Nobles County, Minnesota

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Nobles County, Minnesota
CourthouseNoblesCountyMinnesota2007May.JPG
Nobles County Courthouse in Worthington
Map of Minnesota highlighting Nobles County
Location within the U.S. state of Minnesota
Map of the United States highlighting Minnesota
Minnesota's location within the U.S.
FoundedMay 23, 1857 (created)
October 27, 1870 (organized)
Named forWilliam H. Nobles
SeatWorthington
Largest cityWorthington
Area
 • Total723 sq mi (1,873 km2)
 • Land715 sq mi (1,852 km2)
 • Water7.5 sq mi (19 km2), 1.0%
Population (est.)
 • (2018)21,924
 • Density30.7/sq mi (11.9/km2)
Congressional district1st
Time zoneCentral: UTC−6/−5
Websitewww.co.nobles.mn.us

Nobles County is a county in the U.S. state of Minnesota. As of the 2010 United States Census, the population was 21,378,[1] its county seat is Worthington.[2]

Nobles County comprises the Worthington, MN Micropolitan Statistical Area.

History[edit]

1874 map of Nobles County - Note that six townships had yet to be named
Soils of Nobles County[3]
Buffalo Ridge

Nobles County was first occupied by the Sisseton Sioux; the first white man to set foot on the land was Joseph Nicollet who came to map out the area in 1842. Nicollet named Lake Okabena (there were two Lake Okabenas at the time), Lake Ocheda, East and West Graham Lake and the Kanaranzi Creek.

The first settlement was near Graham Lakes in 1846. Nobles County was established May 23, 1857, and organized October 27, 1870;[4] the county was named for William H. Nobles, a member of the Minnesota territorial legislature in 1854 and 1856. In Autumn 1856 he began the construction of a wagon road for the US government, crossing southwestern Minnesota and Nobles County, to extend from Fort Ridgely to South Pass in the Rocky Mountains; this work was continued in 1857 but was not completed.[5] Nobles County was created by the Minnesota Territory legislature just before the full force of the Panic of 1857 was felt. Settlers were further discouraged from coming by the Spirit Lake Massacre of 1857, where a band of Sioux murdered settlers in Spirit Lake and along the Des Moines River in Jackson and Cottonwood Counties; the few whites in the area were understandably reluctant to stay.

During the summer of 1867, a mail route was established from Blue Earth through the Graham Lakes settlement to Yankton, South Dakota. In January, a Post Office was established in each settlement; the population in the spring of 1870 was 117 and nearly doubled by fall. County Government did not start until 1870; the first railroad, the St. Paul & Sioux City Railway, was built in 1871; this later became the Chicago Northwestern Railroad, and is now operated by the Union Pacific Railroad.

In 1871, a group of men from Toledo, Ohio organized a company to locate a colony of settlers in some western county. After traveling 20,000 miles in the Midwest, they decided on Nobles County and by the spring of 1872, hundreds of people came in and took up land. Worthington was platted in 1871,[6] and became the county seat in 1873; the Worthington & Sioux Falls Railway was established in 1876. This led to rapid settlement in Rushmore, Adrian, and the western portions of the county.

The 1860 census of Nobles County showed 11 families, 35 persons, (3 from Norway, 3 from Bavaria, 1 from Ireland and the rest from the eastern states).[7] In 1880, the population was 4,435. In 1895, the population was 11,905, aqnd in 1970, the population was up to 23,208. In 2000, the population was 20,832, and the 2010 census showed a population of 21,378.[8]

Haying operation in Nobles County 1895 (E.F. Buchanan photo)

Geography[edit]

Map of Nobles County from 1882 Geological Report[9]

Nobles County is on the south side of Minnesota, its south border abuts the north border of the state of Iowa.[10] The county has a total area of 723 square miles (1,870 km2), of which 715 square miles (1,850 km2) is land and 7.5 square miles (19 km2) (1.0%) is water.[11]

Major highways[edit]

Adjacent counties[edit]

Lakes[10][edit]

Protected areas[10][edit]

