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This Date In Central Minnesota History – February 25th, 1856

UNDATED — February 25th, 1856 – Morrison and Sherburne Counties are created.

Photo courtesy of Stearns History Museum: Charles Lindbergh is still the most famous Morrison County native

Morrison County was created on February 25, 1856 by the Minnesota Territorial Legislature. It was named for brothers Allen and William Morrison. These early pioneers came to Minnesota in the 1820s and were involved in the fur trade.

Morrison County was first divided into just three townships: Little Falls, Platte River, and Swan River. It has since been organized into 32 townships. Originally, the portion of the county to the west of the Mississippi River belonged to Todd County, but was attached to Morrison County by a vote of 20-18 in 1864. The current population of Morrison County is 32,788, and it is ranked 17th largest county in the state with 1,127 square miles. The county seat is located in Little Falls.

1940 Sherburne County Board of Commissioners

The same act that created Morrison County also created Sherburne County on February 25, 1856. This county was named for Moses Sherburne, who was a justice in the Minnesota Territorial Supreme Court from 1853-1857.

Sherburne County lies along the Red River Ox Cart Trail. The earliest settler was Joseph Jerome, who had a tavern or stopping place on the trail as early as 1846. Sherburne County was originally part of Benton County. The county seat at Elk River was established in 1867, and the county is divided into 10 townships.

Thanks once again to Sarah Warmka and the Stearns History Museum for their help with our series “This Date In Central Minnesota History’.

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