Minnesota Historical Timeline

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This space was created for genealogists in Wikitree to assist in researching persons with ties to Minnesota.

Timeline of Minnesota

This original timeline was published on eReference Desk (ereferencedesk.com) without citations.[1] Sources have been provided for events when found.

Pre-history [2]

  • 10,000 BCE - Glacial River Warren falls is formed near what is now downtown St. Paul and begins its slow journey upstream due to natural erosion.
  • 8,000 BCE - The falls move past Bdote, the confluence of Mni Sota Wakpa (Minnesota) and Haha Wakpa (Mississippi). The Dakota refer to the falls as Owamniyomni.[2]


  • 1659-1660 - French fur traders Médard Chouart and Pierre-Esprit Radisson explore western end of Lake Superior and environs.[3]
  • 1673 - French explorers Marquette and Joliet claim discovery of the upper portion of the Mississippi River.[4]
  • 1679 - Frenchman Daniel Greysolon, Sieur du Luth meets with Dakota native Americans near Mille Lacs.[5]
  • 1683 - Catholic Missionary Father Louis Hennepin returns to France after exploring the area that later became Minnesota and being held captive by the Dakota to write the first book about Minnesota, Description de la Louisiane.[6]


  • 1745 - The Ojibwa Indians defeat the Dakota Indians at the Kathio, driving the Dakota into southern and western Minnesota.[7]
  • 1763 - Spain receives Louisiana Territory (includes Minnesota west of the Mississippi River) from France in compensation for its loss of Florida during the Seven Years War. Great Britain wins claim to what is now eastern North America (east of the Mississippi River) and Canada.
  • 1770-1804 -
    • Grand Portage (Minnesota) evolves into the western fur-trading headquarters of the British Empire in North America.[8]
    • British troops stationed in Minnesota act as only military force in Minnesota during the American Revolution.[9]
    • Fur trading continues to be the main source of commerce in Minnesota through the early 19th century.[10]
  • 1775-1783 - American Revolution
  • 1783 - The newly formed republic of the United States of America wins the eastern portion of Minnesota (from the Mississippi river east) from Great Britain in the American Revolution.
  • 1787 -
    • Eastern Minnesota officially designated part of the American Northwest Territories of the United States of America.[11]
    • David Thompson, working for the North West Company (fur-trading) completes the first formal mapping of Minnesota.[12]


  • 1800 - France acquires Louisiana Territory from Spain.[13]
  • 1803 - The United States of America purchases Louisiana Territory from France, gaining ownership of the western portion of Minnesota. Boundary disputes with British Canada keep British fur companies in Minnesota until 1818.
  • 1805 - Lieutenant Zebulon Montgomery Pike leads the first United States expedition through the Minnesota country.[14][15]
  • 1812-1814 - War of 1812 between the United States and Great Britain with their Dakota, Winnebago, and Ojibwa allies.
  • 1815 - Peace treaty negotiated between the Dakota Indian nation and the United States government. First American fur traders enter Minnesota.
  • 1818 - Northern boundary of Minnesota fixed at the forty-ninth parallel. Boundary negotiations with British Canada continue until 1931.[16]
  • 1819 - Begins construction of Fort St. Anthony on land purchased from the Dakota Indians for $2000 US.[15]
  • 1819, Aug 24 - Colonel Henry Leavenworth and the Fifth Infantry arrive in Mendota to build what will become Fort Snelling at the confluence of the Mississippi and Minnesota rivers.[17]
  • 1820 -
    • Colonel Josiah Snelling of the Fifth United States Infantry arrived, and, on taking command, changed the site to where Fort Snelling now stands.[15]
    • Virginian Lawrence Taliaferro becomes the Indian agent at Fort Snelling. Respected by the Indians for never making promises he could not keep, he works hard for 20 years to rid the fur trade of whisky and cheating. At last, in poor health and tired of the government's broken promises, he resigns.[18][19]
  • 1823 -
    • The Virginia is the first steamboat to reach Fort Snelling.[20] Needed supplies are missing from the cargo, though the boat does carry the umbrella-wielding Italian count Giacomo Beltrami
    • Abigail Snelling starts a Sunday School at Ft. Snelling for the children.[21]
  • 1825 - The post continued to be called Fort St. Anthony until 1824, when, upon the recommendation of General Scott, who inspected the fort, it was named Fort Snelling, in honor of its founder. Here, where traffic could be controlled on two major rivers, Fort Snelling was completed in 1825.[22]
  • 1827, Aug 25 - Minnesota's first post office is established at Fort Snelling.[23]
  • 1830 - Seth Eastman comes to Fort Snelling as a captain. In his spare time, he learns the Dakota language and observes details of their lives. His subtle sketches, watercolors, and paintings become an invaluable record of the scenery and Indian life around the fort.[24]
  • 1832 - Henry Schoolcraft credited with finding the source of the Mississippi River at Lake Itasca, Minnesota with his Ojibwa guide Ozawindib.[25]
  • 1836 - Creation of Wisconsin Territory which encompassed Minnesota.[26]
  • 1837 - Land-cession treaties negotiated with the Dakota Indians and the Chippewa Indians for United States rights to a portion of land between the Mississippi and St. Croix rivers. This new land stimulates the lumber industry in Minnesota.[27]
  • 1841 - Chapel of Saint Paul built. Later it would serve to name the state capitol which sprang up around it.[28]
  • 1838-1848 - St. Paul, St. Anthony, and Stillwater (Minnesota's first towns) founded.
