The first successful commercial shipment of wheat from the Great Plains to Europe was made in 1871 from Minneapolis.
Clearwater County, located in the northwestern region of Minnesota, has a rich history dating back thousands of years. The area was originally inhabited by indigenous peoples, including the Dakota and Ojibwe tribes, who relied on its abundant natural resources for their livelihoods. European settlers began to arrive in the 19th century, as the fur trade and timber industry attracted individuals seeking economic opportunities.

In the mid-1800s, Clearwater County experienced a surge in settlement with the passage of the Homestead Act. Many pioneers ventured into the area, clearing land for farming and establishing small communities. The city of Bagley, which later became the county seat, was founded in 1898 after the arrival of the Great Northern Railway. The timber industry played a significant role in the growth of the county, as several sawmills were built to process the abundant pine forests.

The early 20th century witnessed further development with the construction of roads and the establishment of schools and churches. Agriculture became a key industry, with farmers cultivating crops such as wheat, oats, barley, and potatoes. The county also embraced the tourism industry, capitalizing on its natural beauty and abundance of lakes for recreational activities such as fishing, boating, and hunting.

Despite facing challenges such as the Great Depression and the decline of the timber industry, Clearwater County persevered and diversified its economy. Today, the county continues to thrive with a mix of agriculture, manufacturing, and tourism. Its history can be seen in the many museums, historical markers, and cultural events that celebrate the county's rich heritage. With its natural beauty and resilient community, Clearwater County remains a place of significance in Minnesota's history.

This timeline provides a concise overview of the key events in the history of Clearwater County, Minnesota.

  • 1858 - Clearwater County is established as a county in the state of Minnesota.
  • 1878 - The city of Bagley is incorporated.
  • 1885 - Clearbrook is founded.
  • 1886 - Leonard is platted.
  • 1904 - Gonvick is incorporated.
  • 1906 - Shevlin is platted and incorporated.
  • 1907 - The county seat is moved from Leonard to Bagley.
  • 1915 - The Clearwater County Historical Society is established.
  • 1968 - The county courthouse is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
  • 1989 - The Clearwater County Sportsman Club is formed to promote outdoor activities.