Brief History of Minnesota

By | May 19, 2022

Population: 5 344.861 thousand people (2011)
Area: 225181.0 sq. km

According to, Minnesota is located in the midwestern United States. Its capital is Saint Paul. On the territory of the state there are such large cities as Minneapolis, Duluth, Bloomington, Rochester and Brooklyn Park. In terms of area, it is in 12th place among the states. In the west, the territory of Minnesota shares a border with North and South Dakota, in the east with Wisconsin, in the south with Iowa. The northern and northwestern lands of the state border on the Canadian provinces of Ontario and Manitoba.

In some places, natural reservoirs lie between them, including Lake Superior, as well as the Pidgin and Rainy rivers. To the northwest and west are the prairies. The central and southern lands occupy a flat plain. Northern Minnesota lies on a crystalline shield. There are more than 15 thousand lakes here. One third of the state’s territory is occupied by forests. The area is dominated by a temperate continental climate. The coldest place is the city of International Falls.

On the territory of the modern state, before the arrival of Europeans, the Indian tribes of the Cheyenne, Winebago, Sioux, and Ojibwe lived here. According to an unverified version, Scandinavians visited these places in the 14th century. In 1679, the Frenchman Daniel Duluth, who arrived on the local lands, ranked modern Minnesota as a possession of France. After the Seven Years’ War in 1763, the territory of the modern state became subject to Great Britain.

Minnesota entered the Union in the late spring of 1858 and became the 32nd state of the country. The adoption of the constitution took place in 1858. Significant economic growth began in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. At that time, steel mills began to produce their products in Duluth. Their discovery took place in 1915.

Minnesota is an industrial state. In its cities are the central offices of large companies. On the territory of the state there are enterprises for the extraction of iron ore, gravel, sand, stone. Developed industries such as printing, food industry, engineering. Produced computer equipment. In agricultural areas, they grow soybeans, corn, wheat, seeded grasses, and are engaged in dairy farming.


Population: 400,070 thousand people (2013)
Area: 151.3 sq. km
Founded: 1867
Time zone: UTC-6, summer UTC-5
Altitude: 264 m

Minneapolis is the largest city in Minnesota. It is located in the east of the state, spread among numerous lakes, 24 of which lie within the city limits. Because of this, Minneapolis earned the nickname “City of Lakes”. The great Mississippi River divides the city into two parts. Near Minneapolis is the capital of Minnesota, Saint Paul. Together they form a large agglomeration known as the Twin Cities.┬áSee Minnesota counties.

The name “Minneapolis” is of mixed origin. “Polis” is known to be “city” in Greek. And the first part of the toponym came from the Dakota languages and means “water”. The idea to name the settlement so came from the first local school teacher. The Dakota Indians were the original inhabitants of the area until the arrival of the first traders and fur hunters in the 17th century. Permanent settlements in the Minneapolis area did not appear until 1817. In 1867, Minneapolis received city status.

Modern Minneapolis ranks first in the list of “healthy” cities in the United States. It is also quite an interesting city. The sights of Minneapolis are represented by the Basilica of St. Mary (1914), several art centers, theaters and concert venues, the American Swedish Institute (actually a museum).

Minneapolis is also a sports center. Local professional teams are represented in every league in the country (baseball, basketball, hockey, American football), and Minneapolis sports arenas are important cultural and community sites. The city’s restaurants have repeatedly received awards of the all-American level, and the city itself is recognized as a model of a new national cuisine.


Population: 110.742 thousand people (2013)
Area: 103.0 sq. km
Founded: 1854
Time zone: UTC-6, summer UTC-5
Altitude: 312 m
Zip code: 55901, 55902, 55903, 55904, 55906

The city of Rochester is one of the largest settlements in the state. It has the status of the capital center of Olmsted County, which is part of the Minneapolis-Saint Paul metropolitan area. The urban area stretches along both banks of the Sumbro River. There are also several artificial and natural lakes within Rochester. One of them serves as a cooling pond for a nearby power plant. The warm water of the lake and, as a result, favorable conditions for the habitat of representatives of the fauna, attracted many birds at one time. Among them are migrating Canadian geese (goose), which have become a symbol of Rochester. Thanks to the positive temperature, the lake does not freeze in winter and serves as a safe haven for feathered inhabitants.

The local economy prospers due to the activities of industrial companies producing radio-electronic equipment and devices, medical devices, food products. But Rochester’s main employer remains the Mayo Clinic. It is a large private medical center. Its buildings occupy much of downtown Rochester. It is informally known as “Medical City”.

The area where Rochester now stretches was in the pre-Columbian period the home of indigenous peoples, in particular the Ojibwe, Winnebago, Sioux. With the arrival of Europeans, most of them were forced to leave their huts and move to the reservation. In the middle of the 19th century, the territory of the modern city became part of the state of Minnesota.

In 1854, a settlement appeared here, the founder of which was George Head. He named it South Fork, where, in addition to the family home, a tavern soon appeared. Two years later, new residents settled in the settlement, and by 1858, about 1,500 people already lived here. At the same time, Rochester, which grew out of the settlement of South Fork, became the county seat of Olmsted County. With the commissioning of the railway, the number of townspeople increased significantly due to immigrants.

At the end of the summer of 1883, a tornado that hit the city damaged many buildings and caused the death of 37 people. Due to the lack of medical care, the functions of orderlies were taken over by the townspeople Mayo and his sons. In 1889, he managed to open a private hospital thanks to the help of the convent of St. Francis in the form of a donation in the amount of 60 thousand dollars. Now it is one of the largest medical centers in the world.

Brief History of Minnesota