  • 1848 - Wisconsin admitted into the union as a state, leaving residents of the area between the Mississippi and St. Croix rivers (current day eastern Minnesota) without a territorial government or legal system.[29]
  • 1849 -
    • Minnesota Territory formed with present day eastern and southern boundaries set. The population amounts to less than 4000 people, not including persons of pure Native-American heritage.[30]
    • Law provides for free public schools to be open to all people between four and twenty-one years of age.[31]
    • Minnesota Historical Society formed to collect, publish, and educate people about Minnesota history.[32]
    • James Madison Goodhue begins publishing Minnesota's first newspaper, the Minnesota Pioneer.[33]
  • 1851 - Treaties concluded at Traverse des Sioux and Mendota with the Dakota Indians whereby the Dakota ceded their lands east of the Red River, Lake Traverse, and the Big Dakota River and south of a boundary line between the Dakota and Chippewa in 1825.[34] [35] In return the Dakota received $1,665,000 US, $1,360,000 of which was set into a trust fund, of which the interest would be distributed to chiefs partly in cash, partly in supplies, and partly in education and civilization funds. The vast majority ended up being used to pay off Indian debts to white traders.
  • 1851 - Charter granted to the University of Minnesota, the first collegiate institution in the territory.[36]
  • 1853-1857- Population explosion occurs in Minnesota from 40,000 people in 1853 to approximately 150,000 people in 1857.
  • 1854 - St. Paul becomes a city with a total area of four square miles.[37]
  • 1855 - Die Minnesota Deutsche Zeitung (The Minnesota German Newspaper), Minnesota's first non-English newspaper, rolls off the press for the first time in St. Paul.[38]
  • 1857 -
    • The Dred Scott Decision is rendered by the United States Supreme Court, where a Missouri slave, Dred Scott, sued for his freedom based in part upon his residence in Minnesota. Amidst the sectional and racial animosity sweeping the nation, the court ruled Scott remained a slave.[39]
    • The residents of the Minnesota territory ratify the state constitution almost unanimously. [40]
    • The Panic of 1857 sends prices skyrocketing. Banks bust and businesses fail. Depression lingers until 1861.[41]
  • 1858 -
    • Newspaper promotion of the Minnesota Territory prompts over one thousand steamboat arrivals in St. Paul, filled with settlers.[42]
    • On May 11 Minnesota becomes the thirty-second state admitted to the Union of the United States of America.[43] State seal adopted by the Minnesota Legislature.[44]
    • 1858 - Wheat becomes a major crop in Minnesota.[45][46]
    • 1858-1859 - Henry Sibley instated as first governor of Minnesota.[47]
  • 1859 - First Minnesota State Fair held.[48]
  • 1861 - Civil War of the United States begins. Minnesota volunteers one thousand men for service in the Union Army. Minnesota eventually provides 24,000 men for service in the Union Army for fighting in the Civil War or the Indian Outbreak.[49]
  • 1862 - The Dakota Conflict sweeps across Minnesota with a series of attacks motivated by hungry Dakota enraged by the failure of land treaties and unfair fiscal practices of local traders. By the end of the conflict 486 white settlers would be dead. On December 26 thirty-eight Indians were hung at Mankato. Minnesota's first railroad is completed, connecting Minneapolis and Saint Paul.[50]
  • 1863 - At the Battle of Gettysburg the First Minnesota Regiment makes a heroic charges, losing 215 of 262 men.[51]
  • 1865 - Civil War of the United States ends.
  • 1868 - Mankato receives a city charter. The Minnesota Legislature authorizes establishment of the 2nd State Normal School in Mankato (now known as Minnesota State University, Mankato).[52]
  • 1873 -A three-day blizzard hits Minnesota in January, killing seventy Minnesotans.[53]
  • 1878 -
    • 68.98% of tilled land in Minnesota devoted to wheat production, the high point for wheat farmers in Minnesota. After five consecutive summers of devastating infestations of Rocky Mountain Locusts (called the great Grasshopper Plague) which thrived on wheat, farmers decided to diversify, and wheat production was slowly replaced by other crops and dairy farming.[54]
    • A massive explosion in a Minneapolis flour mill kills 18. [55]
  • 1880 - Telephone communication began between St. Paul and Minneapolis. Move to 1908: see TELEPHONE AND TELEGRAPH MILESTONES
  • 1881 - St. Paul is destroyed by fire.[56]
  • 1883 - Mayo Clinic founded by Dr. William Worrall Mayo in Rochester, Minnesota after a tornado sweeps through Rochester, killing 35.[57] With his two sons, Dr. William James Mayo and Dr. Charles Horace Mayo, he begins a clinic world-renowned for its dedication to the latest advances in medicine and surgical procedures.
