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Swift County, Minnesota
2012-0828-Swift-CountyCourthouse.jpg
Swift County Courthouse, Benson
Map of Minnesota highlighting Swift County
Location in the state of Minnesota
Map of the U.S. highlighting Minnesota
Minnesota's location in the U.S.
Founded February 18, 1870[1]
Named for Henry Adoniram Swift[2]
Seat Benson
Largest city Benson
Area
 - Total
 - Land
 - Water

752 sq mi (1,948 km²)
742 sq mi (1,922 km²)
8.82 sq mi (23 km²), 1.3%
Population
 - (2020)
 - Density

9,838
13.3/sq mi (5/km²)
Congressional district 7th
Time zone Central: UTC-6/-5
Website www.swiftcounty.com

Swift County is a county in the U.S. state of Minnesota. As of the 2020 census, the population was 9,838.[3] Its county seat is Benson.[4]

History[]

Swift County is in west central Minnesota and consists of 757 square miles (2,000 km2) with three tiers of seven townships each. It was established on February 18, 1870, and named for Henry Adoniram Swift, the third governor of Minnesota (1863–64).

The Indians had grievances against the government, including delays in sending annuities that caused near starvation several times. In August 1862, an Indian rebellion broke out in Minnesota. The warfare reached the settlements just getting started in northeastern Swift County. By late September 1862, the Indian War was almost over but the settlers hesitated to venture back to Swift County until 1865, when all danger was apparently over. Scandinavians and Germans were in decided majority among the early settlers. A number of them came with the honor and privileges of Civil War veterans.

In 1869, the St. Paul & Pacific Railroad reached Willmar, and the next year it arrived in Benson. The railroad company determined the number of future trading centers (Kerkhoven, DeGraff, Benson, Randall) in the county by locating sites at intervals of approximately 8 miles (13 km). The Swift County Courthouse was built in 1897 and was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1976. Benson is the county seat. Railroad tracks run through Benson's downtown business district with parks on each side.

Historic buildings[]

Historic buildings in Swift County include:

  • Gethsemane Episcopal Church in Appleton built in 1879 and listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2011.

Politics[]

Swift County was traditionally a Democratic stronghold, with the last Republican to win it before 2016 being Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1952.[5] A dramatic swing against the Democrats in the Rust Belt saw Donald Trump win the county over Hillary Clinton by 26%.

United States presidential election results for Swift County, Minnesota[6]
Year Republican Democratic Third party
No.  % No.  % No.  %
2020 3,316 63.86% 1,784 34.35% 93 1.79%
2016 2,963 59.33% 1,686 33.76% 345 6.91%
2012 2,248 43.91% 2,751 53.74% 120 2.34%
2008 2,184 41.65% 2,907 55.43% 153 2.92%
2004 2,481 43.26% 3,165 55.19% 89 1.55%
2000 2,376 43.70% 2,698 49.62% 363 6.68%
1996 1,541 28.91% 3,054 57.30% 735 13.79%
1992 1,603 26.76% 2,980 49.74% 1,408 23.50%
1988 2,156 37.19% 3,579 61.73% 63 1.09%
1984 2,893 44.59% 3,531 54.42% 64 0.99%
1980 2,943 43.13% 3,245 47.56% 635 9.31%
1976 2,190 32.39% 4,428 65.48% 144 2.13%
1972 2,673 40.40% 3,823 57.78% 121 1.83%
1968 2,476 38.38% 3,716 57.60% 259 4.01%
1964 2,132 32.68% 4,380 67.14% 12 0.18%
1960 2,848 41.11% 4,062 58.63% 18 0.26%
1956 2,637 41.43% 3,720 58.44% 8 0.13%
1952 3,532 51.40% 3,291 47.90% 48 0.70%
1948 2,109 32.61% 4,082 63.11% 277 4.28%
1944 2,519 42.87% 3,310 56.33% 47 0.80%
1940 2,815 41.59% 3,899 57.61% 54 0.80%
1936 1,618 27.03% 3,749 62.63% 619 10.34%
1932 1,308 22.62% 4,339 75.04% 135 2.33%
1928 2,791 49.72% 2,733 48.69% 89 1.59%
1924 1,654 33.60% 334 6.79% 2,934 59.61%
1920 3,553 70.22% 985 19.47% 522 10.32%
1916 1,335 50.21% 1,181 44.42% 143 5.38%
1912 442 16.92% 937 35.86% 1,234 47.23%
1908 1,343 56.17% 921 38.52% 127 5.31%
1904 1,784 76.37% 462 19.78% 90 3.85%
1900 1,378 55.25% 1,028 41.22% 88 3.53%
1896 1,273 49.78% 1,222 47.79% 62 2.42%
1892 762 37.39% 712 34.94% 564 27.67%



Geography[]

The Minnesota River flows southeast along the county's lower western border. The Pomme de Terre River flows south-southwest through the county's western part, discharging into the Minnesota. The Chippewa River flows south-southwest through the county's central part, discharging into the Minnesota south of the county. The county's terrain consists of rolling hills, largely devoted to agriculture.[7] It slopes to south and the west, with its highest point near its northeast corner at 1,240' (378m) ASL.[8] The county has an area of 752 square miles (1,950 km2), of which 742 square miles (1,920 km2) is land and 10 square miles (26 km2) (1.3%) is water.[9]

Swift County is primarily agricultural, but also hosts agriculture equipment manufacturers and an ethanol plant. It has 24 lakes and nine rivers and streams. Lake Oliver is one of the county's biggest, at 416 acres (1.7 km2). Caltopo shows the true highpoint to be 1300 ft in elevation about 1/3 of a mile southwest of the Monson State Wildlife Management Area:latitude 45.3046&longitude=-95.3031File:Swift Co Pie Chart Wiki 2016 Version.pdf

Soils of Monson Lake State Park area


Major highways[]

  • US 12.svg U.S. Highway 12
  • US 59.svg U.S. Highway 59
  • MN-7.svg Minnesota State Highway 7
  • MN-9.svg Minnesota State Highway 9
  • MN-29.svg Minnesota State Highway 29
  • MN-104.svg Minnesota State Highway 104
  • MN-119.svg Minnesota State Highway 119

Adjacent counties[]

Airport[]

Appleton Municipal Airport provides general aviation service for Swift County.