  • Adrian Spring County Park
  • Aid Pit State Wildlife Management Area
  • Bigelow State Wildlife Management Area
  • Champepadan State Wildlife Management Area
  • Compass Prairie Scientific and Natural Area
  • Dewald State Wildlife Management Area
  • Eagle Lake State Wildlife Management Area
  • Ells Pit State Wildlife Management Area
  • Fenmont State Wildlife Management Area
  • Fulda State Wildlife Management Area
  • Fury State Wildlife Management Area
  • Groth State Wildlife Management Area
  • Hawkeye County Park
  • John Erickson State Wildlife Management Area
  • Lake Bella State Wildlife Management Area
  • Lake Ocheda Game Refuge
  • Lone Tree State Wildlife Management Area
  • Maka-Oicu County Park
  • Midway County Park
  • Peterson State Wildlife Management Area
  • Pheasant Run State Wildlife Management Area
  • Scheuring State Wildlife Management Area
  • Schweigert State Wildlife Management Area
  • Sherwood State Wildlife Management Area
  • Sportsman County Park
  • Swessinger State Wildlife Management Area
  • West Graham State Wildlife Management Area

Geology[edit]

Nobles County sits atop the Buffalo Ridge, a large expanse of rolling hills in southwestern Minnesota reaching a height of 1,995' (608m) ASL; the Buffalo Ridge marks the most southerly extent of the last glaciation, and extends 60 miles (96 km) through Lincoln, Lyon, Pipestone, Murray, Rock, and Nobles counties. It is a drainage divide separating the watersheds of the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers; because of its elevation and constant winds, Buffalo Ridge has become a major site for wind energy. Over 200 wind turbines stand along the Ridge.

Buffalo Ridge is part of the inner coteau and is the highest point of the Coteau des Prairies in Minnesota,[12] its bedrock is formed of Cretaceous shale, sandstone and clay that lie above the pinkish-red Upper Precambrian Sioux Quartzite.[13] These units are covered in most areas by thick deposits of glacial drift, which consist of up to 800' (244m) of pre-Wisconsin age glacial till left after the glaciers receded; the inner coteau is made up of extremely stream-eroded glacial deposits of pre-Wisconsin glacial drift, which is then covered by a 6-15' (1.8-4.6m) thick deposit of a wind-blown silt called loess.[12] This covering results in the creation of an area with long, gently sloping hills. Loess is an easily eroded material, resulting in few lakes and wetlands in the inner coteau area. Loess however promotes well-established dendritic drainage networks flowing into the Missouri River and Minnesota River systems.

Demographics[edit]

Historical population
Census Pop.
186035
1870117234.3%
18804,4353,690.6%
18907,95879.4%
190014,93287.6%
191015,2101.9%
192017,91717.8%
193018,6183.9%
194021,21513.9%
195022,4355.8%
196023,3654.1%
197023,208−0.7%
198021,840−5.9%
199020,098−8.0%
200020,8323.7%
201021,3782.6%
Est. 201821,924[14]2.6%
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, there were 20,832 people, 7,939 households, and 5,517 families in the county; the population density was 29.1/sqmi (11.2/km²). There were 8,465 housing units at an average density of 11.8/sqmi (4.57/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 86.50% White, 1.07% Black or African American, 0.31% Native American, 3.98% Asian, 0.07% Pacific Islander, 6.64% from other races, and 1.43% from two or more races. 11.16% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 47.0% were of German, 8.3% Dutch and 8.0% Norwegian ancestry.

There were 7,939 households out of which 32.10% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 58.80% were married couples living together, 6.90% had a female householder with no husband present, and 30.50% were non-families. 26.50% of all households were made up of individuals and 14.10% 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 3.11.

The county population contained with 26.50% under the age of 18, 8.20% from 18 to 24, 26.60% from 25 to 44, 21.30% from 45 to 64, and 17.40% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females there were 99.50 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 98.40 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $35,684, and the median income for a family was $43,076. Males had a median income of $27,853 versus $20,346 for females; the per capita income for the county was $16,987. About 8.20% of families and 11.70% of the population were below the poverty line, including 15.30% of those under age 18 and 12.50% of those age 65 or over.

