Becker County, Minnesota

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Not to be confused with Becker, Minnesota.
Becker County, Minnesota
Map of Minnesota highlighting Becker County
Location in the state of Minnesota
Map of the United States highlighting Minnesota
Minnesota's location in the U.S.
Founded March 18, 1858[1]
Named for George Loomis Becker
Seat Detroit Lakes
Largest city Detroit Lakes
Area
 • Total 1,445.11 sq mi (3,743 km2)
 • Land 1,310.42 sq mi (3,394 km2)
 • Water 134.69 sq mi (349 km2), 9.32%
Population (Est.)
 • (2012) 33,000
 • Density 23/sq mi (9/km²)
Congressional district 7th
Time zone Central: UTC-6/-5
Website www.co.becker.mn.us

Becker County is a county located in the U.S. state of Minnesota. As of the 2010 census, the population was 32,504.[2] Its county seat is Detroit Lakes.[3] A portion of the White Earth Indian Reservation extends into the county.

History[edit]

Becker County became a county on March 18, 1858. It was named after Brigadier General George Loomis Becker (1829-1904).[4] Becker was one of three men elected to congress when Minnesota became a state, but since Minnesota could only send two, Becker elected to stay behind, and he was promised to have a county named after him.

The city of Detroit Lakes was founded by Colonel George Johnston in 1871, the city grew quickly with the construction of the Northern Pacific Railroad. In 1877, an election finally decided that Detroit Lakes, then known as Detroit, was to become the county seat. Detroit won the election by a ninety percent majority. Frazee, Lake Park, and Audubon were also in the running for the county seat.

In 1884, Detroit Lakes had many businesses such as the Hotel Minnesota, the Lakes Hotel, a bank, a newspaper, and an opera house. The first courthouse was built that year also. In 1885, the first County Fire Department was constructed. In 1903, the Soo Line Railroads built a rail line through the county. Only one book has been published about Becker County, "History of Becker" was written by A.H. Wilcox in 1907.

Presidential Election Results 2000-2008
Year Democratic Republican
2008 45.31% 7687 52.17% 8851
2004 40.21% 6756 58.30% 9795
2000 36.65% 5253 56.88% 8152

Geography[edit]

According to the 2000 census, the county has a total area of 1,445.11 square miles (3,742.8 km2), of which 1,310.42 square miles (3,394.0 km2) (or 90.68%) is land and 134.69 square miles (348.8 km2) (or 9.32%) is water.[5] Native vegetation based on NRCS soils information shows:Becker County Pie Chart New Wiki Version.pdf[6] Color key for Minnesota's native vegetation: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Minnesota_ten_color_palat_september_wiki_version.jpeg . Example of native vegetation in Becker County: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Callaway_WMA_Wiki_Version.JPG

Major highways[edit]

Topography[edit]

Becker County has much diversity in its topographical features. Becker County is home to several hundred lakes, many acres of fertile farm land, and forested areas. Much of the land consists of hills and deciduous trees.

Adjacent counties[edit]

National protected areas[edit]

Demographics[edit]

Historical population
Census Pop.
1860 386
1870 308 −20.2%
1880 5,218 1,594.2%
1890 9,401 80.2%
1900 14,375 52.9%
1910 18,840 31.1%
1920 22,851 21.3%
1930 22,503 −1.5%
1940 26,562 18.0%
1950 24,836 −6.5%
1960 23,959 −3.5%
1970 24,372 1.7%
1980 29,336 20.4%
1990 27,881 −5.0%
2000 30,000 7.6%
2010 32,504 8.3%
Est. 2012 33,000 1.5%
U.S. Decennial Census[7]
2012 Estimate[2]

As of the census of 2000, there were 30,000 people, 11,844 households, and 8,184 families residing in the county. The population density was 23 people per square mile (9/km²). There were 16,612 housing units at an average density of 13 per square mile (5/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 89.35% White, 0.19% Black or African American, 7.52% Native American, 0.36% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 0.24% from other races, and 2.32% from two or more races. 0.77% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 32.2% were of German, 26.0% Norwegian and 5.2% Swedish ancestry

There were 11,844 households out of which 31.30% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 57.10% were married couples living together, 7.90% had a female householder with no husband present, and 30.90% were non-families. 26.90% of all households were made up of individuals and 12.60% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.49 and the average family size was 3.02.

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

In the county the population was spread out with 26.60% under the age of 18, 7.10% from 18 to 24, 24.90% from 25 to 44, 24.90% from 45 to 64, and 16.40% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39 years. For every 100 females there were 99.40 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 97.80 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $34,797, and the median income for a family was $41,807. Males had a median income of $29,641 versus $20,693 for females. The per capita income for the county was $17,085. About 8.50% of families and 12.20% of the population were below the poverty line, including 16.40% of those under age 18 and 11.80% of those age 65 or over.

On ePodunk : Becker County & Becker Cty. ancestry:
German - 31%; Norwegian - 23%; Swedish - 7% (2000)

In popular culture[edit]

Becker County is the setting for the 2006 independent film Sweet Land, though it was filmed in Chippewa County.

Cities and towns[edit]

A country road in Becker County in summer
Cities Townships CDPs Unincorporated
communities

Climate and weather[edit]

Detroit Lakes, Minnesota
Climate chart (explanation)
J F M A M J J A S O N D
 
 
0.8
 
19
-2
 
 
0.5
 
26
3
 
 
1.1
 
37
17
 
 
1.9
 
56
32
 
 
3.5
 
69
45
 
 
4.4
 
78
55
 
 
3.8
 
82
60
 
 
3
 
81
58
 
 
3.6
 
71
47
 
 
3.1
 
56
35
 
 
1.2
 
38
21
 
 
0.7
 
23
5
Average max. and min. temperatures in °F
Precipitation totals in inches
Source: The Weather Channel[8]

In recent years, average temperatures in the county seat of Detroit Lakes have ranged from a low of −2 °F (−19 °C) in January to a high of 82 °F (28 °C) in July, although a record low of −46 °F (−43 °C) was recorded in February 1936 and a record high of 107 °F (42 °C) was recorded in July 1936. Average monthly precipitation ranged from 0.53 inches (13 mm) in February to 4.44 inches (113 mm) in June.[8]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  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. ^ Nathan Kane, Charles Curry Aiken (2005). "The American counties: origins of county names, dates of creation, and population data, 1950-2000" p.18. Scarecrow Press, 2005
  5. ^ "Census 2010 Gazetteer Files". Retrieved July 2, 2013. 
  6. ^ Nelson, Steven (2011). Savanna Soils of Minnesota. Minnesota: Self. pp. 53 - 56. ISBN 978-0-615-50320-2.
  7. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". Census.gov. Retrieved August 31, 2013. 
  8. ^ a b "Monthly Averages for Detroit Lakes, Minnesota". The Weather Channel. Retrieved 2011-11-06. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 46°56′N 95°40′W / 46.93°N 95.67°W / 46.93; -95.67