  • 1884 - Minnesota iron ore begins to be exported heralding the dawn of iron mining in Minnesota.[58][59] Over the next two decades mines spring up on the Mesabi, Cuyuna, and Vermilion iron ranges, spurring the rapid growth of mining cities such as Evelyth, Chisholm, Virginia, and Hibbing, Minnesota as well as the port cities of Duluth, Minnesota and Superior, Wisconsin.[60]
  • 1886 -
    • Sauk Rapids is flattened by a tornado. Seventy-nine people die.[61]
    • St. Paul holds its first winter carnival.[62]
  • 1887 - Red Wing hosts the first ski jumping competition in the Midwest. [63]
  • 1888 - Western Minnesota receives a major blizzard on January 12 which takes 109 lives.[64][65]
  • 1890s - Electric streetcars become commonplace in large Minnesota cities.[66]
  • 1893 -
    • The Minnesota state flag, designed by Amelia Hyde Center of Minneapolis, is accepted by the Minnesota Legislature.[67]
    • Virginia, Minnesota destroyed by fire.[68]
  • 1894 - A massive forest fire caused by clear-cut logging debris encompasses Hinckley, Minnesota and several other nearby communities. Over four hundred die.[69]
  • 1898 -
    • The Spanish-American War begins. Minnesota, the first state to volunteer, raises four regiments, one of which serves in the Philippines. Disease proves to be the biggest killer, with combat fatalities accounting for only four Minnesota soldier deaths. [70]
    • Farmer Olof Ohman finds a stone tablet with runic carvings on it in his field near Kensington, Minnesota. The runes indicate a party of Viking explorers passed through that area in 1362. Initially considered a hoax, it was accepted by the Smithsonian Institution in 1948. Opinions differ, but most academic sources today doubt its veracity.[71]
  • 1899 - Minnesota's lumber industry reaches its peak. By 1930 only 1/3 of the state would remain forested, with very little of that virgin growth.[72]


Formation of Current Minnesota Counties


CountyCounty SeatEstablishedCreated FromName Origin
Aitkin CountyAitkin1857Pine County, Ramsey CountyWilliam Alexander Aitken (1785-1851), early fur trader with Ojibwa Indians
Anoka CountyAnoka1857Ramsey CountyDakota word meaning "both sides"
Becker CountyDetroit Lakes1858Cass County, Pembina CountyGeorge Loomis Becker, former state senator and third mayor of Saint Paul (1856–1857)
Beltrami CountyBemidji1866Unorganized Territory, Itasca County, Pembina County, Polk CountyGiacomo Beltrami, Italian explorer who explored the northern reaches of Mississippi River in 1823.
Benton CountyFoley1849One of nine original counties; formed from residual St. Croix County, Wisconsin Territory.Thomas Hart Benton (1782–1858), former United States Senator from Missouri (1821-1851)
Big Stone CountyOrtonville1862Pierce CountyBig Stone Lake, a lake located in the county
Blue Earth CountyMankato1853Unorganized Territory, Dakota CountyBlue Earth River, a river that flows through Minnesota
Brown CountyNew Ulm1855Blue Earth CountyJoseph Renshaw Brown (1805-1870), member of Minnesota territorial legislature (1854-55) and prominent pioneer
Carlton CountyCarlton1857Pine County,Rueben B. Carlton (1812-1863), early settler and state senator (1857-1858)
Carver CountyChaska1855Hennepin County, Sibley CountyJonathan Carver (1710–1790), early explorer and cartographer of the Mississippi river.
Cass CountyWalker1851Dakota County, Pembina County, Mankahto County, Wahnata CountyLewis Cass (1782–1866), senator from Michigan (1845–1857) and United States Secretary of State (1831–1836)
Chippewa CountyMontevideo1870Pierce County, Davis CountyChippewa River, a river that flows through Minnesota
Chisago CountyCenter City1851Washington County, Ramsey CountyChisago Lake, a lake located in the county
Clay CountyMoorhead1862Pembina CountyHenry Clay (1777-1852), Kentucky statesman and ninth secretary of state of the United States (1825–1829)
Clearwater CountyBagley1902Beltrami CountyClearwater River and lake, both features located in the state
Cook CountyGrand Marais1874Lake CountyNamed for Civil War veteran Major Michael Cook of Faribault, who was also a territorial and state senator 1857-62
Cottonwood CountyWindom1857Brown CountyCottonwood River
Crow Wing CountyBrainerd1857Ramsey CountyCrow Wing River
Dakota CountyHastings1849One of nine original counties.From the Dakota language, after a local tribe Dakota, meaning "Allies"
Dodge CountyMantorville1855Rice County, Unorganized TerritoryHenry Dodge (1782–1867), twice governor of Wisconsin.[9]
Douglas CountyAlexandria1858Cass County, Pembina CountyStephen Arnold Douglas (1813-1861), former United States Senator from Illinois (1847-1861)
Faribault CountyBlue Earth1855Blue Earth CountyJean-Baptiste Faribault (1775-1860), early settler and fur trader
Fillmore CountyPreston1853Wabasha CountyMillard Fillmore (1800-1874), thirteenth president of the United States (1850-1853)
Freeborn CountyAlbert Lea1855Blue Earth County, Rice CountyWilliam S. Freeborn (1816-1900), member of the Territorial Legislature
Goodhue CountyRed Wing1853Wabasha County, Dakota CountyJames Madison Goodhue, the first newspaper editor in Minnesota.
Grant CountyElbow Lake1868Stevens County, Wilkin County, Traverse CountyUlysses S. Grant (1822-1885), eighteenth president of the United States (1869-1877)
Hennepin CountyMinneapolis1852Dakota CountyFather Louis Hennepin (1626-1705), early explorer of the Twin Cities area in the 17th Century
Houston CountyCaledonia1854Fillmore CountySam Houston (1793–1863), the second and fourth president of the Republic of Texas and seventh governor of Texas
Hubbard CountyPark Rapids1883Cass CountyLucius Frederick Hubbard (1836-1913), ninth governor of Minnesota (1882-1887)
Isanti CountyCambridge1857Ramsey CountyDivision of the Dakotas called the Izatys, meaning [those that] dwell at Knife Lake, after where they resided.
