Wilkin County, Minnesota

Wilkin County is a county in the U.S. state of Minnesota. As of the 2020 census, the population of Wilkin County was 6,506.[1] Its county seat is Breckenridge.[2] The county is named for Colonel Alexander Wilkin, a lawyer who served as Minnesota's U.S. marshal and was later killed in the Civil War.

Wilkin County
Wilkin County Courthouse in Breckenridge
Wilkin County Courthouse in Breckenridge
Map of Minnesota highlighting Wilkin 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°22′N 96°28′W / 46.36°N 96.47°W / 46.36; -96.47
Country United States
State Minnesota
FoundedMarch 8, 1858 (created as Toombs)
1863 (renamed)
March 6, 1868 (renamed)
Named forAlexander Wilkin
SeatBreckenridge
Largest cityBreckenridge
Area
 • Total751 sq mi (1,950 km2)
 • Land751 sq mi (1,950 km2)
 • Water0.69 sq mi (1.8 km2)  0.03%%
Population
 (2020)
 • Total6,506
 • Estimate 
(2021)
6,395 Decrease
 • Density8.7/sq mi (3.4/km2)
Time zoneUTC−6 (Central)
 • Summer (DST)UTC−5 (CDT)
Congressional district7th
Websitewww.co.wilkin.mn.us

Wilkin County is part of the Wahpeton, ND–MN Micropolitan Statistical Area, which is included in the Fargo-Wahpeton, ND-MN Combined Statistical Area.

HistoryEdit

In 1849, the newly organized Minnesota Territory legislature authorized the creation of nine large counties across the territory. One of those, Pembina (later renamed as Kittson), contained areas that were partitioned off on 8 March 1858 to create Toombs County, named after Robert Toombs (1810–85) of Georgia. Toombs had been a member of the US House of Representatives (1845-1853), and US Senate (1853-1861). He became the Confederate secretary of state in 1861; this disloyalty to the Union displeased county residents, who petitioned for a name change. Accordingly, in 1863, the county was renamed Andy Johnson County for Andrew Johnson, who was serving as the military governor of Tennessee at the time. However, Johnson's actions and positions as US President (1865-1869) also displeased county residents, so on 6 March 1868 the county name was again changed, to Wilkin County. It was named for Colonel Alexander Wilkin, a Minnesota attorney and secretary to the Minnesota Territory governor.

The future Breckenridge, Minnesota was settled beginning in the 1850s, and a town was platted there in the spring of 1857. Thus when Toombs County was authorized in 1858, Breckenridge was listed as the county seat. It continued as the county seat through the subsequent county name changes.[3]

GeographyEdit

 
Soils of Wilkin County[4]

Wilkin County lies on the west side of Minnesota. Its west border abuts the east border of the state of North Dakota (across a river). The Bois de Sioux River flows northward along the county's west border. The Rabbit River flows westward through the lower part of the county and discharges into the Bois de Sioux on the county's lower west border. The Otter Tail River flows west-northwestward through the central part of the county and merges with the Bois de Sioux at Breckenridge to form the Red River, which continues to flow along the county's west line northward toward the Hudson Bay in Canada.

Wilkin County terrain consists of low rolling hills, completely devoted to agriculture.[5] The terrain slopes to the west and north, with its highest point on the upper east border at 1,250' (381m) ASL.[6] The county has a total area of 751 square miles (1,950 km2), of which 751 square miles (1,950 km2) is land and 0.2 square miles (0.52 km2) (0.03%) is water.[7]

Major highwaysEdit

Adjacent countiesEdit

Protected areas[5]Edit

  • Akron State Wildlife Management Area
  • Atherton State Wildlife Management Area
  • Richard M. and Mathilde Rice Elliot Scientific and Natural Area
  • Rothsay State Wildlife Management Area
  • Sunnyside Township State Game Refuge
  • Western Prairie Scientific and Natural Area

