"In the midst of opportunity"
Location of the city of Cokato
within Wright County, Minnesota
|• Mayor||Gordon Erickson |
|• Total||1.56 sq mi (4.03 km2)|
|• Land||1.55 sq mi (4.03 km2)|
|• Water||0.00 sq mi (0.01 km2)|
|Elevation||1,056 ft (322 m)|
| • Estimate |
|• Density||1,766.56/sq mi (682.15/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC-6 (Central (CST))|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC-5 (CDT)|
|Area code(s)||320 Exchange: 286|
|GNIS feature ID||0641381|
U.S. Highway 12 serves as a main route in the city.
|U.S. Decennial Census|
At the 2010 census there were 2,694 people in 1,000 households, including 652 families, in the city. The population density was 1,726.9 inhabitants per square mile (666.8/km2). There were 1,103 housing units at an average density of 707.1 per square mile (273.0/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 95.0% White, 0.3% African American, 0.5% Native American, 0.5% Asian, 2.3% from other races, and 1.4% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 4.3%.
Of the 1,000 households 36.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 50.4% were married couples living together, 10.7% had a female householder with no husband present, 4.1% had a male householder with no wife present, and 34.8% were non-families. 30.1% of households were one person and 15.5% were one person aged 65 or older. The average household size was 2.61 and the average family size was 3.29.
The median age was 32.5 years. 31.8% of residents were under the age of 18; 6.9% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 25.6% were from 25 to 44; 20.6% were from 45 to 64; and 15.2% were 65 or older. The gender makeup of the city was 48.4% male and 51.6% female.
At the 2000 census there were 2,727 people in 990 households, including 663 families, in the city. The population density was 2,125.8 people per square mile (822.6/km2). There were 1,035 housing units at an average density of 806.8 per square mile (312.2/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 96.81% White, 0.15% African American, 0.26% Native American, 0.44% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 1.25% from other races, and 1.06% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.68%. 29.5% were of German, 24.2% Finnish, 15.3% Swedish and 9.8% Norwegian ancestry according to Census 2000.
Of the 990 households 36.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 51.1% were married couples living together, 11.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 33.0% were non-families. 29.7% of households were one person and 17.0% were one person aged 65 or older. The average household size was 2.66 and the average family size was 3.33.
The age distribution was 31.8% under the age of 18, 8.4% from 18 to 24, 25.4% from 25 to 44, 16.9% from 45 to 64, and 17.5% 65 or older. The median age was 33 years. For every 100 females, there were 91.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 90.3 males.
The median household income was $39,613 and the median family income was $51,645. Males had a median income of $35,362 versus $21,484 for females. The per capita income for the city was $17,149. About 7.1% of families and 7.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including 7.5% of those under age 18 and 14.9% of those age 65 or over.
The city of Cokato is home to the Cokato Museum & Gust Akerlund Studio. The museum is a local history museum dedicated to chronicling the story of the people of the city of Cokato, and the surrounding townships, in southwest Wright County. The Akerlund Studio is a restored photography studio, and home of Gust Akerlund, who operated the studio during the early 20th century.
Since 1950, Cokato hosts the Cokato Corn Carnival annually during the second week of August in Peterson Park, near Cokato Elementary School. The highlight of the festival is the serving of free corn-on-the-cob, along with a parade, midway and carnival rides, musical entertainment, the Miss Cokato coronation, and other events.
The Aho family of Cokato was featured by journalist Steve Hartman on CBS News Sunday Morning on December 9, 2012, for having twelve sons who all played football at the local high school over a period of more than two decades. 
- Sydney Eckman Ahlstrom – university professor and historian of American religion. Graduate of Gustavus Adolphus College (B.A., 1941), the University of Minnesota (M.A., 1946), and Harvard University (Ph.D., 1952). Joined the history faculty of Yale University in 1954, where he taught until his retirement in 1984. In 1972 he published A Religious History of the American People; this landmark study won the National Book Award for Philosophy and Religion in 1973. Made a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1978. Born in Cokato 1919; Cokato High School class of 1937.
