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Cottonwood County, Minnesota

Cottonwood County, Minnesota
Map of Minnesota highlighting Cottonwood County
Location in the state of Minnesota
Map of the United States highlighting Minnesota
Minnesota's location in the U.S.
Founded May 23, 1857 (created)
1870 (organized)[1]
Named for Cottonwood River
Seat Windom
Largest city Windom
 • Total 649 sq mi (1,681 km2)
 • Land 639 sq mi (1,655 km2)
 • Water 10 sq mi (26 km2), 1.5%
 • (2010) 11,687
 • Density 18/sq mi (7/km²)
Congressional districts 1st, 7th
Time zone Central: UTC-6/-5

Cottonwood County is a

  • Cottonwood County government's website

External links

  • John A. Brown (ed.), History of Cottonwood and Watonwan counties, Minnesota: Their People, Industries, and Institutions: With Biographical Sketches of Representative Citizens and Genealogical Records of Many of the Old Families. In Two Volumes. Indianapolis, IN: B.F. Bowen and Company, 1916. Volume 1 | Volume 2
  • Cottonwood County Minnesota Highway Map, Cottonwood County Highway Department, 2003.
  • DeLorme's Minnesota Atlas and Gazetteer.

Further reading

  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. ^ a b "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07. 
  4. ^ a b Warren Upham (1920). Minnesota Geographic Names: Their Origin and Historic Significance. Minnesota Historical Society. p. 149. 
  5. ^ Gannett, Henry (1905). The Origin of Certain Place Names in the United States. Govt. Print. Off. p. 93. 
  6. ^ a b "National Register of Historic Places". NRHP. Retrieved October 15, 2015. 
  7. ^ "Cottonwood County Parks". Cottonwood County, Minnesota. Retrieved October 15, 2015. 
  8. ^ Nelson, Steven (2011). Savanna Soils of Minnesota. Minnesota: Self. pp. 69 - 70. ISBN 978-0-615-50320-2.
  9. ^ "2010 Census Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. August 22, 2012. Retrieved October 6, 2014. 
  10. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Incorporated Places: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2014". Retrieved June 4, 2015. 
  11. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved October 6, 2014. 
  12. ^ "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved October 6, 2014. 
  13. ^ "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved October 6, 2014. 
  14. ^ "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. Retrieved October 6, 2014. 
  15. ^ "American FactFinder".  
  16. ^
  17. ^
  18. ^ The park is named after the county's first resident of European descent, Charles "Dutch Charlie" Zierke. "Cottonwood County Timeline". Cottonwood County Historical Society. Retrieved 2009-08-16. 


See also

Unincorporated community




  • Dynamite (Great Bend Township)
  • Lady Bird (Southbrook Township)
  • Pat's Grove (Springfield Township)[16]
  • Mountain (Mountain Lake Township)
  • Red Rock (Germantown Township)
  • South Dutch Charlie (Westbrook Township)[17][18]
  • Talcot Lake (Southbrook Township)

County parks

The median income for a household in the county was $31,943, and the median income for a family was $40,237. Males had a median income of $28,993 versus $19,934 for females. The per capita income for the county was $16,647. About 7.40% of families and 11.70% of the population were below the poverty line, including 18.40% of those under age 18 and 8.70% of those age 65 or over.

In the county the population was spread out with 25.00% under the age of 18, 6.50% from 18 to 24, 23.20% from 25 to 44, 23.20% from 45 to 64, and 22.10% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 42 years. For every 100 females there were 94.50 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 91.50 males.

There were 4,917 households out of which 28.60% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 58.10% were married couples living together, 6.90% had a female householder with no husband present, and 32.10% were non-families. 28.90% of all households were made up of individuals and 15.90% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.39 and the average family size was 2.94.

As of the census of 2000,[15] there were 12,167 people, 4,917 households, and 3,338 families residing in the county. The population density was 19 people per square mile (7/km²). There were 5,376 housing units at an average density of 8 per square mile (3/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 95.23% White, 0.34% Black or African American, 0.23% Native American, 1.63% Asian, 0.08% Pacific Islander, 1.35% from other races, and 1.14% from two or more races. 2.19% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 50.2% were of German and 18.6% Norwegian ancestry.

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


Adjacent counties

Major highways

Des Moines River Watershed Minnesota River Watershed


The northeast part of the county drains north to the Minnesota River through numerous small creeks, the Cottonwood River and Watonwan River. The southwest part of the county drains south through the Des Moines River. These two watersheds come together at the Mississippi River near Keokuk, Iowa. Most wetlands in the county have been drained for agricultural use.


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 649 square miles (1,680 km2), of which 639 square miles (1,660 km2) is land and 10 square miles (26 km2) (1.5%) is water.[9]


Native vegetation based on NRCS soils information[8]
Presidential Election Results 2000-2008
Year Democratic Republican
2008 45.71% 2759 52.30% 3157
2004 42.80% 2726 55.85% 3557
2000 40.50% 2503 54.51% 3369

The Jeffers Petroglyphs, near the town of Jeffers, is a site containing pre-European Native American rock carvings also listed in the National Register of Historic Places. [6]

Mountain Park, located southeast of Mountain Lake, has been listed since 1973 on the National Register of Historic Places. [6] The park is the site of the oldest human habitation yet to be discovered in the state of Minnesota. A 1976 archeological dig unearthed evidence of Fox Indian inhabitation there from as early as 500 years before Christ. [7]

Windom[3] was declared the county seat in the 1872 general election and a proclamation was signed by the governor.

Minnesota Governor Austin appointed three county commissioners when the county was established. They met at a private home about six miles northwest of Windom on the Des Moines River at Big Bend. During this meeting, they designated the commissioners districts and changed various county officers. In the fall of 1870, the first general election was held. The first deed on record was filed on January 10, 1870. The first land assessments were made in 1871, and in 1872, the first taxes were paid.

Cottonwood County was established July 29, 1870. It was named after the Cottonwood River which runs through the northeast corner of Germantown Township. [4] The river received its name from the abundance of cottonwood trees on its banks. [5]



  • History 1
  • Geography 2
    • Watersheds 2.1
    • Lakes 2.2
    • Major highways 2.3
    • Adjacent counties 2.4
  • Demographics 3
  • County parks 4
  • Communities 5
    • Cities 5.1
    • Townships 5.2
    • Unincorporated community 5.3
  • See also 6
  • Footnotes 7
  • Further reading 8
  • External links 9


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