Itasca CountyGrand Rapids1849One of nine original counties; formed from residual La Pointe County, Wisconsin Territory.Lake Itasca, source of the Mississippi River (located in northwestern Minnesota).
Jackson CountyJackson1857Brown CountyHenry Jackson, member of the first territorial legislature and the first merchant in St. Paul
Kanabec CountyMora1858Pine CountyFrom the Ojibwa language Kan-a-bec-o-si-pi (Ginebigo-ziibi), meaning Snake River, which flows through the county
Kandiyohi CountyWillmar1858Meeker County, Renville County, Pierce County, Davis County, Stearns CountyFrom the Sioux language for "buffalo fish"
Kittson CountyHallock1879Pembina CountyNorman Kittson (1814-1888), businessman and mayor of Saint Paul (1858-1859)
Koochiching CountyInternational Falls1906Itasca CountyFrom the Ojibwa language Gojijiing (Place of inlets), which was the Cree name for Rainy Lake and Rainy River.
Lac qui Parle CountyMadison1871Redwood CountyFrench phrase meaning "lake which talks".
Lake CountyTwo Harbors1856Itasca CountyLake Superior, which forms one of its edges
Lake of the Woods CountyBaudette1923Beltrami CountyLake of the Woods, a lake located within the county.
Le Sueur CountyLe Center1853Dakota CountyPierre-Charles Le Sueur (1657-1704), fur trader and early explorer of the Minnesota River Valley
Lincoln CountyIvanhoe1873Lyon CountyAbraham Lincoln (1809-1865), sixteenth president of the United States (1861-1865)
Lyon CountyMarshall1871Redwood CountyNathaniel Lyon (1818–1861), United States Army general killed during the Civil War
McLeod CountyGlencoe1856Carver County, Sibley CountyMartin McLeod early pioneer and member of the territorial legislature (1849–1856)
Mahnomen CountyMahnomen1906Norman CountyOjibwa word meaning "wild rice".
Marshall CountyWarren1879Kittson CountyWilliam Rainey Marshall (1825-1896), fifth governor of Minnesota (1866-1870)
Martin CountyFairmont1857Faribault County, Brown CountyMorgan Lewis Martin (1805-1887), delegate to Congress from Wisconsin Territory
Meeker CountyLitchfield1856Davis CountyBradley B. Meeker (1813–1873), Associate Justice of the Minnesota Territorial Supreme Court (1849–1853)
Mille Lacs CountyMilaca1857Ramsey CountyMille Lacs Lake, a lake located within the county.
Morrison CountyLittle Falls1856Benton CountyWilliam & Allan Morrison, fur trading brothers[11]
Mower CountyAustin1855Rice CountyJohn Edward Mower (1815–1879), member of the Minnesota territorial legislature in the 1850s
Murray CountySlayton1857Brown CountyWilliam Pitt Murray (1825–1910), Minnesota statesman and member of the territorial legislature (1852–1855) and 1857
Nicollet CountySt. Peter1853Dakota CountyJoseph Nicolas Nicollet (1786–1843), early explore and cartographer of the Upper Mississippi River
Nobles CountyWorthington1857Brown CountyWilliam H. Nobles, member of the Minnesota territorial legislature in 1854 and 1856
Norman CountyAda1881Polk CountyEarly Norwegian, also known as Norman, settlers.
Olmsted CountyRochester1855Fillmore County, Wabasha County, Rice CountyDavid Olmsted, first mayor of Saint Paul and member of territorial legislature (1849-1850)
Otter Tail CountyFergus Falls1858Pembina County, Cass CountyOtter Tail Lake, a lake located within the county
Pennington CountyThief River Falls1910Red Lake CountyEdmund Pennington (b. 1848), executive of the Minneapolis, St. Paul and Sault Ste. Marie Railroad
Pine CountyPine City1856Chisago County, Ramsey CountyGiant forests of Eastern White Pine and Red Pine that flourish in the county
Pipestone CountyPipestone1857Brown CountyName of a sacred Dakota quarry of red pipestone found in the county
Polk CountyCrookston1858Pembina CountyJames K. Polk (1795-1849), eleventh president of the United States (1845-1849)
Pope CountyGlenwood1862Pierce County, Cass County, Unorganized TerritoryJohn Pope (1822–1892), United States Army general during the Dakota War of 1862
Ramsey CountySaint Paul1849One of nine original counties; formed from residual St. Croix County, Wisconsin Territory.Alexander Ramsey (1815-1903), second governor of Minnesota (1860-1863)
Red Lake CountyRed Lake Falls1896Polk CountyRed Lake River, a river that flows through Minnesota.
Redwood CountyRedwood Falls1862Brown CountyRedwood River, a river that flows through Minnesota.
Renville CountyOlivia1855Nicollet County, Pierce County, Sibley CountyJoseph Renville (1779-1846), interpreter for early explorations of the Louisiana Purchase
Rice CountyFaribault1853Dakota County, Wabasha CountyHenry Mower Rice (1816-1894), former United States Senator from Minnesota (1858-1863)
Rock CountyLuverne1857Brown CountyLarge rocky plateau located within the county, known as "the mound."
