Dodge County, Minnesota
|Dodge County, Minnesota|
Dodge County Courthouse
Location in the U.S. state of Minnesota
Minnesota's location in the U.S.
|Founded||February 20, 1855|
|Named for||Henry Dodge|
|• Total||440 sq mi (1,140 km2)|
|• Land||439 sq mi (1,137 km2)|
|• Water||0.3 sq mi (1 km2), 0.07%|
|• Density||46/sq mi (18/km2)|
|Time zone||Central: UTC−6/−5|
Like many counties in Minnesota, Dodge County was originally inhabited by American Indians. The area was a common hunting and battle ground for the Mdewakanton Sioux, often fighting the Sauk and Fox Indians who had wandered into their territory. The first white person to visit Dodge County, however, is not known. It is believed by some that a French fur trader from Canada was the first, setting foot on its soil in the spring of 1655. Guides deemed this area unsafe due to the Natives living there. But, it was not until over two hundred years later the locality truly came to life.
The original founders of Dodge County were settlers from New England. These people were "Yankee's", that is to say they were descended from the English Puritans who settled New England in the 1600s. They were part of a wave of New England farmers who headed west into what was then the wilds of the Northwest Territory during the early 1800s. Most of them arrived as a result of the completion of the Erie Canal. When they arrived in what is now Dodge County there was nothing but a virgin forest and wild prairie, the New Englanders laid out farms, constructed roads, erected government buildings and established post routes. They brought with them many of their Yankee New England values, such as a passion for education, establishing many schools as well as staunch support for abolitionism. They were mostly members of the Congregationalist Church though some were Episcopalian. Culturally Dodge County, like much of Minnesota would be culturally very continuous with early New England culture, for most of its history. It was in 1853 that government surveyors set lines for the townships. A year later, the Mantor brothers, along with Eli P. Waterman, established their claims, which would later be an important town to the area known as "Mantorville." Still a year later, in 1855, Dodge County was organized for local government. Later on in its history, immigrants from Germany, Sweden and Norway would settle in the county. With increasing growth and improvement, Dodge County was officially placed in the Fifth Judicial District by the State Constitution on May 11, 1858. Its name was given in honor of Wisconsin governor Henry Dodge. The Dodge County Courthouse, designed by E. Townsend Mix and built of locally quarried limestone in 1865, is the oldest working courthouse in Minnesota.
Dodge County is located in the Southeastern part of Minnesota and spans 24 miles (39 km) long and 18 miles (29 km) wide. To the North and center of the county, it is hilly, high, and rolling with pebbly, loose soil, laid with a considerable amount of timber. This makes it well-suited for grain raising. The Southern part is quite the opposite. Being it is flat and wet, it's adapted perfectly for grazing and raising stock. The soil in this area is excellent for yielding huge crops, considering its extremely fertile soil. The heavy, black, clay loam makes this area a prime location for agriculture. Dodge is one of seven southern Minnesota counties that have no forest ecosystems; only prairie and savanna soils exist here.
Dodge County's plentiful amount of sand and rock also make the area a center for building. Quarries in Mantorville were once enterprises and consist of layers of thick stone which can be cut into any desired shape. Wasioja is also known around the nation for its excellent "Wasioja stone."
- Dodge Center Creek
- Harkcom Creek
- Henslin Creek
- Little Cedar River
- Maston Creek
- Millikin Creek
- Tompkins Creek
- Salem Creek
- Zumbro River Reservoir
- Rice Lake
- Rice County (northwest)
- Goodhue County (northeast)
- Olmsted County (east)
- Mower County (south)
- Steele County (west)
|U.S. Decennial Census|
As of the 2000 census, there were 17,731 people, 6,420 households, and 4,853 families residing in the county. The population density was 40 people per square mile (16/km²). There were 6,642 housing units at an average density of 15 per square mile (6/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 96.58% White, 0.20% Black or African American, 0.17% Native American, 0.41% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 1.89% from other races, and 0.73% from two or more races. 2.99% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 34.2% were of German, 26.9% Norwegian, 5.8% Irish, 5.8% American and 5.1% English ancestry.
There were 6,420 households out of which 40.70% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 64.70% were married couples living together, 7.20% had a female householder with no husband present, and 24.40% were non-families. 20.20% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.70% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.73 and the average family size was 3.15.
In the county, the population was spread out with 30.20% under the age of 18, 7.60% from 18 to 24, 29.90% from 25 to 44, 20.20% from 45 to 64, and 12.10% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 35 years. For every 100 females, there were 98.80 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 97.90 males.
The median income for a household in the county was $47,437, and the median income for a family was $54,261. Males had a median income of $34,195 versus $25,903 for females. The per capita income for the county was $19,259. About 4.40% of families and 5.80% of the population were below the poverty line, including 5.80% of those under age 18 and 9.60% of those age 65 or over.
- U.S. Highway 14
- U.S. Highway 218
- Minnesota State Highway 30
- Minnesota State Highway 56
- Minnesota State Highway 57
Dodge Center Municipal Airport is the only public airport in the county.
- Blooming Prairie (partly in Steele County)
- Dodge Center
- Mantorville (county seat)
- West Concord
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