Houston County, Minnesota

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Houston County, Minnesota
HoustonCountyCourthouseCaledoniaMN.jpg
Map of Minnesota highlighting Houston County
Location within the U.S. state of Minnesota
Map of the United States highlighting Minnesota
Minnesota's location within the U.S.
FoundedFebruary 23, 1854 (created)
April 4, 1854 (organized)
Named forSam Houston
SeatCaledonia
Largest cityLa Crescent
Area
 • Total569 sq mi (1,474 km2)
 • Land552 sq mi (1,430 km2)
 • Water17 sq mi (44 km2), 2.9%
Population (est.)
 • (2018)18,578
 • Density33.8/sq mi (13.1/km2)
Congressional district1st
Time zoneCentral: UTC−6/−5
Websiteco.houston.mn.us

Houston County is a county in the U.S. state of Minnesota. As of the 2010 United States Census, the population was 19,027.[1] Its county seat is Caledonia.[2]

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

History[edit]

The area covered by today's Houston County was first organized as St. Croix County, of the Wisconsin Territory, in 1839.[3] On October 27, 1849, part of that county was partitioned off to create Wabashaw County of the Minnesota Territory.[4] On February 23, 1854, the territorial legislature authorized the partitioning of sections of Wabashaw to create Fillmore County[5] and Houston County.[6] An election on April 4, 1854, allowed the county government to be completed.[7] The county was named for Sam Houston, who had been president of the Republic of Texas and a US senator from Texas.[8] The village of Houston was the first county seat. Then a land speculator made an effort to move the seat to Caledonia, and in 1855 the county board moved the county records to Caledonia, which became the de facto seat, and eventually the legal seat after several county votes. In 1855 the records were stored 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. A two-story building was built in Caledonia in 1867, and several referenda made Caledonia the county seat by 1874.[9] From that point on, Caledonia prospered and Houston slowly declined. The only other area of prominence was La Crescent, which benefited from its connection to La Crosse, Wisconsin.

Geography[edit]

Houston County is at Minnesota's southeast corner. Its eastern border abuts Wisconsin (across the Mississippi River), and its southern border abuts Iowa. The Mississippi flows south-southeast along its eastern border. The Root River flows east through the northern part of the county, discharging into the Mississippi. Pine Creek flows east-southeast through the northeastern part of the county to discharge into the Mississippi, while Crooked Creek flows east across the southern part of the county to discharge into the Mississippi. The county's terrain consists of low rolling hills on its western end, transitioning to hills carved with drainages toward the east.[10] The central and western portion of the county is a plateau with its highest point at 1,273' (388m) ASL, near its southwest corner.[11] The county has a total area of 569 square miles (1,470 km2), of which 552 square miles (1,430 km2) is land and 17 square miles (44 km2) (2.9%) is water.[12]

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 includes flat, fertile farm land and hilly, verdant pasture land.

Soils of Houston County[13]
Soils of Beaver Creek Valley State Park neighborhood

Lakes[10][edit]

The Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge runs along the county's eastern border. Four lakes in that Refuge fall within the county:

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

Adjacent counties[edit]

Protected areas[10][edit]

Demographics[edit]

Historical population
Census Pop.
18606,645
187014,936124.8%
188016,3329.3%
189014,653−10.3%
190015,4005.1%
191014,297−7.2%
192014,013−2.0%
193013,845−1.2%
194014,7356.4%
195014,435−2.0%
196016,58814.9%
197017,5565.8%
198018,3824.7%
199018,4970.6%
200019,7186.6%
201019,027−3.5%
Est. 201818,578[14]−2.4%
US Decennial Census[15]
1790-1960[16] 1900-1990[17]
1990-2000[18] 2010-2018[1]
Age pyramid of county residents based on 2000 US census data

2000 census[edit]

As of the 2000 United States Census,[19] there were 19,718 people, 7,633 households, and 5,411 families in the county. The population density was 35.7/sqmi (13.8/km²). There were 8,168 housing units at an average density of 14.8/sqmi (5.71/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.

The county population contained 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.

Transportation[edit]

Major highways[edit]

Airport[edit]

Communities[edit]

Cities[edit]

Unincorporated communities[edit]

Townships[edit]

Politics[edit]

Houston County voters have tended to vote Republican in the past few decades. In 67% of national elections since 1980, the county selected the Republican Party candidate (as of 2016).

