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Itasca County, Minnesota
CentralSchoolGrandRapidsMN.jpg
Postcard. Grand Rapids High School was founded in 1895.
Map of Minnesota highlighting Itasca County
Location in the state of Minnesota
Map of the U.S. highlighting Minnesota
Minnesota's location in the U.S.
Founded October 27, 1849[1]
Named for Lake Itasca
Seat Grand Rapids
Largest city Grand Rapids
Area
 - Total
 - Land
 - Water

2,928 sq mi (7,583 km²)
2,668 sq mi (6,910 km²)
260 sq mi (673 km²), 8.9%
Population
 - (2020)
 - Density

45,014
16.9/sq mi (7/km²)
Congressional district 8th
Time zone Central: UTC-6/-5
Website www.co.itasca.mn.us

Itasca County is located in the State of Minnesota. As of the 2020 census, the population was 45,014.[2] Its county seat is Grand Rapids.[3] The county is named after Lake Itasca, which is in turn a shortened version of the Latin words veritas caput, meaning 'truth' and 'head', a reference to the source of the Mississippi River. Portions of the Bois Forte and Leech Lake Indian reservations are in the county.

History[]

The boundary of Itasca County was first formed in 1849, upon the creation of the Minnesota Territory. It was originally a much larger county, which covered many of today's northeastern Minnesota counties. The original Itasca County stretched over Cook, Lake, Saint Louis, Koochiching, eastern Lake of the Woods, eastern Beltrami, Itasca, northern Aitkin, and northern Carlton counties, today in Minnesota.

Itasca County was originally named for Lake Itasca (no longer in the county's present borders), which was determined to be the true source of the Mississippi River. After many disputes over finding the source of the Mississippi River, Henry Schoolcraft set out to find its true source in 1832. Once he came upon its true source, he decided to name this 'Lake Itasca.' The Mississippi River flows from its small beginnings at Lake Itasca, where it can be crossed on foot.[4] It flows past Bemidji, through Itasca County, and continues to the Gulf of Mexico.

Geography[]

The terrain of Itasca County is hilly, heavily wooded, and studded with lakes and ponds.[5] It generally slopes to the east, with its highest areas on its upper west border, at 1,437' (438m) ASL.[6] The county has a total area of 2,928 square miles (7,580 km2), of which 2,668 square miles (6,910 km2) is land and 260 square miles (670 km2) (8.9%) is water.[7] It is the third-largest county in Minnesota by land area.

The landscape in Itasca County varies greatly. The low plains, rolling hills, and wetlands occur where there was glacial activity in the past. This area is known greatly for being forested, and has been for centuries. The different forests are made up of trees such as pines, spruces, hardwoods, cedar, and tamarack. The many large forests in the area make forestry and logging major sectors in the economy.

In Itasca County there are many different bodies of water from big lakes, to small creeks, to major rivers. Over 1400 lakes are located within the county. These bodies of water help support many different wildlife species such as different birds and small mammals. Major bodies of water in the county include Lake Winnibigoshish, Pokegama Lake, Deer Lake, the Mississippi River, Bowstring Lake, and the Blandin Paper Mill Reservoir.

Major highways[]

  • US 2.svg U.S. Highway 2
  • US 71.svg U.S. Highway 71
  • US 169 (MN).svg U.S. Highway 169
  • MN-1.svg Minnesota State Highway 1
  • MN-6.svg Minnesota State Highway 6
  • MN-38.svg Minnesota State Highway 38
  • MN-46.svg Minnesota State Highway 46
  • MN-65.svg Minnesota State Highway 65
  • MN-286.svg Minnesota State Highway 286

Adjacent counties[]

Protected areas[5][]

  • Big Fork State Forest
  • Botany Bog Scientific and Natural Area
  • Chippewa National Forest (part)
  • George Washington State Forest (part)
  • Golden Anniversary State Forest
  • Marcell Experimental Forest
  • Scenic State Park

Demographics[]

