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Olmsted County, Minnesota
OlmstedGovtCenter.JPG
Olmsted County Government Center (pre-expansion)
Map of Minnesota highlighting Olmsted County
Location in the state of Minnesota
Map of the U.S. highlighting Minnesota
Minnesota's location in the U.S.
Founded February 20, 1855
Named for David Olmsted
Seat Rochester
Largest city Rochester
Area
 - Total
 - Land
 - Water

655 sq mi (1,696 km²)
653 sq mi (1,691 km²)
1.5 sq mi (4 km²), 0.2%
Population
 - (2020)
 - Density

162,847
249/sq mi (96/km²)
Congressional district 1st
Time zone Central: UTC-6/-5
Website https://www.olmstedcounty.gov

Olmsted County is a county in the U.S. state of Minnesota. As of the 2020 census, the population is 162,847. Its county seat and largest city is Rochester.[1]

Olmsted County is part of the Rochester Metropolitan Statistical Area.

History[]

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. Therefore, 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, Wabasha, had portions partitioned off in 1853 to create Fillmore and Rice counties. Then on February 20, 1855,[2] portions of Rice, Wabasha, and Fillmore counties were partitioned off to create the present county, with Rochester (which was also platted that year) as county seat. The county name recognized David Olmsted (1822-1861),[3] a member of the first territorial council and the first mayor of St. Paul.[4][5]

The county boundaries have remained unchanged since 1855.

Geography[]

Olmsted County is a fairly unusual of mix urban and rural areas in that there's no transition or buffer between the two environments. Rochester, Minnesota's third largest city of roughly 118,000 people sits in the Zumbro River valley at the center of the county. Outside the valley however, with the exception of a small amount of urban growth in the last few years, remains farmland with small agricultural based communities and no directly adjacent suburbs. Stewartville, the county's second largest city, is slightly over 1/20th the size at roughly 6,000 people, an unusually large gap for a metropolitan area.

Olmsted County is drained by three rivers, all flowing to the Mississippi. The Zumbro River flows northward through the west central part of the county, into Wabasha County. The Whitewater flows northeast from the northeast part of the county into Winona County, and the Root flows east-southeastward through the lower part of the county into Fillmore County. The county terrain consists of low rolling hills, etched by drainage gullies and marked by occasional buttes. The available area is devoted to agriculture or is developed for other productive uses.[6] The county terrain slopes to the east and north,[7] and its highest point is a hill 7.5 miles (12 km) west of Stewartville, at 1,380' (421m) ASL.[8] The county has a total area of 655 square miles (1,700 km2), of which 653 square miles (1,690 km2) is land and 1.5 square miles (3.9 km2) (0.2%) is water.[9] File:Olmsted Co Pie Chart No Text Version.pdf It is one of four counties in Minnesota that does not have any natural lakes (the other three being Mower, Pipestone, and Rock).

Major highways[]

  • I-90.svg Interstate 90
  • US 14.svg U.S. Highway 14
  • US 52.svg U.S. Highway 52
  • US 63.svg U.S. Highway 63
  • MN-30.svg Minnesota State Highway 30
  • MN-42.svg Minnesota State Highway 42
  • MN-74.svg Minnesota State Highway 74
  • MN-247.svg Minnesota State Highway 247
  • Olmsted County Route 22.svg Olmsted County Highway 22

Airports[]

  • Mid-Continent Airport[6]
  • Rochester International Airport (RST)

Adjacent counties[]

Protected areas[6][]

  • Chester Woods Park
  • High Forest Wildlife Management Area
  • Keller Wildlife Management Area
  • Marian Marshall Wildlife Management Area
  • Nelson Fen Wildlife Management Area
  • Oronoco Scientific and Natural Area
  • Oxbow Park & Zollman Zoo
  • Root River Park
  • Schumann State Wildlife Management Area
  • Suess State Wildlife Management Area
  • Whitewater Wildlife Management Area (part)

Lakes[]

Though Olmsted County does not have any natural lakes, it does have six reservoirs created by dams:

  • Chester Lake: Eyota Township
  • Lake Florence: High Forest Township
  • Lake George: Rochester Township
  • Mayowood Lake: Rochester Township
  • Silver Lake: Haverhill Township and Cascade Township
  • Lake Zumbro (part): Oronoco Township

