The first successful commercial shipment of wheat from the Great Plains to Europe was made in 1871 from Minneapolis.
Kittson County, located in the northwest corner of Minnesota, has a rich history dating back thousands of years. Before European settlement, the area was inhabited by indigenous peoples such as the Ojibwe and Dakota Sioux, who lived off the land hunting, fishing, and gathering.

In the early 19th century, fur traders from Canada established trading posts in the region, attracting more settlers to the area. The county was officially established in 1879 and named after Norman Wolfred Kittson, a prominent fur trader and politician. It quickly became an important transportation hub with the arrival of the railroad, connecting it to other parts of the state and encouraging further settlement.

Throughout the late 19th and early 20th centuries, agriculture became the backbone of Kittson County's economy. Farmers moved to the area to take advantage of the fertile soil, cultivating crops like wheat, barley, and oats. It was also known for its production of livestock, particularly sheep and cattle.

The county faced challenges in the early 20th century, including the Great Depression and the decline of the railroad industry. However, the community persevered and diversified its economy with the introduction of industries such as manufacturing and services. Today, Kittson County continues to thrive as a rural community, balancing its agricultural roots with a growing tourism industry, attracting visitors with its beautiful landscapes and recreational opportunities.

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

  • 1858 - Kittson County is established on February 25, 1858.
  • 1878 - The first newspaper, the Kittson County Enterprise, is published.
  • 1879 - The first school is built in Hallock, the county seat.
  • 1881 - The Great Northern Railroad reaches Kittson County, boosting economic growth.
  • 1883 - The town of Donaldson is founded and becomes a major grain shipping point.
  • 1886 - The city of Hallock is incorporated.
  • 1894 - The county courthouse is built in Hallock.
  • 1896 - The Kittson County Historical Society is formed.
  • 1910 - The population of Kittson County reaches its peak at over 14,000 residents.
  • 1950 - The population begins to decline due to changes in agriculture and economic factors.
  • 1975 - The Old Mill State Park is established in the county.
  • 2008 - Kittson County celebrates its 150th anniversary.