Blue Earth County, Minnesota

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Blue Earth County
Blue Earth County Courthouse
Map of Minnesota highlighting Blue Earth County
Location within the U.S. state of Minnesota
Map of the United States highlighting Minnesota
Minnesota's location within the U.S.
Coordinates: 44°02′N 94°04′W / 44.03°N 94.06°W / 44.03; -94.06
Country United States
State Minnesota
FoundedMarch 5, 1853[1]
Named forBlue Earth River
SeatMankato
Largest cityMankato
Area
 • Total766 sq mi (1,980 km2)
 • Land748 sq mi (1,940 km2)
 • Water18 sq mi (50 km2)  2.3%%
Population
 (2020)
 • Total69,112
 • Estimate 
(2021)
69,280 Increase
 • Density90.2/sq mi (34.8/km2)
Time zoneUTC−6 (Central)
 • Summer (DST)UTC−5 (CDT)
Congressional district1st
Websitewww.co.blue-earth.mn.us

Blue Earth County is a county in the State of Minnesota. As of the 2020 census, the population was 69,112.[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 metropolitan area.

History[edit]

The area of Blue Earth County was once occupied by the Dakota Indians. French explorer Pierre-Charles Le Sueur was an early explorer in this area, arriving where the Minnesota and Blue Earth rivers meet. He made an unsuccessful attempt to mine copper from the blue earth. The area remained under French control until 1803 when it passed to the United States in the Louisiana Purchase.

When Minnesota became a territory in 1849, the territorial government became interested in settling the river valley. 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, debarked and settled in present-day Mankato. The ratification of the Mendota and Traverse des Sioux treaties in 1851 effectively forced the Dakota to move to nearby reservations.

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

Unfulfilled treaty promises and starvation on the 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' arrival helped with the growth and development of many areas, including Blue Earth. The railroads allowed immigrants and Yankee settlers into the area.

Soils of Blue Earth County[5]

Geography[edit]

The Minnesota River flows southeasterly along the western part of the county's northern boundary line. It is joined by the Blue Earth River, which flows northerly through the western central part of the county. The Watonwan River flows northwesterly through the northeastern part of the county, discharging into the Blue Earth. The Little Cobb River flows northwesterly through the southeastern part of the county, meeting with the Cobb River which flows northerly through the lower part of the county into the Blue Earth River. The Le Sueur River also flows west-northwesterly through the SE part of the county, discharging into the Blue Earth River.

The county terrain consists of low rolling hills, with the area (except around built-up zones, and in areas carved by runoff) devoted to agriculture.[6] It slopes generally to the north. Its southwest corner is 1,086' (331m) above sea level.[7][8]

The county has an 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.[9] 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. There are many "closed forest savannas" that some call the big woods in the county's northeast. The rivers that flow out of the northeast are surrounded by these big woods. Most of the county is grassland prairie but scattered parts are wet prairie. Some spots that surround the rivers are oak openings and barren brushland.

Major highways[edit]

Lakes[edit]

  • Crystal Lake
  • Albert Lake
  • Alice Lake
  • Armstrong Lake
  • Ballantyne Lake
  • Born Lake
  • Cottonwood Lake
  • Duck Lake
  • Eagle Lake
  • George Lake
  • Gilfillin Lake
  • Ida Lake
  • Indian Lake
  • Knights Lake
  • Lake Crystal
  • Lieberg Lake
  • Lily Lake
  • Long Lake
  • Loon Lake
  • Lura Lake (part)
  • Madison Lake
  • Mennenga Lake
  • Mills Lake
  • Minnesota Lake (part)
  • Mud Lake
  • Perch Lake
  • Porter Lake
  • Rice Lake
  • Severson Lake
  • Strom Lake
  • Wita Lake

[6]

Adjacent counties[edit]

Climate and weather[edit]

Mankato, Minnesota
Climate chart (explanation)
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[10]

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.[10]

Demographics[edit]