Historical populations
Census Pop.
1850 97
1860 51 −47.4%
1870 96 88.2%
1880 124 29.2%
1890 743 499.2%
1900 4,573 515.5%
1910 17,208 276.3%
1920 23,876 38.7%
1930 27,224 14.0%
1940 32,996 21.2%
1950 33,321 1.0%
1960 38,006 14.1%
1970 35,530 −6.5%
1980 43,069 21.2%
1990 40,863 −5.1%
2000 43,992 7.7%
2010 45,058 2.4%
Est. 2021 45,070 [8] 2.5%
U.S. Decennial Census[9]
1790-1960[10] 1900-1990[11]
1990-2000[12] 2010-2020[2]

Age pyramid of county residents based on 2000 census data

2000 census[]

As of the 2000 census, there were 43,992 people, 17,789 households, and 12,381 families in the county. The population density was 16.5/sqmi (6.37/km2). There were 24,528 housing units at an average density of 9.19/sqmi (3.55/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 94.64% White, 0.16% Black or African American, 3.40% Native American, 0.27% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 0.16% from other races, and 1.34% from two or more races. 0.60% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 25.6% were of German, 13.8% Norwegian, 7.7% Finnish, 7.2% Swedish, 6.2% Irish, 5.0% United States or American and 5.0% English ancestry.

There were 17,789 households, out of which 29.20% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 58.30% were married couples living together, 7.60% had a female householder with no husband present, and 30.40% were non-families. 26.00% of all households were made up of individuals, and 12.20% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.43 and the average family size was 2.91.

The county population contained 24.40% under the age of 18, 7.60% from 18 to 24, 24.40% from 25 to 44, 26.70% from 45 to 64, and 16.80% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 41 years. For every 100 females there were 99.70 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 98.20 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $36,234, and the median income for a family was $44,025. Males had a median income of $37,066 versus $22,327 for females. The per capita income for the county was $17,717. About 7.70% of families and 10.60% of the population were below the poverty line, including 13.60% of those under age 18 and 8.80% of those age 65 or over.

Communities[]

Cities[]

  • Bigfork
  • Bovey
  • Calumet
  • Cohasset
  • Coleraine
  • Deer River
  • Effie
  • Grand Rapids (county seat)
  • Keewatin
  • La Prairie
  • Marble
  • Nashwauk
  • Squaw Lake
  • Taconite
  • Warba
  • Zemple

Census-designated places[]

  • Ball Club
  • Inger

Unincorporated communities[]

  • Alvwood
  • Bass Lake
  • Bear River
  • Bergville
  • Blackberry
  • Bowstring
  • Dora Lake
  • Dunbar
  • Goodland
  • Grattan
  • Gunn
  • Houpt
  • Jessie Lake
  • Mack
  • Marcell
  • Martin
  • Max
  • Orth
  • Pengilly
  • Pomroy
  • Rosy
  • Spring Lake
  • Suomi
  • Swan River
  • Talmoon
  • Togo
  • Wawina
  • Wirt

Townships[]

  • Alvwood Township
  • Arbo Township
  • Ardenhurst Township
  • Balsam Township
  • Bearville Township
  • Bigfork Township
  • Blackberry Township
  • Bowstring Township
  • Carpenter Township
  • Deer River Township
  • Feeley Township
  • Good Hope Township
  • Goodland Township
  • Grand Rapids Township
  • Grattan Township
  • Greenway Township
  • Harris Township
  • Iron Range Township
  • Kinghurst Township
  • Lake Jessie Township
  • Lawrence Township
  • Lone Pine Township
  • Marcell Township
  • Max Township
  • Moose Park Township
  • Morse Township
  • Nashwauk Township
  • Nore Township
  • Oteneagen Township
  • Pomroy Township
  • Sago Township
  • Sand Lake Township
  • Spang Township
  • Splithand Township
  • Stokes Township
  • Third River Township
  • Trout Lake Township
  • Wabana Township
  • Wawina Township
  • Wildwood Township
  • Wirt Township

Unorganized territories[]

  • Bowstring Lake
  • Deer Lake
  • Effie
  • Liberty
  • Little Sand Lake
  • Northeast Itasca

Politics[]

Itasca County voters tended to vote strongly Democratic for about 80 years following the Great Depression, selecting the Democratic nominee in every election from 1932 through 2012, along with fellow Iron Range counties St. Louis County, Carlton County, and Lake County. However, in 2016, the county swung hard towards Donald Trump, voting Republican for the first time since 1928 and doing so by giving him a healthy majority of 54.1%.[13] In 2020, it voted for Trump once again, giving him an increased vote share of 57.4%, making it the first time the county had voted Republican two elections in a row since 1924 and 1928.

