Contact Us


Search AMC Site

Hit Counter
since 9/12/01!


Please notify webmaster of any questions or site problems.

Source: Upham, Warren, Minnesota Geographic Names.  St. Paul, Minnesota Histroical Society, 1969.

Aitkin

Scottish-born fur trader William Alexander Aitkin

Anoka

Sioux or Dakota word meaning “on both sides”

Becker

George Loomis Becker, former St. Paul mayor, state senator, brigadier general and St. Paul and Pacific Railroad land commissioner

Beltrami

Giamcomo Beltrami; discoverer of the Bloody (Red Lake) River and the Mississippi River

Benton

Missouri Senator Thomas Hart Benton; enactor of homestead land laws

Big Stone

Big Stone Lake

Blue Earth

Named for the bluish-green earth in the region

Brown

Joseph Renshaw Brown; drummer boy, soldier, Indian trader, lumberman, pioneer, speculator, sounder, legislator, politician, editor and inventor

Carlton

Rueben B. Carlton; early settler and member of the first senate (1858)

Carver

Jonathan Carver; explorer and writer of the northland, traveled with the Sioux on the Minnesota River

Cass

Statesman Lewis Cass

Chippewa

Chippewa River

Chisago

Named after the largest lake in the county

Clay

Statesman Henry Clay

Clearwater

Clearwater River and Lake

Cook

Major Michael Cook; brave Civil War soldier

Cottonwood

Cottonwood River

Crow Wing

Named for an island shaped like a raven’s wing at the junction of the Crow Wing and Mississippi Rivers

Dakota

Named after the Dakota Tribe of Indians

Dodge

Henry and August Caesar Dodge; father and son politicians of the time

Douglas

Stephen Arnold Douglas; know as “little giant,” adversary of Abe Lincoln

Faribault

Jean Baptiste Faribault; trader among the Sioux

Fillmore

Millard Fillmore; US President (1850-1853)

Freeborn

William Freeborn; second mayor of Red Wing

Goodhue

James Madison Goodhue; Minnesota’s first printer and editor

Grant

Ulysses Simpson Grant; Civil War general and US President (1869-1877)

Hennepin

Father Louis Hennepin; missionary, explorer and author

Houston

Sam Houston; general and political leader

Hubbard

Lucius Frederick Hubbard; editor, soldier, businessman, and first governor 1882-1887

Isanti

Tribal name of the area

Itasca

Lake Itasca

Jackson

Henry Jackson; first merchant, postmaster, and justice-of-the-peace in St. Paul

Kanabec

Named after the Snake River, Kanabec is Ojibway for “snake”

Kandiyohi

Dakota Indian name meaning “where the buffalo fish come”

Kittson

Norman Wolfred Kittson; leading pioneer, fur trader, and mayor of St. Paul

Koochiching

Cree Indian name of uncertain meaning given by Ojibways to Rainy River and the falls and rapids

Lac Qui Parle

French, meaning “lake which talks”

Lake

Named after Lake Superior

Lake of the Woods

Named after the lake that forms the county’s northern border

Le Sueur

French-Canadian Pierre Charles Le Sueur; trader and explorer

Lincoln

Abraham Lincoln

Lyon

General Nathaniel Lyon; killed in the Battle of Wilson’s Creek, Missouri

Mahnomen

Ojibway word for wild rice

Marshall

 William Rainey Marshall; pioneer merchant, banker, soldier, and governor (1866-1870)

Martin

Henry Martin, who came from Connecticut in 1856 and purchased thousands of acres in this and other counties

McLeod

Martin McLeod; a pioneer fur trader who became president of the Territorial Legislature Council in 1853

Meeker

Bradley B. Meeker; territorial legislator, Minnesota Supreme Court Justice and charter member of the Minnesota Historical Society

Mille Lacs

Named after the lake the French called “Thousand Lakes”

Morrison

William and Allen Morrison; pioneer fur traders who explored the Mississippi headwaters