Historical population
Census Pop.
18604,803
187017,302260.2%
188022,88932.3%
189029,21027.6%
190032,26310.5%
191029,337−9.1%
192031,4777.3%
193033,8477.5%
194036,2037.0%
195038,3275.9%
196044,38515.8%
197052,32217.9%
198052,3140.0%
199054,0443.3%
200055,9413.5%
201064,01314.4%
202069,1128.0%
2021 (est.)69,280[11]0.2%
U.S. Decennial Census[12]
1790-1960[13] 1900-1990[14]
1990-2000[15] 2010-2020[2]
Age pyramid of county residents based on 2000 U.S. census data

2000 census[edit]

As of the 2000 census, the county had 55,941 people, 21,062 households, and 12,616 families. The population density was 74.8/sq mi (28.9/km2). There were 21,971 housing units at an average density of 29.4/sqmi (11.3/km2). The county's racial makeup 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, 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.

21.40% of the county's population was under the age of 18, 22.10% were from age 18 to 24, 25.60% were from age 25 to 44, 18.80% were from age 45 to 64, and 12.10% were age 65 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 county's median household income was $38,940, and the median family income was $50,257. Males had a median income of $32,087 versus $22,527 for females. The county's per capita income 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[edit]

Cities[edit]

Census-designated place[edit]

Unincorporated communities[edit]

Townships[edit]

Government and politics[edit]

As of 2020, Blue Earth County has voted for the winning presidential candidate in 13 of the last 15 elections, the exceptions being 1988 and 2004. Since 1988 it has tilted toward the Democratic Party, but in 2000 and 2016 it voted for the Republican candidates. Despite voting for Trump in 2016, the county voted for Joe Biden in 2020.

United States presidential election results for Blue Earth County, Minnesota[16]
Year Republican Democratic Third party
No.  % No.  % No.  %
2020 16,731 46.41% 18,330 50.84% 990 2.75%
2016 15,667 46.64% 14,428 42.95% 3,498 10.41%
2012 14,916 43.52% 18,164 53.00% 1,194 3.48%
2008 14,782 42.15% 19,325 55.10% 963 2.75%
2004 15,737 47.52% 16,865 50.92% 517 1.56%
2000 12,942 47.23% 12,329 44.99% 2,131 7.78%
1996 9,082 35.95% 12,420 49.17% 3,759 14.88%
1992 8,813 31.65% 11,531 41.41% 7,503 26.94%
1988 11,959 48.71% 12,375 50.40% 218 0.89%
1984 14,298 54.27% 11,877 45.08% 172 0.65%
1980 11,966 45.78% 10,930 41.82% 3,242 12.40%
1976 11,998 46.71% 12,930 50.33% 760 2.96%
1972 12,702 53.68% 10,638 44.96% 322 1.36%
1968 9,571 48.99% 9,254 47.37% 712 3.64%
1964 8,009 42.61% 10,687 56.85% 101 0.54%
1960 11,328 58.35% 8,052 41.48% 33 0.17%
1956 11,398 67.50% 5,467 32.38% 21 0.12%
1952 11,867 70.34% 4,952 29.35% 51 0.30%
1948 7,520 50.29% 7,272 48.63% 162 1.08%
1944 9,429 64.67% 5,098 34.96% 54 0.37%
1940 9,642 61.87% 5,880 37.73% 62 0.40%
1936 5,550 37.58% 8,255 55.89% 964 6.53%
1932 5,550 40.54% 7,925 57.88% 216 1.58%
1928 8,120 60.71% 5,177 38.70% 79 0.59%
1924 6,773 55.09% 1,123 9.13% 4,399 35.78%
1920 8,894 79.05% 1,974 17.55% 383 3.40%
1916 2,864 53.96% 2,211 41.65% 233 4.39%
1912 1,344 25.40% 2,025 38.27% 1,922 36.33%
1908 3,297 56.20% 2,191 37.34% 379 6.46%
1904 3,573 67.42% 1,419 26.77% 308 5.81%
1900 3,647 58.68% 2,254 36.27% 314 5.05%
1896 4,055 57.50% 2,744 38.91% 253 3.59%
1892 2,680 46.00% 2,399 41.18% 747 12.82%


