The first European to explore Minnesota was French explorer Jean Nicolet in 1634. He traveled along Lake Michigan and the Fox River and likely reached the present-day state of Minnesota.
Dodge County is located in southeastern Minnesota and has a rich history that dates back to the mid-1800s. The area was initially inhabited by the Dakota Sioux Native American tribe, who used the land for hunting and gathering. The first European settlers arrived in the region in the early 1850s, drawn by the fertile soil and abundance of natural resources.

In 1855, Dodge County was officially organized and named after Henry Dodge, the governor of Wisconsin and Iowa Territory. The county experienced rapid growth with the arrival of the railroad in the 1860s, which facilitated transportation and trade. Agriculture became the primary economic activity, with farmers cultivating corn, wheat, and other crops. The growth of the farming community led to the establishment of various businesses and services, such as general stores, schools, and churches.

During the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Dodge County faced several challenges, including natural disasters and economic downturns. In 1883, a devastating tornado struck the town of Mantorville, causing significant damage. The region also dealt with the effects of the Great Depression in the 1930s, which led to widespread unemployment and poverty.

Despite these challenges, Dodge County has continued to develop and thrive. Today, it is a vibrant community with a diverse economy that includes agriculture, manufacturing, and healthcare. The county is also known for its beautiful natural landscapes and outdoor recreational opportunities, such as fishing, camping, and hiking.

This timeline provides a condensed summary of the historical journey of Dodge County, Minnesota.

  • 1853: Dodge County was founded
  • 1855: The first settlers arrived in Dodge County
  • 1857: The town of Mantorville, the county seat, was platted
  • 1870: The Rochester and Southwestern Railroad reached Dodge County
  • 1890: The Dodge Center Township was organized
  • 1922: The Dodge County Courthouse was built in Mantorville
  • 1947: The Dodge Center Village incorporated
  • 1972: The county government center was constructed in Mantorville
  • 1993: A tornado caused significant damage in Hayfield
  • 2004: The Kasson-Mantorville High School was built in Kasson