Protected areas[7][]

  • Bench State Wildlife Management Area
  • Camp Kerk State Wildlife Management Area
  • Danvers State Wildlife Management Area
  • Ehrenburg State Wildlife Management Area
  • Hayes-Myhre State Wildlife Management Area
  • Henry X State Wildlife Management Area
  • Hollerberg Lake State Wildlife Management Area
  • Monson Lake State Park

Demographics[]

Historical populations
Census Pop.
1880 7,473
1890 10,161 36.0%
1900 13,503 32.9%
1910 12,949 −4.1%
1920 15,093 16.6%
1930 14,735 −2.4%
1940 15,469 5.0%
1950 15,837 2.4%
1960 14,936 −5.7%
1970 13,177 −11.8%
1980 12,920 −2.0%
1990 10,724 −17.0%
2000 11,956 11.5%
2010 9,783 −18.2%
Est. 2021 9,749 [11] −18.5%
U.S. Decennial Census[12]
1790-1960[13] 1900-1990[14]
1990-2000[15] 2010-2020[3]

Age pyramid of county residents based on 2000 census data

2000 census[]

As of the 2000 census,[16] there were 11,956 people, 4,353 households, and 2,881 families in the county. The population density was 16.1/sqmi (6.22/km2). There were 4,821 housing units at an average density of 6.50/sqmi (2.51/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 90.67% White, 2.69% Black or African American, 0.50% Native American, 1.43% Asian, 1.52% Pacific Islander, 1.40% from other races, and 1.79% from two or more races. 2.68% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. Swift County has the highest percentage of Pacific Islander natives out of any U.S. county outside Hawaii. 34.4% were of German, 30.5% Norwegian, 5.2% Swedish and 5.1% Irish ancestry.

There were 4,353 households, out of which 30.00% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 56.90% were married couples living together, 6.10% had a female householder with no husband present, and 33.80% were non-families. 30.90% of all households were made up of individuals, and 17.60% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.39 and the average family size was 3.00.

The county population contained 23.00% under the age of 18, 7.30% from 18 to 24, 29.60% from 25 to 44, 21.60% from 45 to 64, and 18.50% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39 years. For every 100 females there were 120.60 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 124.60 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $34,820, and the median income for a family was $44,208. Males had a median income of $29,362 versus $21,667 for females. The per capita income for the county was $16,360. About 5.30% of families and 8.40% of the population were below the poverty line, including 6.90% of those under age 18 and 13.80% of those age 65 or over.

Communities[]

Cities[]

  • Appleton
  • Benson (county seat)
  • Clontarf
  • Danvers
  • De Graff
  • Holloway
  • Kerkhoven
  • Murdock

Unincorporated communities[]

  • Fairfield
  • Swift Falls

Townships[]

  • Appleton Township
  • Benson Township
  • Camp Lake Township
  • Cashel Township
  • Clontarf Township
  • Dublin Township
  • Edison Township
  • Fairfield Township
  • Hayes Township
  • Hegbert Township
  • Kerkhoven Township
  • Kildare Township
  • Marysland Township
  • Moyer Township
  • Pillsbury Township
  • Shible Township
  • Six Mile Grove Township
  • Swenoda Township
  • Tara Township
  • Torning Township
  • West Bank Township

See also[]

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

References[]

  1. ^ "Minnesota Place Names". Minnesota Historical Society. http://mnplaces.mnhs.org/upham/county.cfm. 
  2. ^ Upham, Warren (1920). Minnesota Geographic Names: Their Origin and Historic Significance. Minnesota Historical Society. p. 539. https://archive.org/details/minnesotageogra00uphagoog. 
  3. ^ a b "U.S. Census Bureau QuickFacts: Swift County, Minnesota" (in en). United States Census Bureau. https://www.census.gov/quickfacts/fact/table/swiftcountyminnesota/PST045221. 
  4. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. http://www.naco.org/Counties/Pages/FindACounty.aspx. 
  5. ^ Sullivan, Robert David; ‘How the Red and Blue Map Evolved Over the Past Century’; America Magazine in The National Catholic Review; June 29, 2016
  6. ^ Leip, David. "Atlas of US Presidential Elections". http://uselectionatlas.org/RESULTS. 
  7. ^ a b Swift County MN Google Maps (accessed March 13, 2019)
  8. ^ "Find an Altitude/Swift County MN" Google Maps (accessed March 13, 2019)
  9. ^ "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. 
  10. ^ Nelson, Steven (2011). Savanna Soils of Minnesota. Minnesota: Self. pp. 65-67. ISBN 978-0-615-50320-2.
  11. ^ "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. 
  12. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. https://www.census.gov/programs-surveys/decennial-census.html. 
  13. ^ "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. http://mapserver.lib.virginia.edu. 
  14. ^ "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. https://www.census.gov/population/cencounts/mn190090.txt. 
  15. ^ "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. 
  16. ^ "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. https://www.census.gov. 

External links[]

Coordinates: 45°17′N 95°41′W / 45.29, -95.68


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