LakesEdit

DemographicsEdit

Historical population
Census Pop.
186040
1870295637.5%
18801,906546.1%
18904,346128.0%
19008,08085.9%
19109,06312.2%
192010,18712.4%
19309,791−3.9%
194010,4757.0%
195010,5670.9%
196010,6500.8%
19709,389−11.8%
19808,454−10.0%
19907,516−11.1%
20007,138−5.0%
20106,576−7.9%
20206,506−1.1%
2021 (est.)6,395[8]−1.7%
U.S. Decennial Census[9]
1790-1960[10] 1900-1990[11]
1990-2000[12] 2010-2020[1]
 
Age pyramid of county residents based on 2000 census data

2000 censusEdit

As of the 2000 census, there were 7,138 people, 2,752 households, and 1,926 families in the county. The population density was 9.50/sqmi (3.67/km2). There were 3,105 housing units at an average density of 4.13/sqmi (1.60/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 97.77% White, 0.15% Black or African American, 0.42% Native American, 0.15% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 0.49% from other races, and 0.99% from two or more races. 1.54% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 41.8% were of German and 29.2% Norwegian ancestry.

There were 2,752 households, out of which 35.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 59.5% were married couples living together, 7.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 30.0% were non-families. 25.9% of all households were made up of individuals, and 13.40% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.54 and the average family size was 3.09.

The county population contained 27.8% under the age of 18, 7.0% from 18 to 24, 27.7% from 25 to 44, 21.5% from 45 to 64, and 16.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females there were 95.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 96.1 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $38,093, and the median income for a family was $46,220. Males had a median income of $31,273 versus $20,925 for females. The per capita income for the county was $16,873. About 6.2% of families and 8.1% of the population were below the poverty line, including 8.9% of those under age 18 and 8.3% of those age 65 or over.

2020 CensusEdit

Wilkin County Racial Composition[13]
Race Num. Perc.
White (NH) 5,918 91%
Black or African American (NH) 41 0.63%
Native American (NH) 87 1.34%
Asian (NH) 8 0.12%
Pacific Islander (NH) 1 0.02%
Other/Mixed (NH) 240 3.7%
Hispanic or Latino 211 3.24%

CommunitiesEdit

CitiesEdit

Unincorporated communitiesEdit

TownshipsEdit

PoliticsEdit

Wilkin County voters have traditionally voted Republican. In no national election since 1976 has the county selected the Democratic Party candidate (as of 2020).