Roseau CountyRoseau1894Kittson County, Beltrami CountyRoseau River and Roseau Lake, both of which are located nearby
Saint Louis CountyDuluth1855Itasca County, NewtonSaint Louis River, a river that flows through Minnesota
Scott CountyShakopee1853Dakota CountyWinfield Scott (1786–1866), United States Army general who served from (1808–1861)
Sherburne CountyElk River1856Benton CountyMoses Sherburne (1813–1873), Associate Justice of the Minnesota Territorial Supreme Court (1853-1857)
Sibley CountyGaylord1853Dakota CountyHenry Hastings Sibley (1811-1891), first governor of Minnesota (1858-1860)
Stearns CountySt. Cloud1855Cass County, Nicollet County, Pierce County, Sibley CountyCharles Thomas Stearns (1814-1888), early settler of St. Cloud and member of the Minnesota territorial legislature (1849-1858)
Steele CountyOwatonna1855Rice County, Blue Earth County, Le Sueur CountyFranklin Steele (1813-1880), early settler of Minneapolis and developer of Saint Anthony Falls
Stevens CountyMorris1862Pierce County, Unorganized TerritoryIsaac Ingalls Stevens (1818-1862), first governor of Washington Territory (1853-1857)
Swift CountyBenson1870Chippewa CountyHenry Adoniram Swift (1823-1869), third governor of Minnesota (1863-1864)
Todd CountyLong Prairie1855Cass CountyJohn Blair Smith Todd, commander of Fort Ripley (1849-56); general in the Civil War; delegate in Congress from Dakota Territory (1861 and 1863-65); governor of Dakota Territory (1869-71)
Traverse CountyWheaton1862Pierce County, Unorganized TerritoryLake Traverse, a lake located in the county.
Wabasha CountyWabasha1849One of nine original counties.Named after M'dewakanton Dakota Indian Chief Wabasha III
Wadena CountyWadena1858Cass County, Todd CountyWadena Trading Post, in turn for a Ojibway word meaning "a little round hill".
Waseca CountyWaseca1857Steele CountyDakota word meaning "rich and fertile"
Washington CountyStillwater1849One of nine original counties; formed from residual St. Croix County, Wisconsin Territory.George Washington (1732-1799), first president of the United States (1789-1797)
Watonwan CountySt. James1860Brown CountyWatonwan River, a river that flows through Minnesota.
Wilkin CountyBreckenridge1858Cass County, Pembina CountyAlexander Wilkin (1820-1864), Minnesota politician and soldier killed in the Civil War
Winona CountyWinona1854Fillmore County, Wabasha CountyNamed after Wee-No-Nah, Sister or Cousin of Chief Wabasha III
Wright CountyBuffalo1855Cass County, Sibley CountySilas Wright (1795-1847), former United States Senator from New York (1833-1844)
Yellow Medicine CountyGranite Falls1871Redwood CountyYellow Medicine River, a river that flows through Minnesota.


  1. eReference Desk. "Minnesota History Timeline Important Dates, Events, and Milestones in Minnesota History." 50 State Guide - eRD, https://www.ereferencedesk.com/resources/state-history-timeline/minnesota.html. Accessed September 7, 2023.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Minnesota Historical Society Mill City Museum timeline. https://www.mnhs.org/millcity/learn/history/timeline
  3. Canadian Museum of History. "In the footsteps of Chouart Des Groseilliers" in "The Explorers: Pierre-Esprit Radisson 1659-1660." Virtual Museum of New France, https://www.historymuseum.ca/virtual-museum-of-new-france/the-explorers/pierre-esprit-radisson-1659-1660/. Accessed September 7, 2023.
  4. Wisconsin Historical Society. "Historical Essay: Expedition of Marquette and Joliet, 1673: French Exploration of the North American Interior." https://wisconsinhistory.org/Records/Article/CS520. Accessed September 7, 2023.
  5. Backerud, Thomas K. "Greysolon, Daniel, Sieur du Lhut (c.1639–1710)." MNopedia, April 15, 2013, https://www.mnopedia.org/person/greysolon-daniel-sieur-du-lhut-c1639-1710.
  6. Canadian Museum of History. "A Strange Silence" in "The Explorers: Louis Hennepin 1678-1680." Virtual Museum of New France, https://www.historymuseum.ca/virtual-museum-of-new-france/the-explorers/louis-hennepin-1678-1680. Accessed September 7, 2023. Note: this source states that Hennepin began writing Description de la Louisiane in 1681. The year 1683 is not mentioned.
  7. Minnesota Historical Society. "Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe." Mille Lacs Indian Museum and Trading Post, https://www.mnhs.org/millelacs/learn/mille-lacs-band. Accessed September 7, 2023.
  8. National Park Service. "Minnesota: Grand Portage National Monument." https://www.nps.gov/articles/grandport.htm. Accessed September 7, 2023.
  9. Library of Congress. "The British Take and Lose Control, 1763-1812." Pioneering the Upper Midwest: Books from Michigan, Minnesota, and Wisconsin, ca. 1820 to 1910, https://www.loc.gov/collections/pioneering-the-upper-midwest/articles-and-essays/history-of-the-upper-midwest-overview/british-take-and-lose-control/. Note: this source refers broadly to Minnesota, Michigan, and Wisconsin.