- David Bromstad – interior designer and television personality. In 2006 he won the first season of HGTV Design Star. He is the host of Color Splash with David Bromstad, which debuted in 2007 on HGTV. He has gone on to host HGTV's Color Splash Miami and My Lottery Dream Home. Born in Cokato 1973.
- Michael Oluf Emerson - university professor and sociologist at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Noted author on American religion and race, and on global urban issues. Graduate of Dassel-Cokato High School (1983), Loyola University of Chicago (B.A., 1988), the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill (M.A., 1990), and the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill (Ph.D. 1991). Was on faculty at St. John's University, Bethel University, Rice University, and the University of Notre Dame. Also served as Provost and Chief Academic Office at North Park University.
- Paul Hedberg – broadcast and CATV entrepreneur; founder of Hedberg Broadcasting Group. With his father, Clifford Hedberg, first entered the radio business in 1956 with the construction of KMRS in Morris, Minnesota. Between 1958 and 1962 Hedberg also worked on-air at KRIB, WMIN, WTCN radio and TV, WLOL, and KDWB. In 1963 he brought the first radio station to Blue Earth, Minnesota, KBEW. Hedberg eventually owned and operated 21 radio stations in ten communities scattered across southern Minnesota (Luverne and Mankato, in addition to Morris and Blue Earth) and northern Iowa (Mason City, Spirit Lake, Storm Lake, Algona, Sioux Center, and Rock Valley). Founded Market Quoters, Inc. (a private broadcasting system that relayed agricultural market information to subscribers in Minnesota, Iowa, and South Dakota) and Blue Earth Cablevision, Inc. in 1972. In anticipation of the opening of the final section of Interstate 90 around Blue Earth in 1978, Hedberg was the driving force behind the erection of the 55-foot (17m) tall statue of the Jolly Green Giant. Co-founder of the Pavek Museum of Broadcasting. Former president of the Minnesota Broadcasters Association. Multi-term member of the National Association of Broadcasters Radio Board. Inducted to the Minnesota Broadcasting Hall of Fame in 2002. Author of The Time of My Life (2014), a memoir of his years in radio and his civic involvement. Born in Cokato 1939; attended Cokato public schools until 1956.
- Jon Jenkins – co-founder of IVAC Corporation and IMED Corporation. Inventor of the first electronic oral thermometer and the volumetric IV infusion pump; holder of numerous patents in the medical device field. Cokato High School class of 1955.
- Brad Johnson – Minnesota media personality and talk radio pioneer. Began his on-air career as a college freshman on the Gustavus Adolphus campus radio station, KGAC; after transferring to the University of Minnesota he became a fixture on its student station, WMMR. Entered commercial radio as a DJ on WMIN; migrated to WTCN in 1958, where he originated the afternoon drive time program called the Bumper-to-Bumper Club; assumed additional responsibilities at WTCN-TV, where he established himself as weekend weather man and host of Lucky 11 Dancetime on Saturdays. Johnson's television duties brought him to the attention of the producers of American Bandstand, who gave him the occasional opportunity to fill in for Dick Clark as guest host. Johnson subsequently worked for KRSI, WLOL, and WCCO radio stations. In 1967 Johnson established Minnesota's first all-talk radio station in his capacity as WLOL's program director. Inducted to the Pavek Museum of Broadcasting's Minnesota Broadcasting Hall of Fame in 2008. Born in Cokato 1937; Cokato High School class of 1954.
- Jerry Knapp – SCCA Nationals and the Volkswagen Pro Super Vee open wheel race car driver and manufacturer of VW kit cars in Cokato. Chosen by Walt Disney to produce the red gull-wing Laser 917 (a clone of the Porsche 917) driven by Bruno von Stickle (Eric Braeden) in Herbie Goes to Monte Carlo (1977). Father of IndyCar driver Steve Knapp (infra).
