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Houston County, Minnesota
HoustonCountyCourthouseCaledoniaMN.jpg
Houston County Courthouse in Caledonia
Map of Minnesota highlighting Houston County
Location in the state of Minnesota
Map of the U.S. highlighting Minnesota
Minnesota's location in the U.S.
Founded February 23, 1854 (created)
April 4, 1854 (organized),
Named for Sam Houston
Seat Caledonia
Largest city La Crescent
Area
 - Total
 - Land
 - Water

569 sq mi (1,474 km²)
552 sq mi (1,430 km²)
17 sq mi (44 km²), 2.9%
Population
 - (2020)
 - Density

18,843
34.1/sq mi (13/km²)
Congressional district 1st
Time zone Central: UTC-6/-5

Houston County is a county in the U.S. state of Minnesota. At the 2020 census, the population was 18,843.[1] Its county seat is Caledonia.[2]

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

History[]

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[]

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. File:Houston Co 2016 No Text Version.pdf

Soils of Beaver Creek Valley State Park neighborhood

Lakes[10][]

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[]

Protected areas[10][]

  • Beaver Creek Valley State Park
  • Mound Prairie Scientific and Natural Area
  • Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge (part)

Demographics[]

Historical populations
Census Pop.
1860 6,645
1870 14,936 124.8%
1880 16,332 9.3%
1890 14,653 −10.3%
1900 15,400 5.1%
1910 14,297 −7.2%
1920 14,013 −2.0%
1930 13,845 −1.2%
1940 14,735 6.4%
1950 14,435 −2.0%
1960 16,588 14.9%
1970 17,556 5.8%
1980 18,382 4.7%
1990 18,497 0.6%
2000 19,718 6.6%
2010 19,027 −3.5%
Est. 2021 18,778 [14] −4.8%
U.S. Decennial Census[15]
1790-1960[16] 1900-1990[17]
1990-2000[18] 2010-2020[1]

Age pyramid of county residents based on 2000 census data

2000 census[]

At the 2000 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, 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 household income was $40,680 and the median family income was $49,196. Males had a median income of $32,557 and females $22,158. The per capita income 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[]

Major highways[]

  • US 14.svg U.S. Highway 14
  • US 61.svg U.S. Highway 61
  • MN-16.svg Minnesota State Highway 16
  • MN-26.svg Minnesota State Highway 26
  • MN-44.svg Minnesota State Highway 44
  • MN-76.svg Minnesota State Highway 76

Airport[]

  • Houston County Airport

Communities[]

Cities[]

  • Brownsville
  • Caledonia (county seat)
  • Eitzen
  • Hokah
  • Houston
  • La Crescent (partly in Winona County)
  • Spring Grove

Unincorporated communities[]

  • Bee
  • Black Hammer
  • Freeburg
  • Jefferson
  • Mayville
  • Money Creek
  • Newhouse
  • Pine Creek (partial)
  • Reno
  • River Junction
  • Willington Grove
  • Wilmington
  • Yucatan
  • Sheldon

Townships[]

  • Black Hammer Township
  • Brownsville Township
  • Caledonia Township
  • Crooked Creek Township
  • Hokah Township
  • Houston Township
  • Jefferson Township
  • La Crescent Township
  • Mayville Township
  • Money Creek Township
  • Mound Prairie Township
  • Sheldon Township
  • Spring Grove Township
  • Union Township
  • Wilmington Township
  • Winnebago Township
  • Yucatan Township

Government and politics[]

Houston County voters have tended to vote Republican in the past few decades. As of 2020 the county selected the Republican candidate in 67% of presidential elections since 1980.

United States presidential election results for Houston County, Minnesota[20]
Year Republican Democratic Third party
No.  % No.  % No.  %
2020 6,334 55.37% 4,853 42.42% 253 2.21%
2016 5,616 52.96% 4,145 39.09% 843 7.95%
2012 4,951 47.40% 5,281 50.56% 214 2.05%
2008 4,743 43.58% 5,906 54.27% 234 2.15%
2004 5,631 50.81% 5,276 47.61% 175 1.58%
2000 5,077 49.94% 4,502 44.28% 588 5.78%
1996 3,674 38.88% 4,153 43.95% 1,623 17.17%
1992 3,853 36.87% 3,744 35.82% 2,854 27.31%
1988 4,777 54.13% 3,936 44.60% 112 1.27%
1984 5,645 61.06% 3,512 37.99% 88 0.95%
1980 5,582 58.88% 3,218 33.94% 681 7.18%
1976 4,853 54.37% 3,861 43.26% 212 2.38%
1972 5,186 66.57% 2,467 31.67% 137 1.76%
1968 4,450 57.94% 2,703 35.19% 528 6.87%
1964 3,433 46.86% 3,885 53.03% 8 0.11%
1960 4,807 60.93% 3,080 39.04% 3 0.04%
1956 4,538 67.93% 2,133 31.93% 9 0.13%
1952 5,365 74.28% 1,830 25.34% 28 0.39%
1948 3,540 56.81% 2,623 42.10% 68 1.09%
1944 4,036 68.31% 1,847 31.26% 25 0.42%
1940 4,825 69.48% 2,082 29.98% 37 0.53%
1936 2,701 44.28% 3,156 51.74% 243 3.98%
1932 2,335 42.63% 3,052 55.71% 91 1.66%
1928 3,615 64.87% 1,937 34.76% 21 0.38%
1924 2,782 53.58% 402 7.74% 2,008 38.67%
1920 4,101 85.67% 598 12.49% 88 1.84%
1916 1,783 69.08% 744 28.83% 54 2.09%
1912 659 23.75% 762 27.46% 1,354 48.79%
1908 1,700 67.35% 745 29.52% 79 3.13%
1904 1,546 76.12% 434 21.37% 51 2.51%
1900 1,765 64.58% 884 32.35% 84 3.07%
1896 2,087 65.92% 991 31.30% 88 2.78%
1892 1,509 50.13% 1,243 41.30% 258 8.57%



