Meeker County, Minnesota

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Meeker County, Minnesota
Litchfield G.A.R..jpg
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.
FoundedFebruary 23, 1856[1]
Named forBradley B. Meeker, an associate justice of Minnesota Territorial Court
SeatLitchfield
Largest cityLitchfield
Area
 • Total645 sq mi (1,671 km2)
 • Land608 sq mi (1,575 km2)
 • Water37 sq mi (96 km2), 5.7%
Population (est.)
 • (2018)23,141
 • Density38.1/sq mi (14.7/km2)
Congressional district7th
Time zoneCentral: UTC−6/−5
Websitewww.co.meeker.mn.us

Meeker County is a county in the U.S. state of Minnesota. As of the 2010 United States Census, the population was 23,300,[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%
Est. 201823,141[11]−0.7%
US Decennial Census[12]
1790-1960[13] 1900-1990[14]
1990-2000[15] 2010-2018[2]

2000 census[edit]

Age pyramid of county residents based on 2000 US census data

As of the 2000 United States 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 2016).

Presidential election results
Presidential elections results[16]
Year Republican Democratic Third parties
2016 66.0% 8,104 26.0% 3,191 8.0% 987
2012 56.6% 6,913 40.7% 4,969 2.7% 332
2008 53.7% 6,737 42.9% 5,380 3.4% 428
2004 55.6% 6,854 42.9% 5,292 1.5% 188
2000 51.7% 5,520 41.3% 4,402 7.0% 750
1996 35.6% 3,428 47.0% 4,531 17.4% 1,680
1992 33.2% 3,497 36.6% 3,861 30.2% 3,182
1988 51.5% 4,999 46.8% 4,544 1.7% 164
1984 56.7% 5,511 42.8% 4,156 0.6% 53
1980 49.9% 5,032 42.0% 4,238 8.2% 825
1976 42.0% 4,097 54.3% 5,295 3.8% 369
1972 57.1% 5,097 40.3% 3,601 2.6% 235
1968 46.5% 4,044 48.4% 4,213 5.1% 447
1964 37.0% 3,099 62.9% 5,270 0.1% 9
1960 56.7% 4,857 43.0% 3,678 0.3% 25
1956 58.5% 4,738 41.4% 3,348 0.1% 11
1952 66.8% 5,750 32.9% 2,833 0.3% 25
1948 44.9% 3,620 53.7% 4,333 1.4% 112
1944 57.3% 4,302 42.1% 3,159 0.6% 45
1940 57.9% 5,026 41.6% 3,615 0.5% 45
1936 32.9% 2,479 56.3% 4,242 10.9% 821
1932 31.8% 2,273 66.1% 4,723 2.1% 151
1928 59.6% 4,175 39.4% 2,761 0.9% 66
1924 45.5% 2,757 6.0% 365 48.5% 2,942
1920 78.4% 4,693 14.7% 878 6.9% 415
1916 52.7% 1,780 43.7% 1,475 3.6% 123
1912 17.3% 560 34.0% 1,099 48.7% 1,576
1908 61.2% 1,928 35.3% 1,111 3.5% 110
1904 73.9% 2,327 22.0% 692 4.2% 132
1900 58.8% 2,032 37.6% 1,300 3.6% 126
1896 56.3% 2,094 41.4% 1,538 2.3% 86
1892 42.1% 1,274 37.9% 1,146 20.1% 607

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. Archived from the original on June 7, 2011. Retrieved September 1, 2013.
  3. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Archived from the original on May 31, 2011. Retrieved 7 June 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 26 April 2019)
  7. ^ "Find an Altitude/Meeker County MN" Google Maps (accessed 26 April 2019)
  8. ^ Meeker County High Point, PeakBagger.com (accessed 26 April 2019)
  9. ^ "2010 Census Gazetteer Files". US 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. ^ "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". Retrieved April 24, 2019.
  12. ^ "US Decennial Census". US 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". US Census Bureau. Retrieved October 21, 2014.
  15. ^ "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000" (PDF). US Census Bureau. Retrieved October 21, 2014.
  16. ^ Leip, David. "Atlas of US Presidential Elections". uselectionatlas.org. Retrieved 9 October 2018.

External links[edit]

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