United States presidential election results for Wilkin County, Minnesota[14][15]
Year Republican Democratic Third party
No.  % No.  % No.  %
2020 2,328 68.57% 1,026 30.22% 41 1.21%
2016 2,129 64.48% 893 27.04% 280 8.48%
2012 1,884 58.47% 1,258 39.04% 80 2.48%
2008 1,786 52.31% 1,550 45.40% 78 2.28%
2004 2,303 65.30% 1,169 33.14% 55 1.56%
2000 2,032 61.48% 1,046 31.65% 227 6.87%
1996 1,508 46.83% 1,319 40.96% 393 12.20%
1992 1,626 46.32% 1,122 31.97% 762 21.71%
1988 1,933 56.08% 1,486 43.11% 28 0.81%
1984 2,367 62.36% 1,410 37.14% 19 0.50%
1980 2,224 54.15% 1,496 36.43% 387 9.42%
1976 1,882 45.79% 2,103 51.17% 125 3.04%
1972 2,292 56.00% 1,739 42.49% 62 1.51%
1968 2,037 48.91% 1,946 46.72% 182 4.37%
1964 1,636 37.26% 2,751 62.65% 4 0.09%
1960 2,340 50.14% 2,319 49.69% 8 0.17%
1956 2,335 55.36% 1,881 44.59% 2 0.05%
1952 2,979 65.39% 1,564 34.33% 13 0.29%
1948 1,700 41.87% 2,291 56.43% 69 1.70%
1944 1,945 51.51% 1,819 48.17% 12 0.32%
1940 2,067 48.65% 2,176 51.21% 6 0.14%
1936 1,278 32.45% 2,428 61.66% 232 5.89%
1932 1,126 30.75% 2,488 67.94% 48 1.31%
1928 1,874 53.90% 1,578 45.38% 25 0.72%
1924 1,342 47.17% 245 8.61% 1,258 44.22%
1920 2,106 75.19% 561 20.03% 134 4.78%
1916 690 44.20% 808 51.76% 63 4.04%
1912 209 14.47% 586 40.58% 649 44.94%
1908 779 53.03% 614 41.80% 76 5.17%
1904 1,103 77.30% 246 17.24% 78 5.47%
1900 812 52.05% 663 42.50% 85 5.45%
1896 631 41.30% 855 55.96% 42 2.75%
1892 434 42.67% 363 35.69% 220 21.63%
County Board of Commissioners[16]
Position Name District
Commissioner Eric Klindt District 1
Commissioner Jonathan Green District 2
Commissioner Lyle Hovland District 3
Commissioner and Vice Chair Neil Folstad District 4
Commissioner and Chairperson Dennis Larson District 5
State Legislature (2021-2023)
Position Name Affiliation District
  Senate Torrey Westrom[17] Republican District 12
  House of Representatives Jeff Backer[18] Republican District 12A
U.S Congress (2021-2023)
Position Name Affiliation District
  House of Representatives Michelle Fischbach Republican 7th
  Senate Amy Klobuchar[19] Democrat N/A
  Senate Tina Smith[20] Democrat N/A

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b "U.S. Census Bureau QuickFacts: Wilkin County, Minnesota". www.census.gov. United States Census Bureau. Retrieved April 2, 2022.
  2. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved June 7, 2011.
  3. ^ Upham, Warren. Minnesota Geographic Names (1920), p. 577 (accessed April 21, 2019)
  4. ^ Nelson, Steven (2011). Savanna Soils of Minnesota. Minnesota: Self. pp. 57 - 60. ISBN 978-0-615-50320-2.
  5. ^ a b Wilkin County MN Google Maps (accessed April 21, 2019)
  6. ^ "Find an Elevation/Wilkin County MN" Google Maps (accessed April 21, 2019)
  7. ^ "2010 Census Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. August 22, 2012. Archived from the original on October 6, 2014. Retrieved October 25, 2014.
  8. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Counties: April 1, 2020 to July 1, 2021". Retrieved April 2, 2022.
  9. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved October 25, 2014.
  10. ^ "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved October 25, 2014.
  11. ^ "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved October 25, 2014.
  12. ^ "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.
  13. ^ "P2 HISPANIC OR LATINO, AND NOT HISPANIC OR LATINO BY RACE – 2020: DEC Redistricting Data (PL 94-171) – Wilkin County, Minnesota".
  14. ^ Leip, David. "Atlas of US Presidential Elections". uselectionatlas.org. Retrieved October 10, 2018.
  15. ^ The leading "other" candidate, Progressive Theodore Roosevelt, received 561 votes, while Socialist candidate Eugene Debs received 56 votes, Prohibition candidate Eugene Chafin received 30 votes, and Socialist Labor candidate Arthur Reimer received 2 votes.
  16. ^ "County Board of Commissioners". www.co.wilkin.mn.us. Retrieved June 25, 2020.
  17. ^ "MN State Senate". www.senate.mn. Retrieved June 24, 2020.
  18. ^ "Rep. Jeff Backer (12A) - Minnesota House of Representatives". www.house.leg.state.mn.us. Retrieved June 24, 2020.
  19. ^ "U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar". www.klobuchar.senate.gov. Retrieved June 24, 2020.
  20. ^ "Home". Senator Tina Smith. Retrieved June 24, 2020.

External linksEdit

Coordinates: 46°22′N 96°28′W / 46.36°N 96.47°W / 46.36; -96.47