Demographics[]

Historical populations
Census Pop.
1860 9,524
1870 19,793 107.8%
1880 21,543 8.8%
1890 19,806 −8.1%
1900 23,119 16.7%
1910 22,497 −2.7%
1920 28,014 24.5%
1930 35,426 26.5%
1940 42,658 20.4%
1950 48,228 13.1%
1960 65,532 35.9%
1970 84,104 28.3%
1980 92,006 9.4%
1990 106,470 15.7%
2000 124,277 16.7%
2010 144,248 16.1%
US Decennial Census[11]
1790-1960[12] 1900-1990[13]
1990-2000[14] 2010-2020[15]

2000 census[]

Age pyramid of county residents based on 2000 US census data

As of the 2000 United States Census, there were 124,277 people, 47,807 households, and 32,317 families in the county. The population density was 190/sqmi (73.5/km2). There were 49,422 housing units at an average density of 75.7/sqmi (29.2/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 90.33% White, 2.68% Black or African American, 0.26% Native American, 4.27% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 0.92% from other races, and 1.51% from two or more races. 2.38% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 47,807 households, out of which 35.20% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 56.70% were married couples living together, 8.00% had a female householder with no husband present, and 32.40% were non-families. 25.80% of all households were made up of individuals, and 7.60% 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 3.09.

The county population contained 27.00% under the age of 18, 8.50% from 18 to 24, 32.20% from 25 to 44, 21.60% from 45 to 64, and 10.80% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 35 years. For every 100 females, there were 96.60 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 93.60 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $51,316, and the median income for a family was $61,610. Males had a median income of $40,196 versus $29,994 for females. The per capita income for the county was $24,939. About 3.80% of families and 6.40% of the population were below the poverty line, including 6.70% of those under age 18 and 9.50% of those age 65 or over.

Politics[]

Olmsted is a historically Republican county. Rapid population growth in Rochester, however, has been turning the county more competitive in the last several decades. In 2020, Joe Biden secured a nearly 11 point victory in the county, the best of any Democrat since Lyndon Johnson in 1964.

Despite recent success by Democrats on a presidential level, state and local Republicans still see greater success in Olmsted County, with split ticket voting becoming more common locally. Both of the county's seats in the Minnesota Senate are held by Republicans, as well as two of the four seats in the Minnesota House of Representatives. Since 1970, Olmsted County has only voted for the DFL candidate for governor twice: in 1974 and 2018. In 2018, then-Representative Tim Walz benefitted from high recognition in the district with a reputation at the time of being a moderate politician. Despite Walz winning a majority of the county's vote that election, Republican candidate Doug Wardlow concurrently won a majority of the votes in Olmsted County in the 2018 Minnesota Attorney General election.

United States presidential election results for Olmsted County, Minnesota[16]
Year Republican Democratic Third party
No.  % No.  % No.  %
2020 39,692 43.43% 49,491 54.16% 2,202 2.41%
2016 35,668 44.51% 36,268 45.26% 8,193 10.22%
2012 36,832 47.03% 39,338 50.23% 2,146 2.74%
2008 36,202 47.34% 38,711 50.62% 1,557 2.04%
2004 37,371 52.21% 33,285 46.50% 919 1.28%
2000 30,641 51.59% 25,822 43.48% 2,929 4.93%
1996 22,860 43.92% 22,857 43.92% 6,327 12.16%
1992 23,404 41.30% 19,039 33.60% 14,219 25.09%
1988 27,683 58.28% 19,423 40.89% 398 0.84%
1984 28,129 62.76% 16,335 36.44% 359 0.80%
1980 22,704 55.50% 13,983 34.18% 4,224 10.32%
1976 24,030 60.66% 14,676 37.04% 911 2.30%
1972 23,806 68.96% 9,817 28.44% 898 2.60%
1968 17,292 54.31% 13,417 42.14% 1,131 3.55%
1964 12,699 43.87% 16,195 55.94% 56 0.19%
1960 16,080 59.41% 10,918 40.34% 67 0.25%
1956 13,789 65.62% 7,172 34.13% 51 0.24%
1952 14,566 67.92% 6,792 31.67% 89 0.41%
1948 8,131 46.55% 9,155 52.41% 181 1.04%
1944 8,355 54.70% 6,873 45.00% 46 0.30%
1940 9,096 51.83% 8,393 47.82% 62 0.35%
1936 5,316 35.63% 8,958 60.04% 645 4.32%
1932 5,254 40.81% 7,340 57.01% 280 2.17%
1928 8,334 63.63% 4,720 36.04% 44 0.34%
1924 5,722 56.50% 857 8.46% 3,548 35.04%
1920 7,130 77.12% 1,756 18.99% 359 3.88%
1916 2,101 49.67% 1,926 45.53% 203 4.80%
1912 720 18.21% 1,542 39.01% 1,691 42.78%
1908 2,472 58.03% 1,621 38.05% 167 3.92%
1904 2,745 68.54% 1,140 28.46% 120 3.00%
1900 2,818 61.62% 1,597 34.92% 158 3.46%
1896 3,201 62.83% 1,741 34.17% 153 3.00%
1892 2,344 50.79% 1,931 41.84% 340 7.37%