County Board of Commissioners[21]
Position Name District Next Election
Commissioner Dewey Severson District 1 2024
Commissioner Eric Johnson District 2 2022
Commissioner Bob Burns District 3 2024
Commissioner Teresa Walter District 4 2022
Commissioner Greg Myhre District 5 2024
State Legislature (2021-2023)
Position Name Affiliation District
style="background-color:#FF3333;" width=10px | " |  Senate Jeremy Miller[22] Republican District 28
style="background-color:#FF3333;" width=10px | " |  House of Representatives Greg Davids[23] Republican District 28B
U.S Congress (2021-2023)
Position Name Affiliation District
style="background-color:#FF3333;" width=10px | " |  House of Representatives Jim Hagedorn[24] Republican 1st
style="background-color:#3333FF;" width=10px | " |  Senate Amy Klobuchar[25] Democrat N/A
style="background-color:#3333FF;" width=10px | " |  Senate Tina Smith[26] Democrat N/A

See also[]

  • National Register of Historic Places listings in Houston County, Minnesota
  • Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge

References[]

  1. ^ a b "U.S. Census Bureau QuickFacts: Houston County, Minnesota" (in en). United States Census Bureau. https://www.census.gov/quickfacts/fact/table/houstoncountyminnesota/PST045221. 
  2. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. http://www.naco.org/Counties/Pages/FindACounty.aspx. 
  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. https://books.google.com/books?id=9V1IAAAAMAAJ&pg=PA161. 
  9. ^ "Houston County Courthouse". http://www.mncourts.gov/default.aspx?siteID=0&page=CourtHouseProfile&ID=40026. 
  10. ^ a b c Houston County MN Google Maps (accessed March 12, 2019)
  11. ^ ""Find an Altitude/Houston County MN" Google Maps (accessed March 12, 2019)". https://www.daftlogic.com/sandbox-google-maps-find-altitude.htm. 
  12. ^ "2010 Census Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. August 22, 2012. https://www.census.gov/geo/maps-data/data/docs/gazetteer/counties_list_27.txt. 
  13. ^ Nelson, Steven (2011). Savanna Soils of Minnesota. Minnesota: Self. pp. 43-48. ISBN 978-0-615-50320-2.
  14. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Counties: April 1, 2020 to July 1, 2021". https://www.census.gov/data/tables/time-series/demo/popest/2020s-counties-total.html. 
  15. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. https://www.census.gov/programs-surveys/decennial-census.html. 
  16. ^ "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. http://mapserver.lib.virginia.edu. 
  17. ^ "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. https://www.census.gov/population/cencounts/mn190090.txt. 
  18. ^ "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000". United States Census Bureau. https://www.census.gov/population/www/cen2000/briefs/phc-t4/tables/tab02.pdf. 
  19. ^ "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. https://www.census.gov. 
  20. ^ Leip, David. "Atlas of US Presidential Elections". http://uselectionatlas.org/RESULTS. 
  21. ^ "Board of Commissioners – Houston County" (in en-US). https://www.co.houston.mn.us/departments/board-of-commissioners/. 
  22. ^ "MN State Senate" (in en). https://www.senate.mn/members/member_bio.html?mem_id=1179. 
  23. ^ "Rep. Greg Davids (28B) - Minnesota House of Representatives". https://www.house.leg.state.mn.us/members/profile/10123. 
  24. ^ "Representative Jim Hagedorn" (in en). https://hagedorn.house.gov/. 
  25. ^ "U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar". https://www.klobuchar.senate.gov/public/. 
  26. ^ "Home" (in en). https://www.smith.senate.gov/. 
  • History of Houston County (1919)[1]

External links[]

Template:Houston County, Minnesota Template:La Crosse–Onalaska

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

This page uses content from the English language Wikipedia. The original content was at Houston County, Minnesota. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with this Familypedia wiki, the content of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons License.
  1. ^ [1] Digitized version (accessed March 12, 2019)
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