- Steve Knapp – driver on the USF2000 and IndyCar circuits. USF2000 season champion in 1996. Competed in the Indianapolis 500 from 1998–2000. As one of only three drivers to complete all 200 laps of the 1998 Indianapolis 500, Knapp finished behind only Eddie Cheever and Buddy Lazier and won rookie of the year. Currently owns and operates Elite Engines, designer and manufacturer of customized racing power plants, in West Bend, WI. Cokato High School class of 1982.
- Roger Peterson – associate producer of numerous Goodson-Todman Productions television game shows. He spent more time affiliated with I've Got a Secret (associate producer from 1959–67) than any other Goodson-Todman property, but also served as production manager for Password Plus, Beat the Clock, The Price Is Right, Match Game PM, Family Feud, Card Sharks, Blockbusters, Tattletales, and Match Game / Hollywood Squares Hour. Prior to joining Goodson-Todman Productions he served as producer of The Garry Moore Show. Peterson spent the first years following his naval service in World War II as an actor. He appeared off-Broadway at the City Center Theatre and the Plymouth Theatre in 1948, and also in summer stock productions at the Green Mountain Playhouse, the Old Log Playhouse, and the Suffern Playhouse. He also appeared on numerous soap operas and had small roles onscreen in films such as Sabrina. Born in Cokato 1921; Cokato High School class of 1938.
- "City of Cokato Minnesota". City of Cokato Minnesota. Retrieved October 4, 2012.
- "2019 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved July 26, 2020.
- "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2012-11-13.
- "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". United States Census Bureau. May 24, 2020. Retrieved May 27, 2020.
- "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
- "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
- "2010 Census Redistricting Data (Public Law 94-171) Summary File". American FactFinder. U.S. Census Bureau, 2010 Census. Retrieved 23 April 2011.[dead link]
- "US Gazetteer files 2010". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on 2012-07-02. Retrieved 2012-11-13.
- Upham, Warren (1920). Minnesota Geographic Names: Their Origin and Historic Significance. Minnesota Historical Society. p. 587.
- "Profile for Cokato, Minnesota, MN". ePodunk. Retrieved October 4, 2012.
- City of Cokato. "History". Retrieved 2010-11-02
- "Census of Population and Housing". Census.gov. Retrieved June 4, 2015.
- City of Cokato. "Cokato Museum & Akerlund Studio". Retrieved 2010-11-02. 
- "Sydney Ahlstrom". New York Times. Retrieved June 12, 2017.
- "David Bromstad". IMDb. Retrieved October 14, 2012.
- "Michael O. Emerson". Retrieved April 3, 2020.
- "Paul Hedberg". Minnesota Broadcasting Hall of Fame. Archived from the original on October 4, 2017. Retrieved June 11, 2017.
- "Patent #3,985,133". USPTO. Retrieved June 21, 2017.
- Patent numbers 3,985,133; 4,207,871; 4,265,240; 4,277,227; 4,346,606; 4,364,386; 4,391,599; and 4,460,353.
- "Jon Jenkins". San Diego Union-Tribune obituary. Retrieved June 17, 2017.
- "Brad Johnson". Minnesota Broadcasting Hall of Fame. Retrieved June 11, 2017.
- "Herbie Goes to Monte Carlo Laser 917". Internet Movie Cars Database. Retrieved June 15, 2017.
- "Steve Knapp". Driver Database. Retrieved June 15, 2017.
- "USF2000". Retrieved June 15, 2017.
- "Steve Knapp". Elite Engines. Archived from the original on October 12, 2017. Retrieved June 12, 2017.
- "Roger Peterson". IMDb. Retrieved June 12, 2017.
- "Roger A. Peterson". Dassel-Cokato Enterprise Dispatch obituary. Archived from the original on May 14, 2012. Retrieved June 13, 2017.
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