  10. Lurie, Jon. "The fur trade in Minnesota shaped the region for two centuries." MinnPost, February 1, 2021, https://www.minnpost.com/mnopedia/2021/02/the-fur-trade-in-minnesota-shaped-the-region-for-two-centuries/. Note: the timeline of this source says the fur trade lasted in Minnesota from the 1730s to 1854.
  11. Library of Congress. "The Northwest and the Ordinances, 1783-1858." Pioneering the Upper Midwest: Books from Michigan, Minnesota, and Wisconsin, ca. 1820 to 1910, https://www.loc.gov/collections/pioneering-the-upper-midwest/articles-and-essays/history-of-the-upper-midwest-overview/northwest-and-ordinances/. Note: this source refers broadly to Minnesota, Michigan, and Wisconsin.
  12. David Thompson, a Great Geographer J. B. Tyrrell. The Geographical Journal Vol. 37, No. 1 (Jan., 1911), pp. 49-58 (10 pages) Published By: The Royal Geographical Society (with the Institute of British Geographers)
  13. Library of Congress. "The Louisiana Purchase." Louisiana: European Explorations and the Louisiana Purchase, https://www.loc.gov/collections/louisiana-european-explorations-and-the-louisiana-purchase/articles-and-essays/the-louisiana-purchase/. Accessed September 7, 2023.
  14. Pike National Historic Trail Association. "Pike in Minnesota (1st Expedition)." https://www.zebulonpike.org/education/zebulon-pike-by-state/pikes-1st-expedition/pikes-1st-expedition-mn/. Accessed September 7, 2023.
  15. 15.0 15.1 15.2 Minnesota Historical Society. "The Expansionist Era (1805-1858)." Historic Fort Snelling, https://www.mnhs.org/fortsnelling/learn/military-history/expansionist-era. Accessed September 7, 2023.
  16. Lass, William E. "Minnesota State Boundaries." MNopedia, June 5, 2014, https://www.mnopedia.org/thing/minnesota-state-boundaries.
  17. Forsyth, Thomas. Fort Snelling: Col. Leavenworth's expedition to establish it, in 1819. Edited by Lyman C. Draper, Minnesota Historical Society, 1880. Internet Archive, https://archive.org/embed/fortsnellingcoll00forsrich.
  18. Minnesota Historical Society. "The US Indian Agency (1820-1853)." Historic Fort Snelling, https://www.mnhs.org/fortsnelling/learn/native-americans/us-indian-agency. Accessed September 7, 2023.
  19. Farber, Zac. "Taliaferro, Lawrence (1794‒1871)." MNopedia, February 11, 2019, https://www.mnopedia.org/person/taliaferro-lawrence-1794-1871. Note: this source claims Taliaferro started as the first US Indian agent in 1819.
  20. National Park Service. "Navigation on the Natural River: 1823-1866" in "Transforming the River I: Commerce and Navigation Improvements, 1823-1906." River of History, https://www.nps.gov/miss/learn/historyculture/river-of-history-chapter-4.htm. Accessed September 8, 2023.
  21. Brown, Curt. "Abigail Hunt Snelling Chaplin was more than a helpmate at the early years of the fort bearing her name." Star Tribune, September 21, 2020, https://www.startribune.com/abigail-hunt-snelling-chapman-was-more-than-a-helpmate-at-the-early-years-of-the-fort-bearing-her-name/572465251/. Note: this source does not mention Abigail Snelling starting a Sunday School but details her life story, including her time at Fort Anthony (renamed Snelling in 1825).
  22. Flandrau, Charles E. History of Minnesota and Tales of the Frontier. E. W. Porter, 1900, p. [15]. Project Gutenberg, https://www.gutenberg.org/files/25677/25677-h/25677-h.htm.
  23. United States Postal Service. First U.S. Post Offices by State, September 2019, https://about.usps.com/who-we-are/postal-history/first-post-offices.pdf. Note: according to the historian for the USPS, the post office was established on August 21, not August 25, of 1827.
  24. Minnesota Historical Society. "Seth Eastman: Pioneer & Painter: Overview." Gale Family Library, https://libguides.mnhs.org/eastman. Accessed September 11, 2023.
  25. Schoolcraft, Henry. Narrative of an expedition through the upper Mississippi to Itasca Lake, the actual source of this river; embracing an exploratory trip through the St. Croix and Burntwood (or Broule) Rivers, in 1832, under the direction of Henry R. Schoolcraft. Harper & Brothers, 1834. Library of Congress, https://www.loc.gov/item/01008794/.
  26. Stanford Libraries. "(1st Map Wisconsin) Map of the Territory of Wisconsin. By David Burr . . . 1836." Barry Lawrence Ruderman Map Collection, https://exhibits.stanford.edu/ruderman/catalog/ds212bm3427. Accessed September 11, 2023. Note: this source represents the earliest known map of Wisconsin created the year it became a territory. The map also includes parts of modern day Iowa and Minnesota.
  27. Minnesota Indian Affairs Council. "1837 Land Cession Treaties with the Ojibwe & Dakota." Relations: Dakota & Ojibwe Treaties, http://treatiesmatter.org/treaties/land/1837-ojibwe-dakota. Accessed September 11, 2023.
  28. Brown, Curt. "The chapel 175 years ago that led to St. Paul." Star Tribune, August 22, 2016, https://www.startribune.com/the-chapel-175-years-ago-that-led-to-st-paul/390808161/.
