Meeker County, Minnesota

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Meeker County
Grand Army of the Republic Hall in Litchfield, Minnesota.
Map of Minnesota highlighting Meeker County
Location within the U.S. state of Minnesota
Map of the United States highlighting Minnesota
Minnesota's location within the U.S.
Coordinates: 45°07′N 94°32′W / 45.12°N 94.53°W / 45.12; -94.53
Country United States
State Minnesota
FoundedFebruary 23, 1856[1]
Named forBradley B. Meeker, an associate justice of Minnesota Territorial Court
SeatLitchfield
Largest cityLitchfield
Area
 • Total645 sq mi (1,670 km2)
 • Land608 sq mi (1,570 km2)
 • Water37 sq mi (100 km2)  5.7%%
Population
 (2020)
 • Total23,400
 • Estimate 
(2021)
23,376 Decrease
 • Density38.5/sq mi (14.9/km2)
Time zoneUTC−6 (Central)
 • Summer (DST)UTC−5 (CDT)
Congressional district7th
Websitewww.co.meeker.mn.us

Meeker County is a county in the U.S. state of Minnesota. As of the 2020 census, the population was 23,400.[2] Its county seat is Litchfield.[3]

History[edit]

The Wisconsin Territory was established by the federal government effective July 3, 1836, and existed until its eastern portion was granted statehood (as Wisconsin) in 1848. The federal government set up the Minnesota Territory effective March 3, 1849. The newly organized territorial legislature created nine counties across the territory in October of that year. One of those original counties, Dakota, had portions partitioned off to create Cass (1851), Nicollet (1853), Pierce (1853), and Sibley (1853) counties. In 1855 portions of those counties were carved out to create Davis, and on February 23, 1856, the territorial legislature created Meeker County from a portion of Davis. It was named for Bradley B. Meeker (1813-1873), who served on the Minnesota Territorial Supreme Court from 1849 to 1853.[4] The area of Forest City was first settled in the 1850s, and the village was named the county seat in 1856. It was platted as Forest City in 1857.

In 1856 the first settlers moved into the future Litchfield; the resulting settlement was named Ness. The area grew, and with the arrival of a spur from the St. Paul and Pacific Railroad, the vote was taken to move the county seat to this area in the fall of 1869. Upon being platted in 1869, the city was renamed Litchfield.[5]

On March 20, 1858, the western portion of Meeker County was partitioned off to create Kandiyohi County. Meeker County's boundaries have remained unchanged since then.

Geography[edit]

Meeker County's terrain consists of low rolling hills, lightly wooded and heavily dotted with lakes and ponds. The available area is devoted to agriculture.[6] The terrain slopes to the south and east,[7] with its highest point just southwest of Lake Hope, 7.9 miles (12.7 km) west-southwest of Litchfield, at 1,261' (384m) ASL.[8] The county has a total area of 645 square miles (1,670 km2), of which 608 square miles (1,570 km2) is land and 37 square miles (96 km2) (5.7%) is water.[9]

Soils of Meeker County[10]
Soils of Greenleaf Lake SRA

Major highways[edit]

Adjacent counties[edit]

Protected areas[6][edit]

  • Acton State Wildlife Management Area
  • Greenleaf Lake State Recreation Area
  • Greenleaf State Wildlife Management Area
  • Knapp State Wildlife Management Area (part)
  • Madsen State Wildlife Management Area
  • Popular State Wildlife Management Area
  • Wieker State Wildlife Management Area

Demographics[edit]

Historical population
Census Pop.
1860928
18706,090556.3%
188011,73992.8%
189015,45631.7%
190017,75314.9%
191017,022−4.1%
192018,1036.4%
193017,914−1.0%
194019,2777.6%
195018,966−1.6%
196018,887−0.4%
197018,387−2.6%
198020,59412.0%
199020,8461.2%
200022,6448.6%
201023,3002.9%
202023,4000.4%
2021 (est.)23,376[11]−0.1%
U.S. Decennial Census[12]
1790-1960[13] 1900-1990[14]
1990-2000[15] 2010-2020[2]

2000 census[edit]

Age pyramid of county residents based on 2000 census data

As of the 2000 census, there were 22,644 people, 8,590 households, and 6,133 families in the county. The population density was 37.2/sqmi (14.4/km2). There were 9,821 housing units at an average density of 16.2/sqmi (6.24/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 97.35% White, 0.19% Black or African American, 0.18% Native American, 0.40% Asian, 1.40% from other races, and 0.48% from two or more races. 2.15% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 45.8% were of German, 12.2% Swedish and 11.3% Norwegian ancestry.

There were 8,590 households, out of which 33.70% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 61.50% were married couples living together, 6.30% had a female householder with no husband present, and 28.60% were non-families. 24.40% of all households were made up of individuals, and 12.00% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.58 and the average family size was 3.07.

