Historical Marker in
Lincoln County, Minnesota

Minnesota is home to the largest freshwater lake in the world by surface area, Lake Superior. It covers over 31,000 square miles and contains 10% of the world's fresh surface water.
Located in southwestern Minnesota, Lincoln County has a rich and diverse history that spans over 150 years. The area was originally home to Native American tribes, including the Dakota Sioux, who relied on the fertile prairies and abundant wildlife for sustenance. European settlement began in the mid-1800s when settlers from various European countries, such as Sweden and Norway, arrived in search of farming opportunities.

In 1873, Lincoln County was officially established, named after President Abraham Lincoln. The county seat was initially located in Lake Benton, a small settlement founded by European immigrants. However, in 1889, the seat was relocated to the newly established town of Ivanhoe due to its more central location within the county.

Agriculture played a crucial role in the county's development, with settlers cultivating the fertile soil for wheat, corn, and other crops. The arrival of the railroad in the late 19th century further accelerated the county's growth and facilitated the transportation of agricultural products.

Over time, the county witnessed changes in its demographics and economic activities. The declining profitability of small-scale farming led to a shift towards larger agricultural operations and diversified farming practices. Additionally, the discovery of oil in the area in the 1950s brought new opportunities and boosted the local economy.

Today, Lincoln County continues to be primarily agricultural, with farming and related industries serving as the main economic drivers. The county's rich history, diverse heritage, and strong sense of community make it a vibrant and welcoming place for residents and visitors alike.

This timeline provides a glimpse into the major events and milestones that have shaped the history of Lincoln County, Minnesota.

  • 1862 - Lincoln County is established on March 6th, as one of the nine original counties in the Minnesota Territory.
  • 1869 - The county seat is established in the town of Lake Benton.
  • 1885 - The Chicago, St. Paul, Minneapolis and Omaha Railway reaches Lincoln County, boosting economic development.
  • 1892 - Ivanhoe is incorporated as a city.
  • 1893 - Hendricks is incorporated as a city.
  • 1905 - Taunton is incorporated as a city.
  • 1913 - The Lincoln County Courthouse in Lake Benton is completed.
  • 1959 - Arco is incorporated as a city.
  • 1974 - Tyler is incorporated as a city.
  • 2000 - The population of Lincoln County reaches its peak at around 6,930 people.
  • 2010 - The population of Lincoln County decreases to approximately 5,896 people.