County Board of Commissioners[17]
Position Name District Next Election
Commissioner Colleen Landkamer District 1 2022
Commissioner and Chairperson Vance Stuehrenberg District 2 2022
Commissioner Mark Piepho District 3 2020
Commissioner Will Purvis District 4 2020
Commissioner Kip Bruender District 5 2020
State Legislature (2021-2023)
Position Name Affiliation District
  Senate Nick Frentz[18] Democrat District 19
  Senate Julie Rosen[19] Republican District 23
  House of Representatives Susan Akland[20] Republican District 19A
  House of Representatives Luke Frederick[21] Democrat District 19B
  House of Representatives Jeremy Munson[22] Republican District 23B
U.S Congress (2021-2023)
Position Name Affiliation District
  House of Representatives Jim Hagedorn[23] Republican 1st
  Senate Amy Klobuchar[24] Democrat N/A
  Senate Tina Smith[25] Democrat N/A

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Minnesota Place Names". Minnesota Historical Society. Archived from the original on June 20, 2012. Retrieved March 17, 2014.
  2. ^ a b "U.S. Census Bureau QuickFacts: Blue Earth County, Minnesota". www.census.gov. United States Census Bureau. Retrieved March 30, 2022.
  3. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Archived from the original on May 31, 2011. Retrieved June 7, 2011.
  4. ^ Upham, Warren (1920). Minnesota Geographic Names: Their Origin and Historic Significance. Minnesota Historical Society. p. 57.
  5. ^ Nelson, Steven (2011). Savanna Soils of Minnesota. Minnesota: Self. pp. 65-67. ISBN 978-0-615-50320-2.
  6. ^ a b Blue Earth County MN Google Maps (accessed March 5, 2019)
  7. ^ ""Find an Altitude/Blue Earth County MN" Google Maps (accessed March 5, 2019)". Archived from the original on May 21, 2019. Retrieved March 5, 2019.
  8. ^ Blue Earth County High Point, Minnesota. PeakBagger.com (accessed May 5, 2019)
  9. ^ "2010 Census Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. August 22, 2012. Archived from the original on October 6, 2014. Retrieved October 5, 2014.
  10. ^ a b "Monthly Averages for Mankato MN". The Weather Channel. Retrieved November 6, 2011.
  11. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Counties: April 1, 2020 to July 1, 2021". Retrieved March 30, 2022.
  12. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on April 26, 2015. Retrieved October 5, 2014.
  13. ^ "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved October 5, 2014.
  14. ^ "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved October 5, 2014.
  15. ^ "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. Retrieved October 5, 2014.
  16. ^ Leip, David. "Atlas of US Presidential Elections". uselectionatlas.org. Retrieved April 17, 2018.
  17. ^ "Board of Commissioners | Blue Earth County, MN - Official Website". www.co.blue-earth.mn.us. Retrieved June 25, 2020.
  18. ^ "MN State Senate". www.senate.mn. Retrieved June 25, 2020.
  19. ^ "MN State Senate". www.senate.mn. Retrieved June 25, 2020.
  20. ^ Rinehart, Jake. "Akland wins House District 19A following recount". www.keyc.com. Retrieved April 18, 2021.
  21. ^ "Rep. Luke Frederick (19B) - Minnesota House of Representatives". www.house.leg.state.mn.us. Retrieved April 18, 2021.
  22. ^ "Rep. Jeremy Munson (23B) - Minnesota House of Representatives". www.house.leg.state.mn.us. Retrieved June 25, 2020.
  23. ^ "Representative Jim Hagedorn". Representative Jim Hagedorn. Retrieved June 25, 2020.
  24. ^ "U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar". www.klobuchar.senate.gov. Retrieved June 24, 2020.
  25. ^ "Home". Senator Tina Smith. Retrieved June 24, 2020.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 44°02′N 94°04′W / 44.03°N 94.06°W / 44.03; -94.06