United States presidential election results for Itasca County, Minnesota[14]
Year Republican Democratic Third party
No.  % No.  % No.  %
2020 15,239 57.37% 10,786 40.61% 536 2.02%
2016 12,920 54.10% 9,015 37.75% 1,945 8.14%
2012 10,501 43.90% 12,852 53.73% 566 2.37%
2008 10,309 42.26% 13,460 55.18% 626 2.57%
2004 10,705 43.93% 13,290 54.54% 372 1.53%
2000 9,545 43.96% 10,583 48.74% 1,586 7.30%
1996 6,506 31.78% 10,706 52.29% 3,261 15.93%
1992 5,952 28.56% 9,621 46.17% 5,265 25.27%
1988 8,358 43.87% 10,517 55.20% 178 0.93%
1984 9,306 44.42% 11,455 54.68% 187 0.89%
1980 8,368 37.65% 12,134 54.59% 1,726 7.76%
1976 6,646 32.77% 12,979 64.00% 656 3.23%
1972 7,558 45.58% 8,683 52.36% 342 2.06%
1968 4,898 30.22% 10,512 64.86% 796 4.91%
1964 4,137 25.49% 12,054 74.27% 40 0.25%
1960 6,615 38.00% 10,761 61.82% 32 0.18%
1956 6,408 42.22% 8,737 57.56% 33 0.22%
1952 6,573 41.65% 9,128 57.84% 81 0.51%
1948 4,334 29.45% 9,653 65.60% 729 4.95%
1944 4,227 32.28% 8,787 67.10% 81 0.62%
1940 5,196 34.06% 9,899 64.89% 159 1.04%
1936 3,594 28.04% 8,896 69.40% 329 2.57%
1932 3,782 36.94% 5,616 54.86% 839 8.20%
1928 5,103 58.95% 3,122 36.07% 431 4.98%
1924 4,961 60.10% 496 6.01% 2,798 33.89%
1920 3,973 58.31% 1,930 28.33% 910 13.36%
1916 1,163 36.89% 1,504 47.70% 486 15.41%
1912 446 16.59% 699 25.99% 1,544 57.42%
1908 1,883 63.15% 684 22.94% 415 13.92%
1904 1,796 77.02% 293 12.56% 243 10.42%
1900 770 63.32% 413 33.96% 33 2.71%
1896 826 52.91% 724 46.38% 11 0.70%
1892 520 40.66% 686 53.64% 73 5.71%



See also[]

  • National Register of Historic Places listings in Itasca County, Minnesota

References[]

  1. ^ "Minnesota Place Names". Minnesota Historical Society. http://mnplaces.mnhs.org/upham/county.cfm. 
  2. ^ a b "U.S. Census Bureau QuickFacts: Itasca County, Minnesota" (in en). United States Census Bureau. https://www.census.gov/quickfacts/fact/table/itascacountyminnesota/PST045221. 
  3. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. http://www.naco.org/Counties/Pages/FindACounty.aspx. 
  4. ^ Walk Across the Mississippi River (accessed March 12, 2019)
  5. ^ a b Itasca County MN Google Maps (accessed March 12, 2019)
  6. ^ ""Find an Altitude/Itasca County MN" Google Maps (accessed March 12, 2019)". https://www.daftlogic.com/sandbox-google-maps-find-altitude.htm. 
  7. ^ "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. 
  8. ^ "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. 
  9. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. https://www.census.gov/prod/www/decennial.html. 
  10. ^ "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. http://mapserver.lib.virginia.edu. 
  11. ^ "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. https://www.census.gov/population/cencounts/mn190090.txt. 
  12. ^ "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. 
  13. ^ "Why one Minnesota county voted for Trump". https://www.mprnews.org/story/2016/11/14/why-one-minnesota-county-voted-republican-for-the-first-time-since-1928. 
  14. ^ Leip, David. "Atlas of US Presidential Elections". http://uselectionatlas.org/RESULTS. 

External links[]

Coordinates: 47°31′N 93°38′W / 47.51, -93.63


This page uses content from the English language Wikipedia. The original content was at Itasca 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.
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