Communities[]

The Helleckson Homestead, built about 1850, preserved in Olmsted County Oxbow Park (Destroyed in 2019 floods)

Cities[]

  • Byron
  • Chatfield (part)
  • Dover
  • Eyota
  • Oronoco
  • Pine Island (part)
  • Rochester (county seat)
  • Stewartville

Unincorporated communities[]

  • Chester
  • Cummingsville
  • Danesville (part)
  • Douglas
  • Genoa
  • High Forest
  • Judge
  • Marion
  • Pleasant Grove
  • Post Town
  • Potsdam
  • Predmore
  • Ringe
  • Rock Dell
  • Salem Corners
  • Shanty Town
  • Simpson
  • Viola

Townships[]

  • Cascade Township
  • Dover Township
  • Elmira Township
  • Eyota Township
  • Farmington Township
  • Haverhill Township
  • High Forest Township
  • Kalmar Township
  • Marion Township
  • New Haven Township
  • Orion Township
  • Oronoco Township
  • Pleasant Grove Township
  • Quincy Township
  • Rochester Township
  • Rock Dell Township
  • Salem Township
  • Viola Township

See also[]

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

References[]

  1. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. http://www.naco.org/Counties/Pages/FindACounty.aspx. 
  2. ^ "Minnesota Place Names". Minnesota Historical Society. http://mnplaces.mnhs.org/upham/county.cfm. 
  3. ^ Upham, Warren. Minnesota Geographic Names (1920), p. 385 (accessed 26 April 2019)
  4. ^ "History of Olmsted County". http://www.co.olmsted.mn.us/yourgovernment/Pages/HistoryofOlmstedCounty.aspx. 
  5. ^ "Minnesota Government Series, State Counties". Minnesota House of Representatives. http://www.house.leg.state.mn.us/hinfo/govseries/No33.htm. 
  6. ^ a b c Olmsted County MN Google Maps (accessed April 26, 2019)
  7. ^ ""Find an Altitude/Olmsted County MN" Google Maps (accessed 26 April 2019)". https://www.daftlogic.com/sandbox-google-maps-find-altitude.htm. 
  8. ^ Olmsted County High Point - PeakBagger.com (accessed April 26, 2019)
  9. ^ "2010 Census Gazetteer Files". US Census Bureau. August 22, 2012. https://www.census.gov/geo/maps-data/data/docs/gazetteer/counties_list_27.txt. 
  10. ^ Nelson, Steven (2011). Savanna Soils of Minnesota. Minnesota: Self. pp. 43 - 48. ISBN 978-0-615-50320-2.
  11. ^ "US Decennial Census". US Census Bureau. https://www.census.gov/prod/www/decennial.html. 
  12. ^ "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. http://mapserver.lib.virginia.edu. 
  13. ^ "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". US Census Bureau. https://www.census.gov/population/cencounts/mn190090.txt. 
  14. ^ "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000". US Census Bureau. https://www.census.gov/population/www/cen2000/briefs/phc-t4/tables/tab02.pdf. 
  15. ^ "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/27/27109.html. 
  16. ^ Leip, David. "Atlas of US Presidential Elections". http://uselectionatlas.org/RESULTS. 

External links[]

Coordinates: 44°00′N 92°24′W / 44.00, -92.40


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