Presidential election results
Presidential elections results[20]
Year Republican Democratic Third parties
2016 53.0% 5,616 39.1% 4,145 8.0% 843
2012 47.4% 4,951 50.6% 5,281 2.1% 214
2008 43.6% 4,743 54.3% 5,906 2.2% 234
2004 50.8% 5,631 47.6% 5,276 1.6% 175
2000 49.9% 5,077 44.3% 4,502 5.8% 588
1996 38.9% 3,674 44.0% 4,153 17.2% 1,623
1992 36.9% 3,853 35.8% 3,744 27.3% 2,854
1988 54.1% 4,777 44.6% 3,936 1.3% 112
1984 61.1% 5,645 38.0% 3,512 1.0% 88
1980 58.9% 5,582 33.9% 3,218 7.2% 681
1976 54.4% 4,853 43.3% 3,861 2.4% 212
1972 66.6% 5,186 31.7% 2,467 1.8% 137
1968 57.9% 4,450 35.2% 2,703 6.9% 528
1964 46.9% 3,433 53.0% 3,885 0.1% 8
1960 60.9% 4,807 39.0% 3,080 0.0% 3
1956 67.9% 4,538 31.9% 2,133 0.1% 9
1952 74.3% 5,365 25.3% 1,830 0.4% 28
1948 56.8% 3,540 42.1% 2,623 1.1% 68
1944 68.3% 4,036 31.3% 1,847 0.4% 25
1940 69.5% 4,825 30.0% 2,082 0.5% 37
1936 44.3% 2,701 51.7% 3,156 4.0% 243
1932 42.6% 2,335 55.7% 3,052 1.7% 91
1928 64.9% 3,615 34.8% 1,937 0.4% 21
1924 53.6% 2,782 7.7% 402 38.7% 2,008
1920 85.7% 4,101 12.5% 598 1.8% 88
1916 69.1% 1,783 28.8% 744 2.1% 54
1912 23.8% 659 27.5% 762 48.8% 1,354
1908 67.4% 1,700 29.5% 745 3.1% 79
1904 76.1% 1,546 21.4% 434 2.5% 51
1900 64.6% 1,765 32.4% 884 3.1% 84
1896 65.9% 2,087 31.3% 991 2.8% 88
1892 50.1% 1,509 41.3% 1,243 8.6% 258

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on July 11, 2011. Retrieved September 1, 2013.
  2. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Archived from the original on May 31, 2011. Retrieved June 7, 2011.
  3. ^ History 1919, p. 15
  4. ^ History 1919, p. 94
  5. ^ History 1919, pp. 94-95
  6. ^ History 1919, p. 95
  7. ^ History 1919, p. 95.
  8. ^ Gannett, Henry (1905). The Origin of Certain Place Names in the United States. Govt. Print. Off. p. 161.
  9. ^ "Houston County Courthouse". Archived from the original on December 6, 2007. Retrieved October 18, 2013.
  10. ^ a b c Houston County MN Google Maps (accessed 12 March 2019)
  11. ^ "Find an Altitude/Houston County MN" Google Maps (accessed 12 March 2019)
  12. ^ "2010 Census Gazetteer Files". US Census Bureau. August 22, 2012. Archived from the original on October 6, 2014. Retrieved October 15, 2014.
  13. ^ Nelson, Steven (2011). Savanna Soils of Minnesota. Minnesota: Self. pp. 43-48. ISBN 978-0-615-50320-2.
  14. ^ "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". Retrieved May 2, 2019.
  15. ^ "US Decennial Census". US Census Bureau. Archived from the original on May 12, 2015. Retrieved October 15, 2014.
  16. ^ "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved October 15, 2014.
  17. ^ "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". US Census Bureau. Retrieved October 15, 2014.
  18. ^ "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000" (PDF). US Census Bureau. Retrieved October 15, 2014.
  19. ^ "American FactFinder". US Census Bureau. Retrieved May 31, 2008.
  20. ^ Leip, David. "Atlas of US Presidential Elections". uselectionatlas.org. Retrieved September 19, 2018.
  • History of Houston County (1919)[1]

External links[edit]

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

  1. ^ [1] Digitized version (accessed March 12, 2019)