Mower

 John El. Mower; pioneer lumberman who served both the Territorial (1854-55) and State Legislatures (1874-75)

Murray

William Pitt Murray; Territorial Legislator and president of its council, also a state representative and senator

Nicollet

Joseph Nicolas Nicollet; a French-born geographer and explorer who mapped the Itasca Lake basin in 1836

Nobles

William H. Nobles; a wagon maker and road builder who served in the Minnesota Territorial Legislature in 1854 and 1856

Norman

Named after the early Norwegian (Norsemen or Norman) settlers

Olmsted

David Olmsted; first mayor of St. Paul who was also an editor and a publisher

Otter Tail

Ottertail Lake and River, named by the Ojibway for its long, ancient sandbar shaped like an otter’s tail

Pennington

Edmund Pennington; a railroad man who become president of the Minneapolis, St. Paul and Sault Ste. Marie Railway

Pine

Named for the great forests of white and Norway pine which once flourished in the county

Pipestone

Named for the red pipestone, or catlinite, which was venerated and quarried by Indians

Polk

James Knox Polk; US President (1845-1849)

Pope

General John Pope; explorer and soldier who assisted Generals Sibley and Sully in the 1863-64 campaign against the Sioux Indians

Ramsey

Alexander Ramsey; Minnesota’s first Territorial Governor (1849-1853) and the second mayor of St. Paul (1855)

Red Lake

Red Lake River, named by the Ojibway for the river’s red sand and reddish water

Redwood

Named after a river believed to be named for a slender bush whose red bark the Dakota mixed with tobacco for smoking

Renville

Joseph Renville who led the Sioux warriors for the British against the US in the War of 1812

Rice

Henry Mower Rice who aided in negotiating Indian treaties and became one of the first two Minnesota Senators

Rock

Named for a large rocky outcrop or plateau, know as “The Mound”

Roseau

Roseau Lake and Roseau River

St. Louis

St. Louis River which was given its name by French explorer Verendrye

Scott

General Winfield Scott who served in the War of 1812 and was American troop commander in the Mexican War (1846-1848)

Sherburne

Moses Sherburne; a Territorial Supreme Court Justice from 1853-1857, he helped to compile Minnesota’s statutes

Sibley

Henry Hastings Sibley; fur trader, pioneer, and first governor of Minnesota (1858-1860)

Stearns

Charles Thomas Stearns; distinguished pioneer resident of St. Cloud

Steele

Franklin Steele; a prominent Minneapolis pioneer and charter member of the Minnesota Historical Society and member of the University of Minnesota Board of Regents

Stevens

Isaac Ingalls Stevens; a statesman who requested this county be named for him seven years after a clerical error denied him that honor in 1855 for Stearns County

Swift

Henry Adoniram Swift, Minnesota’s governor in 1863Todd CountyJohn Blair Smith Todd; commander of Fort Ripley from 1849-1856

Traverse

Lake Traverse

Wabasha

Named for a three-generation line of great Sioux chiefs named Wabasha

Wadena

Wadena Trading Post, built on the old Crow Wing-to-Pembina Trail

Waseca

Dakota or Sioux word translated as “rich,” “fertile” and “plentiful”

Washington

George Washington

Watonwan

Watonwan River, a Dakota name believed to signify “where fish-bait abounds”

Wilkin

Colonel Alexander Wilkin, an attorney, state marshall and soldier who was killed in 1864 during the Battle of Tupelo, Mississippi

Winona

Named after a Dakota woman of distinction, Winona, who was a cousin of the last of the three chiefs named Wabasha

Wright

Silas Wright, New York lawyer and politician

Yellow Medicine

Yellow Medicine River, the Dakota or Sioux Pajutzaee (“yellow-plant root diggings”)

Headlines


Hot Topics & Resources

Pioneer Press

Star Tribune

Minnesota Public Radio (MPR)


Legislative News

AMC News

County News

Email us your local  news and we'll post it here!