Houston County, Minnesota

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Houston County, Minnesota
HoustonCountyMinnesota2006.JPG
Map of Minnesota highlighting Houston County
Location in the state of Minnesota
Map of the United States highlighting Minnesota
Minnesota's location in the U.S.
Founded February 23, 1854[1]
Named for Samuel Houston
Seat Caledonia
Largest city La Crescent
Area
 • Total 568.91 sq mi (1,473 km2)
 • Land 558.41 sq mi (1,446 km2)
 • Water 10.50 sq mi (27 km2), 1.85%
Population
 • (2010) 19,027
 • Density 35/sq mi (14/km²)
Congressional district 1st
Time zone Central: UTC-6/-5
Website www.houstoncounty.govoffice2.com

Houston County is a county located in the U.S. state of Minnesota. As of the 2010 census, the population was 19,027.[2] Its county seat is Caledonia.[3]

Houston County is included in the La Crosse-Onaslaska, WI-MN Metropolitan Statistical Area.

History[edit]

Four years before Minnesota was admitted to the Union as the 32nd state on May 11, 1858, Houston County was chartered after its division from the eastern half of Fillmore County on April 4, 1854. The county seat was the village of Houston for a few years, but the county board moved the official records to Caledonia for safe storage in the cabin of Commissioner Samuel McPhail. The first court hearings were held in that cabin, and a one-story courthouse and jail was built in Caledonia in 1857. Turmoil over the county seat continued, a two-story building was built in Caledonia in 1867, and several referenda allowed Caledonia to prevail as the county seat by 1874.[4] From that point on, Caledonia prospered, and Houston slowly diminished. The only other area of prominence was La Crescent, which benefited from its connection to La Crosse, Wisconsin.


The county name was chosen to honor Sam Houston, who was president of Texas before its annexation by the United States and afterward was a senator from that state.[5] In the years 1854-56, when antagonism between the North and South on slavery questions would lead eventually to the Civil War, Houston aspired to nomination as the Democratic candidate for the national presidency. In October 1854, the general Democratic committee of New Hampshire recommended him as "the people's candidate" for the campaign in 1856. His popularity in Minnesota at that time recommended the name of this county, and, likewise, counties in Tennessee and Texas and cities and villages in Texas, Mississippi, Missouri, and other states bear his name.[6]

Geography[edit]

Among other parts of southeastern Minnesota, the county is in the Driftless Zone, marked by the absence of glacial drift and presence of bedrock cut by streams into steep hills. The plateau that surrounds Caledonia, the county seat, includes flat, fertile farm land and hilly, verdant pasture land. Native vegetation based on NRCS soils information shows:Houston Co Pie Chart New Wiki Version.pdf[7]

According to the 2000 census, the county has a total area of 568.91 square miles (1,473.5 km2), of which 558.41 square miles (1,446.3 km2) (or 98.15%) is land and 10.50 square miles (27.2 km2) (or 1.85%) is water.[8]

Major highways[edit]

Public airports[edit]

Lakes[edit]

The following lakes are located within the Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge.

  • Blue Lake
  • Hayshore Lake
  • Lawrence Lake
  • Target Lake

Adjacent counties[edit]

National protected area[edit]

Demographics[edit]

Historical population
Census Pop.
1860 6,645
1870 14,936 124.8%
1880 16,332 9.3%
1890 14,653 −10.3%
1900 15,400 5.1%
1910 14,297 −7.2%
1920 14,013 −2.0%
1930 13,845 −1.2%
1940 14,735 6.4%
1950 14,435 −2.0%
1960 16,588 14.9%
1970 17,556 5.8%
1980 18,382 4.7%
1990 18,497 0.6%
2000 19,718 6.6%
2010 19,027 −3.5%
Est. 2012 18,837 −1.0%
U.S. Decennial Census[9]
2012 Estimate[2]
Age pyramid of county residents based on 2000 U.S. census data

As of the census of 2000,[10] there were 19,718 people, 7,633 households, and 5,411 families residing in the county. The population density was 35 people per square mile (14/km²). There were 8,168 housing units at an average density of 15 per square mile (6/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 98.47% White, 0.31% Black or African American, 0.18% Native American, 0.37% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 0.14% from other races, and 0.51% from two or more races. 0.61% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 43.1% were of German, 29.6% Norwegian and 7.5% Irish ancestry.

There were 7,633 households out of which 34.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 60.0% were married couples living together, 7.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 29.1% were non-families. 25.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 12.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.53 and the average family size was 3.05.

In the county the population was spread out with 27.2% under the age of 18, 6.8% from 18 to 24, 26.8% from 25 to 44, 23.1% from 45 to 64, and 16.0% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39 years. For every 100 females there were 97.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 95.1 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $40,680, and the median income for a family was $49,196. Males had a median income of $32,557 versus $22,158 for females. The per capita income for the county was $18,826. About 4.2% of families and 6.5% of the population were below the poverty line, including 6.4% of those under age 18 and 11.2% of those age 65 or over.

Cities and towns[edit]

Cities Townships Unincorporated
communities

† a small part of La Crescent's area extends into Winona County

Sheriffs[edit]

  1. Matthew Williams 1854–1858 5 years
  2. Edmund Kelly 1859–1860 2 years
  3. W.W. Willis 1861–1864 4 years
  4. J.G. Prentise 1865–1866 2 years
  5. R.F. Judd 1867–1870 4 years
  6. John Phelps 1871–1872 2 years
  7. S.W. Walker 1873–1874 2 years
  8. Mark Hargreaves 1875–1878 4 years
  9. Walter Goergen 1879–1886 8 years
  10. George C. Drawley 1887–1892 6 years
  11. George N. Blexrud 1893–1900 8 years
  12. F.H. Evens 1901–1902 2 years
  13. Jacob Johnson 1903–1906 4 years
  14. C.K. Blexrud 1907–1912 6 years
  15. H.J.Blexrud 1913-died in office after 6 months
  16. George N.Blexrud 1913–1918 5½ years
  17. W.E. Abbots 1919–1926 8 years
  18. Arthur Brown 1927–1938 12 years
  19. Walter Goergen 1939-died in office after 1 month
  20. George V. Kelly 1939–1946 7 years 11 months
  21. Beryl Kerrigan 1947–1958 12 years
  22. Byron Whitehouse 1959–1970 12 years
  23. Jerry T. Olson 1971–1978 8 years
  24. Dennis L. Swedberg 1979–1994 16 years
  25. Michael C. Lee 1995-Oct 31,2005 10 years 10 months
  26. Darryl Peterson Nov 1,2005–2006 14 months
  27. Douglas Ely 2007-?

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Minnesota Place Names". Minnesota Historical Society. Retrieved March 18, 2014. 
  2. ^ a b "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved September 1, 2013. 
  3. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07. 
  4. ^ "Houston County Courthouse". Retrieved Octbober 18, 2013. 
  5. ^ Gannett, Henry (1905). The Origin of Certain Place Names in the United States. Govt. Print. Off. p. 161. 
  6. ^ "Census 2010 Gazetteer Files". Retrieved Octbober 18, 2013. 
  7. ^ Nelson, Steven (2011). Savanna Soils of Minnesota. Minnesota: Self. pp. 43 - 48. ISBN 978-0-615-50320-2.
  8. ^ "Houston County". Retrieved July 2, 2013. 
  9. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". Census.gov. Retrieved September 1, 2013. 
  10. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 43°40′N 91°29′W / 43.67°N 91.49°W / 43.67; -91.49