2) (2.3%) is water.[5] The Blue Earth River and Le Sueur River flow through a part of the county. The land surface is relatively flat with over 30 lakes in the county.

Native vegetation based on NRCS soils information[6]

There are many "closed forest savannas" that some call the big woods in the northeastern part of the county. The rivers that flow out of the northeastern part are surrounded by these big woods. Most of the county is grassland prairie but scattered parts of it are wet prairie. Some spots that surround the rivers are oak openings and barren brushland.

Lakes

Major highways

Adjacent counties

Climate and weather

Mankato, Minnesota
Climate chart ()
J F M A M J J A S O N D
 
 
0.9
 
 
24
5
 
 
0.8
 
 
30
10
 
 
2
 
 
42
22
 
 
3.1
 
 
58
35
 
 
3.5
 
 
70
47
 
 
5.1
 
 
79
57
 
 
4.3
 
 
83
62
 
 
4.2
 
 
81
59
 
 
3.2
 
 
73
49
 
 
2.3
 
 
60
37
 
 
1.9
 
 
43
24
 
 
1.1
 
 
28
11
Average max. and min. temperatures in °F
Precipitation totals in inches
Source: The Weather Channel[7]

In recent years, average temperatures in the county seat of Mankato have ranged from a low of 5 °F (−15 °C) in January to a high of 83 °F (28 °C) in July, although a record low of −35 °F (−37 °C) was recorded in February 1996 and a record high of 107 °F (42 °C) was recorded in August 1988. Average monthly precipitation ranged from 0.78 inches (20 mm) in February to 5.09 inches (129 mm) in June.[7]

Demographics

Age pyramid of county residents based on 2000 U.S. census data

As of the census of 2000, there were 55,941 people, 21,062 households, and 12,616 families residing in the county. The population density was 74 people per square mile (29/km²). There were 21,971 housing units at an average density of 29 per square mile (11/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 94.96% White, 1.19% Black or African American, 0.28% Native American, 1.79% Asian, 0.06% Pacific Islander, 0.69% from other races, and 1.03% from two or more races. 1.77% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 47.6% were of German, 13.6% Norwegian and 6.5% Irish ancestry.

There were 21,062 households out of which 29.10% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 48.60% were married couples living together, 7.80% had a female householder with no husband present, and 40.10% were non-families. 27.10% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.50% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.46 and the average family size was 2.99.

In the county the population was spread out with 21.40% under the age of 18, 22.10% from 18 to 24, 25.60% from 25 to 44, 18.80% from 45 to 64, and 12.10% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 30 years. For every 100 females there were 99.10 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 97.40 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $38,940, and the median income for a family was $50,257. Males had a median income of $32,087 versus $22,527 for females. The per capita income for the county was $18,712. About 6.10% of families and 12.90% of the population were below the poverty line, including 10.50% of those under age 18 and 9.40% of those age 65 or over.

Communities

Cities

Townships

Census-designated place

Unincorporated communities

See also

References

  1. ^ "Minnesota Place Names". Minnesota Historical Society. Retrieved March 17, 2014. 
  2. ^ a b "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved August 31, 2013. 
  3. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07. 
  4. ^ Upham, Warren (1920). Minnesota Geographic Names: Their Origin and Historic Significance. Minnesota Historical Society. p. 57. 
  5. ^ "2010 Census Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. August 22, 2012. Retrieved October 5, 2014. 
  6. ^ Nelson, Steven (2011). Savanna Soils of Minnesota. Minnesota: Self. pp. 65 - 67. ISBN 978-0-615-50320-2.
  7. ^ a b "Monthly Averages for Mankato, Minnesota". The Weather Channel. Retrieved 2011-11-06. 
  8. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Incorporated Places: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2014". Retrieved June 4, 2015. 
  9. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved October 5, 2014. 
  10. ^ "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved October 5, 2014. 
  11. ^ "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved October 5, 2014. 
  12. ^ "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. Retrieved October 5, 2014. 

External links

  • Blue Earth County Government’s website

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