The Mayo Clinic, a world-renowned medical center, was founded in Rochester, Minnesota in 1864.
Stevens County, located in west-central Minnesota, has a rich history that can be traced back to the arrival of Native American tribes in the region thousands of years ago. The Dakota Sioux, Ojibwe, and other tribes used the area for hunting, fishing, and trade routes. However, European settlers began to arrive in the 1800s, starting a new chapter in the county's history.

The first permanent settlers in Stevens County arrived in the 1850s, drawn to the area by the fertile land, abundant wildlife, and proximity to water sources like Pomme de Terre River and Lake Minnewaska. The county was officially established in 1862 and named after Isaac Ingalls Stevens, who was the first governor of Washington Territory.

Throughout the late 19th century, farming became the backbone of the county's economy, with settlers cultivating wheat, corn, and other crops. Railroads were also constructed, connecting Stevens County to the rest of the state and facilitating trade and transportation. The county experienced steady growth, attracting more residents and businesses.

Over the years, Stevens County has faced its share of challenges and hardships, including devastating prairie fires, outbreaks of disease, and economic downturns. However, the community has always demonstrated resilience and adaptability, bouncing back from adversity and continuing to thrive.

Today, Stevens County is a vibrant and diverse community, with agriculture, healthcare, education, and manufacturing being some of the main industries. The county is known for its beautiful natural landscapes, recreational opportunities, and strong sense of community pride. Its history is preserved and celebrated through various historical sites, museums, and events, reflecting the strong heritage and spirit of this Minnesota county.

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

  • 1856: Stevens County is established and named after Isaac Ingalls Stevens, the first governor of Washington Territory.
  • 1862: The Dakota War of 1862 erupts in the region, causing significant unrest and conflicts.
  • 1866: The first permanent settlers, John and Anna Larson, arrive in present-day Stevens County.
  • 1871: The first post office in what is now Stevens County is established in Morris, the current county seat.
  • 1880: The railroad arrives in Stevens County, leading to increased commerce and development.
  • 1883: The city of Morris is incorporated, becoming the first city in Stevens County.
  • 1896: The University of Minnesota-Morris, a liberal arts college, is founded in Morris.
  • 1909: Stevens County Courthouse is completed, replacing the original wooden courthouse built in 1882.
  • 1930s: The Great Depression impacts Stevens County, leading to economic hardships for many residents.
  • 1960s: Agriculture remains a vital part of the local economy, but the number of farms and population decline.
  • 2007: Morris is designated as "America's Greenest Small Town" by National Geographic.