  29. Minnesota Historical Society. "August 26, 1848." MNopedia, Minnesota Historical Society. http://www.mnopedia.org/event/august-26-1848 (accessed December 7, 2023).
  30. Minnesota Historical Society. "Census Records: Minnesota Territorial & State Census." Gale Family Library, https://libguides.mnhs.org/census/state. Accessed September 11, 2023. Note: this source is a finding guide for the census records at the Minnesota History Center in St. Paul, Minnesota. The censuses themselves are not directly linked to the guide, so the less than 4,000 is not directly confirmed.
  31. THE ORGANIC ACT OF 1849. March 3, 1849. Office of the Secretary of the State, https://www.sos.state.mn.us/media/2297/organicact.pdf. Note: the provision for public schools in in Section 5.
  32. El-Hai, Jack. "A Brief History of the Minnesota Historical Society." Minnesota Historical Society, https://www.mnhs.org/about/history. Accessed September 11, 2023.
  33. Minnesota Historical Society. "The Minnesota Pioneer (St. Paul, Minn. Territory) 1849-1855." Chronicling America, https://www.loc.gov/item/sn83025241/. Accessed September 11, 2023.
  34. Weber, Eric W. "Treaty of Traverse des Sioux, 1851." MNopedia, November 19, 2012, https://www.mnopedia.org/event/treaty-traverse-des-sioux-1851. Note: this source claims that the Treaty of Traverse des Sioux was signed in 1851, not 1850.
  35. Warner George E et al. History of Ramsey County and the City of St. Paul Including the Explorers and Pioneers of Minnesota by Rev. Edward D. Neill and Outlines of the History of Minnesota by J. Fletcher Williams. North Star Publishing Company 1881. p. 314. https://archive.org/details/historyoframseyc00warn_0/page/314/ (accessed 10/3/23)
  36. University of Minnesota. "University of Minnesota Charter." Board of Regents, https://regents.umn.edu/university-minnesota-charter. Accessed September 11, 2023.
  37. Williams, John Fletcher (1876). A History of the City of Saint Paul, and of the County of Ramsey, Minnesota. Saint Paul, Minnesota. p. 349. https://archive.org/details/ahistorycitysai00willgoog/page/n348/ (accessed 10/3/2023) Note: "being not over 2,400 acres in total" whereas four square miles is 2560 acres.
  38. US Library of Congress: About Die Minnesota deutsche Zeitung. [volume] (Saint Paul, M.T. [Minn.]) 1855-1858 https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn90059395/ (accessed 10/3/2023)
  39. National Archives. MIlestone Documents. Dred Scott v. Sandford (1857). https://www.archives.gov/milestone-documents/dred-scott-v-sandford (accessed 10/3/2023)
  40. MN Secretary of State About Minnesota - Minnesota Government - Minnesota Constitution 1858. https://www.sos.state.mn.us/about-minnesota/minnesota-government/minnesota-constitution-1858/ (accessed Dec 7, 2023)
  41. Reicher, Matt. "Financial Panic of 1857." MNopedia, Minnesota Historical Society. http://www.mnopedia.org/event/financial-panic-1857 (accessed December 7, 2023).
  42. Steamboating the Minnesota River.Minnesota River Basin Data Center. Minnesota State University, Mankato. https://mrbdc.mnsu.edu/steamboating-minnesota-river (accessed 12/7/23)
  43. Minnesota 165th Anniversary of Statehood (1858): May 11, 2023. USA Census Bureau Press Release Number CB23-SFS.69 (accessed 12/7/23)
  44. MN Secretary of State State Seal. https://www.sos.state.mn.us/about-minnesota/state-symbols/state-seal/ (accessed 12/7/23)
  45. Johnson, Frederick L. "When wheat was king in Minnesota." MinnPost, September 10, 2013, https://www.minnpost.com/mnopedia/2013/09/when-wheat-was-king-minnesota/. Note: this source claims that Minnesotan farmers began to plant wheat in the 1850s, not that it was a major crop yet.
  46. Takuya Amagai, Sahree Kasper, and the Minnesota Environments Team, “Wheat Farms of Minnesota,” Minnesota Environments, accessed October 4, 2023, https://mnenvironments.carleton.edu/items/show/32.
  47. Minnesota Historical Society. "Henry Hastings Sibley." Sibley Historic Site, https://www.mnhs.org/sibley/learn/henry-hastings-sibley. Accessed 4 October, 2023.
  48. Goetz, Kathryn R. "The origins of the Minnesota State Fair." MinnPost, 29 August, 2022, https://www.minnpost.com/mnopedia/2022/08/the-origins-of-the-minnesota-state-fair/.
  49. Minnesota Historical Society. "The Civil War (1861-1865)." Historic Fort Snelling, https://www.mnhs.org/fortsnelling/learn/military-history/civil-war. Accessed 4 October, 2023.
  50. University of Minnesota. "US-Dakota War of 1862." College of Liberal Studies Holocaust and Genocide Studies, https://cla.umn.edu/chgs/holocaust-genocide-education/resource-guides/us-dakota-war-1862. Accessed 4 October, 2023.
  51. Smith, Hampton. "First Minnesota Volunteer Infantry Regiment." MNopedia, 13 March, 2012, https://www.mnopedia.org/group/first-minnesota-volunteer-infantry-regiment.
