Wadena County, Minnesota

Wadena County (/wəˈdnə/ wə-DEEN) is a county in the U.S. state of Minnesota. As of the 2020 census, the population was 14,065.[1] Its county seat is Wadena.

Wadena County
Old Fire and City Hall in Wadena, Minnesota.
Map of Minnesota highlighting Wadena County
Location within the U.S. state of Minnesota
Map of the United States highlighting Minnesota
Minnesota's location within the U.S.
Coordinates: 46°35′N 94°58′W / 46.58°N 94.96°W / 46.58; -94.96
Country United States
State Minnesota
FoundedJune 11, 1858 (created)
February 21, 1873 (organized)
Named forA trading post
SeatWadena
Largest cityWadena
Area
 • Total543 sq mi (1,410 km2)
 • Land536 sq mi (1,390 km2)
 • Water7.0 sq mi (18 km2)  1.3%%
Population
 (2020)
 • Total14,065
 • Estimate 
(2021)
14,177 Increase
 • Density26/sq mi (10/km2)
Time zoneUTC−6 (Central)
 • Summer (DST)UTC−5 (CDT)
Congressional district8th
Websitewww.co.wadena.mn.us
Wadena County Fairgrounds
The grandstands at the Wadena County Fairgrounds

HistoryEdit

The newly organized Minnesota Legislature created the county on June 11, 1858. A settlement began at the future city of Wadena in 1871,[2] and by 1873 a post office was in operation there.[3] The settlement was designated the county seat when the state legislature organized the county on February 21, 1873. The town took the name of a trading post 15 miles (24 km) to the east, which had flourished for several years but was largely abandoned by that time. The trading post was named for Chief Wadena, an Ojibwe Indian chief of the late 19th century in northwestern Minnesota.[4]

Wadena County comprises 15 townships, first surveyed in 1863. Each township is six miles square and contains 36 sections of land (with the exception of Bullard and Thomastown, which have a slightly different configuration because their boundaries are aligned with the Leaf and Crow Wing Rivers, respectively). In 1857 Augustus Aspinwall laid out a town site in what is now Section 15, Thomastown township, at the junction of the Crow Wing and Partridge rivers, and named it Wadena. When the railroad went through the area in 1872 it ran about three miles south of this site and the town quickly withered away.

During the last part of the 19th century and the first half of the 20th, there were two railroads in the county. The Northern Pacific main line running east to west through Wadena was built in 1872, while the Great Northern branch or "K" line which ran from Sauk Centre to Bemidji, via Sebeka and Menahga, was completed in 1891. The line from Park Rapids to Long Prairie was abandoned in 1984 while the rest was abandoned in the early 1970s with the northern section from Park Rapids to Cass Lake since converted to the Heartland Trail.

Wadena used to be served by the Greyhound Bus Line, Elliott Bros. Transportation Co., Northwest Transportation Co., Red Bus Line, Gray Bus Line, Liederbach Bus Co. and Mercury Bus line.

There are four historical societies in the county, including the Wadena County Historical Society, the Verndale Historical Society, the Sebeka Finnish American Historical Society and the Menahga Historical Society.

In 2010 there were four organized school districts in the county: Wadena, Verndale, Sebeka and Menahga. In 1906 there were 52 school districts in the county, most of which were rural schools.

Sebeka once had Minnesota's second-largest creamery. Over the years there have been approximately ten creameries in the county and ten cheese factories.[5]

GeographyEdit

The Crow Wing River flows south through the east-central part of the county and forms the lower part of the county's eastern border as it turns to flow southeast. The Partridge River flows east through the southern part of the county, discharging into the Crow Wing in the county's southeast corner. The Leaf River flows east through the central part of the county, discharging into the Crow Wing in the county's eastern portion. The county terrain consists of low rolling hills, carved by drainages, devoted to agriculture wherever possible.[6] The terrain slopes to the east and south, with its highest point near its northwest corner, at 1,460' (445m) ASL.[7] The county has a total area of 543 square miles (1,410 km2), of which 536 square miles (1,390 km2) is land and 7.0 square miles (18 km2) (1.3%) is water.[8] Wadena is one of 17 Minnesota counties with more savanna soils than prairie or forest soils.