The county population contained 27.00% under the age of 18, 7.40% from 18 to 24, 26.40% from 25 to 44, 23.00% from 45 to 64, and 16.30% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females there were 101.70 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 98.90 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $40,908, and the median income for a family was $47,923. Males had a median income of $33,157 versus $22,743 for females. The per capita income for the county was $18,628. About 4.70% of families and 7.10% of the population were below the poverty line, including 6.40% of those under age 18 and 13.80% of those age 65 or over.

Communities[edit]

Cities[edit]

Unincorporated communities[edit]

Townships[edit]

Politics[edit]

Meeker County usually votes Republican. In 78% of national elections since 1980 the county selected the Republican Party candidate (as of 2020).

United States presidential election results for Meeker County, Minnesota[16]
Year Republican Democratic Third party
No.  % No.  % No.  %
2020 9,359 69.18% 3,867 28.58% 303 2.24%
2016 8,104 65.98% 3,191 25.98% 987 8.04%
2012 6,913 56.60% 4,969 40.68% 332 2.72%
2008 6,737 53.70% 5,380 42.89% 428 3.41%
2004 6,854 55.57% 5,292 42.91% 188 1.52%
2000 5,520 51.72% 4,402 41.25% 750 7.03%
1996 3,428 35.56% 4,531 47.01% 1,680 17.43%
1992 3,497 33.18% 3,861 36.63% 3,182 30.19%
1988 4,999 51.50% 4,544 46.81% 164 1.69%
1984 5,511 56.70% 4,156 42.76% 53 0.55%
1980 5,032 49.85% 4,238 41.98% 825 8.17%
1976 4,097 41.97% 5,295 54.25% 369 3.78%
1972 5,097 57.06% 3,601 40.31% 235 2.63%
1968 4,044 46.46% 4,213 48.40% 447 5.14%
1964 3,099 36.99% 5,270 62.90% 9 0.11%
1960 4,857 56.74% 3,678 42.97% 25 0.29%
1956 4,738 58.52% 3,348 41.35% 11 0.14%
1952 5,750 66.80% 2,833 32.91% 25 0.29%
1948 3,620 44.89% 4,333 53.73% 112 1.39%
1944 4,302 57.31% 3,159 42.09% 45 0.60%
1940 5,026 57.86% 3,615 41.62% 45 0.52%
1936 2,479 32.87% 4,242 56.25% 821 10.89%
1932 2,273 31.80% 4,723 66.08% 151 2.11%
1928 4,175 59.63% 2,761 39.43% 66 0.94%
1924 2,757 45.47% 365 6.02% 2,942 48.52%
1920 4,693 78.40% 878 14.67% 415 6.93%
1916 1,780 52.69% 1,475 43.66% 123 3.64%
1912 560 17.31% 1,099 33.97% 1,576 48.72%
1908 1,928 61.23% 1,111 35.28% 110 3.49%
1904 2,327 73.85% 692 21.96% 132 4.19%
1900 2,032 58.76% 1,300 37.59% 126 3.64%
1896 2,094 56.32% 1,538 41.37% 86 2.31%
1892 1,274 42.09% 1,146 37.86% 607 20.05%


See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Minnesota Place Names". Minnesota Historical Society. Archived from the original on June 20, 2012. Retrieved March 18, 2014.
  2. ^ a b "U.S. Census Bureau QuickFacts: Meeker County, Minnesota". www.census.gov. United States Census Bureau. Retrieved April 2, 2022.
  3. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Archived from the original on May 31, 2011. Retrieved June 7, 2011.
  4. ^ Gannett, Henry (1905). The Origin of Certain Place Names in the United States. U.S. Government Printing Office. p. 204.
  5. ^ Upham, Warren. Minnesota Geographic Names (1920), pp. 338-340 (accessed April 26, 2019)
  6. ^ a b Meeker County MN Google Maps (accessed April 26, 2019)
  7. ^ ""Find an Altitude/Meeker County MN" Google Maps (accessed April 26, 2019)". Archived from the original on May 21, 2019. Retrieved April 26, 2019.
  8. ^ Meeker County High Point, PeakBagger.com (accessed April 26, 2019)
  9. ^ "2010 Census Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. August 22, 2012. Archived from the original on September 21, 2013. Retrieved October 21, 2014.
  10. ^ Nelson, Steven (2011). Savanna Soils of Minnesota. Minnesota: Self. pp. 49-52. ISBN 978-0-615-50320-2.
  11. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Counties: April 1, 2020 to July 1, 2021". Retrieved April 2, 2022.
  12. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on April 26, 2015. Retrieved October 21, 2014.
  13. ^ "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved October 21, 2014.
  14. ^ "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved October 21, 2014.
  15. ^ "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. Retrieved October 21, 2014.
  16. ^ Leip, David. "Atlas of US Presidential Elections". uselectionatlas.org. Retrieved October 9, 2018.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 45°07′N 94°32′W / 45.12°N 94.53°W / 45.12; -94.53