Communities[edit]

Cities[6][edit]

Census-designated place[edit]

Unincorporated communities[6][edit]

Townships[edit]

Politics[edit]

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

Presidential election results
Presidential elections results[19]
Year Republican Democratic Third parties
2016 61.4% 5,299 31.7% 2,733 7.0% 600
2012 53.8% 4,581 44.5% 3,793 1.7% 146
2008 49.6% 4,368 48.2% 4,244 2.3% 201
2004 56.1% 5,159 42.4% 3,898 1.6% 147
2000 53.7% 4,766 42.4% 3,760 3.9% 346
1996 41.6% 3,769 45.3% 4,106 13.1% 1,186
1992 35.7% 3,548 37.8% 3,756 26.4% 2,626
1988 46.3% 4,348 52.7% 4,953 1.0% 93
1984 50.8% 4,876 48.1% 4,619 1.2% 110
1980 45.4% 4,706 45.4% 4,703 9.2% 956
1976 42.0% 4,503 56.2% 6,034 1.8% 198
1972 47.0% 4,951 51.9% 5,464 1.1% 110
1968 44.0% 4,451 51.2% 5,171 4.8% 485
1964 35.3% 3,517 64.6% 6,431 0.1% 12
1960 53.2% 5,636 46.7% 4,947 0.1% 11
1956 56.2% 5,196 43.7% 4,036 0.1% 9
1952 65.3% 6,340 34.5% 3,351 0.3% 26
1948 38.2% 3,203 60.7% 5,090 1.1% 89
1944 54.6% 4,149 44.9% 3,413 0.5% 35
1940 56.3% 5,104 43.3% 3,919 0.4% 36
1936 32.2% 2,601 60.9% 4,919 6.8% 552
1932 35.4% 2,417 63.5% 4,343 1.1% 78
1928 56.0% 3,676 43.6% 2,862 0.4% 25
1924 46.1% 2,835 6.9% 421 47.1% 2,894
1920 79.6% 4,420 17.7% 982 2.7% 148
1916 50.4% 1,413 45.7% 1,280 4.0% 111
1912 20.8% 605 34.2% 994 45.1% 1,312
1908 56.8% 1,432 36.7% 925 6.5% 165
1904 70.5% 1,732 25.3% 622 4.2% 102
1900 57.7% 1,709 37.2% 1,101 5.2% 153
1896 54.8% 1,568 42.1% 1,204 3.0% 87
1892 44.2% 894 32.9% 664 22.9% 463

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on June 7, 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. ^ Nelson, Steven (2011). Savanna Soils of Minnesota. Minnesota: Self. pp. 69-70. ISBN 978-0-615-50320-2.
  4. ^ "Minnesota Place Names". Minnesota Historical Society. Retrieved March 18, 2014.
  5. ^ "Warren Upham's Minnesota Places: A Geographical Encyclopedia". Retrieved October 10, 2018.
  6. ^ a b c Upham, Warren. Minnesota Geographic Names, pp. 376-79. Accessed 17 March 2019
  7. ^ US Census Bureau: 1860 Census (accessed 17 March 2019)
  8. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on January 11, 2011. Retrieved June 11, 2010.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link) Nobles County Government Website
  9. ^ The Geology of Minnesota Archived July 24, 2011, at the Wayback Machine
  10. ^ a b c Nobles County MN Google Maps (accessed 17 March 2019)
  11. ^ "2010 Census Gazetteer Files". US Census Bureau. August 22, 2012. Archived from the original on September 21, 2013. Retrieved October 24, 2014.
  12. ^ a b DNR, Minnesota DNR, http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/ecs/251Bc/index.html.
  13. ^ Anderson RR (1987) Precambrian Sioux Quartzite at Gitchie Manitou State Preserve, Iowa. Centennial Field Guide Vol. 3: North-Central Section of the Geological Society of America: Vol. 3, No. 0 pp. 77–80. [1]
  14. ^ "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". Retrieved May 1, 2019.
  15. ^ "US Decennial Census". US Census Bureau. Archived from the original on April 26, 2015. Retrieved October 24, 2014.
  16. ^ "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved October 24, 2014.
  17. ^ "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". US Census Bureau. Retrieved October 24, 2014.
  18. ^ "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000" (PDF). US Census Bureau. Retrieved October 24, 2014.
  19. ^ Leip, David. "Atlas of US Presidential Elections". uselectionatlas.org. Retrieved October 10, 2018.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 43°40′N 95°46′W / 43.67°N 95.76°W / 43.67; -95.76