 
Soils of Wadena County[9]

Major highwaysEdit

Airports[6]Edit

Adjacent countiesEdit

Protected areas[6]Edit

Lakes[6]Edit

  • Bill Lake
  • Blueberry Lake
  • Burgen Lake
  • Duck Lake (part)
  • Finn Lake
  • Granning Lake
  • Jim Cook Lake
  • Lily Lake
  • Lovejoy Lake
  • Lower Twin Lake
  • Mud Lake
  • Radabaugh Lake
  • Rice Lake
  • Round Lake
  • Simon Lake
  • Spirit Lake
  • Stocking Lake
  • Strike Lake]
  • Thomas Lake
  • Upper Twin Lake (part)
  • Yaeger Lake

DemographicsEdit

Historical population
Census Pop.
18706
18802,08034,566.7%
18904,05895.1%
19007,92195.2%
19108,6529.2%
192010,69923.7%
193010,9902.7%
194012,77216.2%
195012,8060.3%
196012,199−4.7%
197012,4121.7%
198014,19214.3%
199013,154−7.3%
200013,7134.2%
201013,8430.9%
202014,0651.6%
2021 (est.)14,177[10]0.8%
U.S. Decennial Census[11]
1790-1960[12] 1900-1990[13]
1990-2000[14] 2010-2020[1]
 
Age pyramid of county residents based on 2000 census data

2000 censusEdit

As of the 2020 census, there were 13,713 people, 5,426 households, and 3,608 families in the county. The population density was 25.6/sqmi (9.88/km2). There were 6,334 housing units at an average density of 11.8/sqmi (4.56/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 97.89% White, 0.48% Black or African American, 0.55% Native American, 0.18% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 0.27% from other races, and 0.59% from two or more races. 0.93% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 37.5% were of German, 14.0% Norwegian, 12.5% Finnish, 9.0% United States or American and 5.3% Swedish ancestry.

There were 5,426 households, out of which 30.00% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 55.30% were married couples living together, 7.60% had a female householder with no husband present, and 33.50% were non-families. 29.20% of all households were made up of individuals, and 15.10% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.45 and the average family size was 3.02.

The county population contained 25.80% under the age of 18, 8.10% from 18 to 24, 23.60% from 25 to 44, 22.60% from 45 to 64, and 19.90% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40 years. For every 100 females there were 97.90 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 94.90 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $30,651, and the median income for a family was $38,618. Males had a median income of $28,424 versus $21,027 for females. The per capita income for the county was $15,146. About 9.70% of families and 14.10% of the population were below the poverty line, including 15.40% of those under age 18 and 12.60% of those age 65 or over.

2020 CensusEdit

Wadena County Racial Composition[15]
Race Num. Perc.
White (NH) 13,044 92.7%
Black or African American (NH) 118 0.82%
Native American (NH) 73 0.52%
Asian (NH) 54 0.38%
Pacific Islander (NH) 9 0.06%
Other/Mixed (NH) 494 3.5%
Hispanic or Latino 273 1.94%

CommunitiesEdit

CitiesEdit

Unincorporated communitiesEdit

Ghost townsEdit

TownshipsEdit

Government and politicsEdit

Wadena County voters have traditionally voted Republican. In only one national election since 1964 has the county selected the Democratic Party candidate (as of 2020).