  52. City of Mankato https://www.mankatomn.gov/about-mankato/history
  53. MN DNR Famous winter storms. https://www.dnr.state.mn.us/climate/summaries_and_publications/winter_storms.html#:~:text=Jan%207%2D10%2C%201873%2C,for%20days%20in%20high%20drifts.
  54. Cartwright, R. L. "Winged menace: The Minnesota grasshopper plagues of 1873-1877." MinnPost, 11 June, 2013, https://www.minnpost.com/mnopedia/2013/06/winged-menace-minnesota-grasshopper-plagues-1873-1877/.
  55. Nathanson, Iric. "Washburn A Mill Explosion, 1878." MNopedia, Minnesota Historical Society. http://www.mnopedia.org/event/washburn-mill-explosion-1878 (accessed December 7, 2023).
  56. Cameron, Linda A. "State Capitol Fire, 1881." MNopedia, 7 August, 2017, https://www.mnopedia.org/event/state-capitol-fire-1881.
  57. Cartwright, R. L. "Rochester Cyclone, 1883." MNopedia, 20 August, 2012, https://www.mnopedia.org/event/rochester-cyclone-1883.
  58. LaVigne, David. "Immigration to the Iron Range, 1880-1930." MNopedia, 26 August, 2015, https://www.mnopedia.org/immigration-iron-range-1880-1930.
  59. A timeline of Minnesota's Iron Range Minnesota Public Radio May, 2006. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/2006/05/rangetimeline/index.shtml (accessed 12/7/23)
  60. LaVigne, David. "Immigration to the Iron Range, 1880–1930." MNopedia, Minnesota Historical Society. Includes Timeline. http://www.mnopedia.org/immigration-iron-range-1880-1930 (accessed December 7, 2023).
  61. WJON This day in Central Minnesota History. https://wjon.com/deadly-tornado-strikes-st-cloud-sauk-rapids-on-this-date-in-central-minnesota-history/
  62. St. Paul Festival & Heritage Foundation. Origins of the First Winter Carnival https://wintercarnival.com/origins-of-the-first-winter-carnival/ (accessed 12/7/23)
  63. Midwest Lost Ski Areas Project. SKIING FIRSTS & "UNIQUES" IN THE MIDWEST Chronology with citations: https://www.mwlsap.org/firsts/firsts.htm (accessed 12/7/23
  64. MN DNR. WITH A BANG: NOT A WHIMPER The Winter of 1887-1888. No author. 51 pages. https://files.dnr.state.mn.us/natural_resources/climate/summaries_and_publications/mn_winter_1887-1888_revised.pdf (accessed 12/7/23)
  65. The Minneapolis Journal 13 Jan 1888, Fri ·Page 1
  66. Cameron, Linda A. "For thirty years, electric streetcars ruled Twin Cities streets." MinnPost, 8 March, 2016, https://www.minnpost.com/mnopedia/2016/03/thirty-years-electric-streetcars-ruled-twin-cities-streets/.
  67. William M. Becker. The Origin of the Minnesota State Flag Minnesota Historical Society Minnesota History Spring 1992 pages 2-8. https://www.leg.mn.gov/webcontent/leg/symbols/flagarticle.pdf (accessed 12/7/23)
  68. Mesaba Tribune. Thursday, December 7, 2023. Virginia fire: June 18, 1893, the day our town burned down By HARRY LAMPPA Virginia Historian Mar 18, 2008 (accessed 12/7/23)
  69. Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. Mimi Barzen The Great Hinkley Fire-1894'. https://www.dnr.state.mn.us/forestry/history/hinckley-fire.html (accessed 12/7/23)
  70. Holbrook Franklin F and Minnesota War Records Commission. Minnesota in the Spanish-American War and the Philippine Insurrection. Minnesota War Records Commission 1923. https://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=miun.adm3963.0001.001&seq=3 (accessed 12/7/23)
  71. Nelson, Paul. "Kensington Runestone." MNopedia, Minnesota Historical Society. http://www.mnopedia.org/thing/kensington-runestone (accessed December 7, 2023).
  72. Elizabeth Bachman A History of Foresty in Minnesota MInnesota Department of Natural Resources. 1965. p. 9 http://files.dnr.state.mn.us/forestry/history/documents/historyofForestry-1969.pdf (accessed 12/7/23)
  73. Wikipedia contributors, "List of counties in Minnesota," Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=List_of_counties_in_Minnesota&oldid=1153025776 (accessed September 7, 2023).
  74. Upham Warren. 1969. Minnesota Geographic Names : Their Origin and Historic Significance Reprint ed. St. Paul Minnesota: Minnesota Historical Society. https://archive.org/details/minnesotageogra00uphagoog/page/n9/mode/2up
  • Greiner Tony. 2001. The Minnesota Book of Days : An Almanac of State History. St. Paul MN: Minnesota Historical Society Press.

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Thanks for adding sources to this page!!
I wish there were sources on the Minnesota timeline; wondering if it was from one source or a combination. Also, the name origins for the counties do not have sources; was that a single source that was copied? I appreciate the timeline but wish I knew if the info was accurate.
posted by Jeanne Howe
This page was created by a former member of WikiTree who is no longer available to document the sources used. I suggest that you treat the page as general background, and that you seek confirmation elsewhere for any information you think is important.

The page can be edited by any member, so if you are eager to improve it, you are welcome to do so.

posted by Ellen Smith