United States presidential election results for Wadena County, Minnesota[16]
Year Republican Democratic Third party
No.  % No.  % No.  %
2020 5,520 71.90% 2,023 26.35% 134 1.75%
2016 4,837 69.76% 1,684 24.29% 413 5.96%
2012 4,143 61.01% 2,492 36.70% 156 2.30%
2008 4,128 57.58% 2,882 40.20% 159 2.22%
2004 4,214 59.41% 2,791 39.35% 88 1.24%
2000 3,733 58.49% 2,251 35.27% 398 6.24%
1996 2,696 44.64% 2,480 41.06% 864 14.30%
1992 2,492 38.95% 2,340 36.57% 1,566 24.48%
1988 3,733 59.26% 2,484 39.43% 82 1.30%
1984 4,306 63.40% 2,454 36.13% 32 0.47%
1980 4,089 57.57% 2,635 37.10% 379 5.34%
1976 3,048 47.45% 3,164 49.25% 212 3.30%
1972 3,408 57.05% 2,430 40.68% 136 2.28%
1968 2,912 54.07% 2,198 40.81% 276 5.12%
1964 2,418 45.33% 2,908 54.52% 8 0.15%
1960 3,082 57.83% 2,240 42.03% 7 0.13%
1956 3,028 63.52% 1,733 36.35% 6 0.13%
1952 3,662 68.54% 1,665 31.16% 16 0.30%
1948 2,272 46.21% 2,556 51.98% 89 1.81%
1944 2,653 58.47% 1,868 41.17% 16 0.35%
1940 2,898 54.27% 2,405 45.04% 37 0.69%
1936 1,898 40.83% 2,605 56.03% 146 3.14%
1932 1,585 39.33% 2,300 57.07% 145 3.60%
1928 2,592 64.09% 1,343 33.21% 109 2.70%
1924 1,900 54.83% 182 5.25% 1,383 39.91%
1920 2,635 75.57% 503 14.43% 349 10.01%
1916 938 54.31% 651 37.70% 138 7.99%
1912 278 20.90% 336 25.26% 716 53.83%
1908 991 63.57% 467 29.96% 101 6.48%
1904 1,159 82.55% 190 13.53% 55 3.92%
1900 949 65.67% 448 31.00% 48 3.32%
1896 874 60.65% 534 37.06% 33 2.29%
1892 454 45.35% 332 33.17% 215 21.48%
County Board of Commissioners[17]
Position Name District
Commissioner Sheldon Monson District 1
Commissioner Michael Weyer District 2
Commissioner Bill Stearns District 3
Commissioner Murlyn Kreklau District 4
Commissioner John Kangas District 5
State Legislature (2018-2020)
Position Name Affiliation District
  Senate Paul Utke[18] Republican District 2
  Senate Paul Gazelka[19] Republican District 9
  House of Representatives Steve Green[20] Republican District 2B
  House of Representatives John Poston[21] Republican District 9A
U.S Congress (2018-2020)
Position Name Affiliation District
  House of Representatives Pete Stauber[22] Republican 8th
  Senate Amy Klobuchar[23] Democrat N/A
  Senate Tina Smith[24] Democrat N/A

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b "U.S. Census Bureau QuickFacts: Wadena County, Minnesota". www.census.gov. United States Census Bureau. Retrieved April 3, 2022.
  2. ^ Upham, Warren (1920). Minnesota Geographic Names: Their Origin and Historic Significance. Minnesota Historical Society. p. 562.
  3. ^ "Wadena County". Jim Forte Postal History. Retrieved August 11, 2015.
  4. ^ "Wadena's Namesake". Wadena County Historical Society. Retrieved July 14, 2011.
  5. ^ Wadena County Historical Society
  6. ^ a b c d Wadena County MN Google Maps (accessed April 21, 2019)
  7. ^ "Find an Altitude/Wadena County MN" Google Maps (accessed April 21, 2019)
  8. ^ "2010 Census Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. August 22, 2012. Archived from the original on October 6, 2014. Retrieved October 25, 2014.
  9. ^ Nelson, Steven (2011). Savanna Soils of Minnesota. Minnesota: Self. pp. 53-56. ISBN 978-0-615-50320-2.
  10. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Counties: April 1, 2020 to July 1, 2021". Retrieved April 3, 2022.
  11. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved October 25, 2014.
  12. ^ "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved October 25, 2014.
  13. ^ "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved October 25, 2014.
  14. ^ "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. Archived (PDF) from the original on March 27, 2010. Retrieved October 25, 2014.
  15. ^ "P2 HISPANIC OR LATINO, AND NOT HISPANIC OR LATINO BY RACE – 2020: DEC Redistricting Data (PL 94-171) – Wadena County, Minnesota".
  16. ^ Leip, David. "Atlas of US Presidential Elections". uselectionatlas.org. Retrieved April 9, 2018.
  17. ^ "Commissioner Districts | Wadena County, MN - Official Website". www.co.wadena.mn.us. Retrieved June 26, 2020.
  18. ^ "MN State Senate". www.senate.mn. Retrieved June 26, 2020.
  19. ^ "MN State Senate". www.senate.mn. Retrieved June 26, 2020.
  20. ^ "Rep. Steve Green (02B) - Minnesota House of Representatives". www.house.leg.state.mn.us. Retrieved June 26, 2020.
  21. ^ "Rep. John Poston (09A) - Minnesota House of Representatives". www.house.leg.state.mn.us. Retrieved June 26, 2020.
  22. ^ "Representative Pete Stauber". Representative Pete Stauber. Retrieved June 26, 2020.
  23. ^ "U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar". www.klobuchar.senate.gov. Retrieved June 24, 2020.
  24. ^ "Home". Senator Tina Smith. Retrieved June 24, 2020.

External linksEdit

Coordinates: 46°35′N 94°58′W / 46.58°N 94.96°W / 46.58; -94.96