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Goodhue County, Minnesota

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Please add profiles for those who were born, lived or died in Goodhue County, Minnesota.

Official Website

The county was created on March 5, 1853, with territory partitioned from Wabasha County. It was named for James Madison Goodhue (1810–1852), who published the first newspaper in the territory, The Minnesota Pioneer.

The county was originally settled exclusively by "Yankee" settlers, meaning that they both came to Goodhue County either directly from the six New England states or from upstate New York, where they were born to parents who had moved to that region from the six New England states in the immediate aftermath of the American Revolution, and that they were descended from the English Puritans who emigrated to North America during the early 1600s. Because of the prevalence of New Englanders and New England transplants from upstate New York the county was said to have a "distinctly New England character". While this was true of many neighboring counties it was considered exceptionally true of Goodhue County. The New Englanders brought with them many of their New England values, including a love of education and fervent support of the abolitionist movement. When the New Englanders arrived, they laid out farms, established post routes, and built schools and government buildings out of locally available materials. The New Englanders and their descendants made up the great majority of Goodhue County's inhabitants until the late 19th and early 20th century, when immigrants from Germany and Norway began arriving in the Minnesota-Wisconsin border region in large numbers. There were small numbers of immigrants from Germany, Norway and Sweden during the first several decades of Goodhue County's history as well.

Hamline University, Minnesota's first college of higher learning, was started in Red Wing in 1854. It closed during the Civil War, and reopened in 1869 in Saint Paul.

The county was a leading producer of wheat during the mid-19th century, and for several years the county boasted the highest wheat production in the country. Fires at two of Red Wing's mills in the 1880s and developing railroad routes across Minnesota encouraged farmers from neighboring counties to begin sending their wheat to Minneapolis mills, reducing the county's importance in the wheat trade around the start of the 20th century.

Adjacent Counties

Cities & Towns

  • Bellechester (part)
  • Cannon Falls
  • Dennison (part)
  • Fairpoint
  • Florence
  • Goodhue
  • Kenyon
  • Lake City (part)
  • Pine Island (part)
  • Red Wing (County Seat)
  • Thoten/Belvidere
  • Wanamingo
  • Zumbrota

Other Townships & Communities: Belle Creek, Belvidere, Belvidere Mills, Bombay, Cherry Grove, Claybank, Featherstone, Florence, Forest Mills, Frontenac, Hader, Hay Creek, Holden, Leon, Minneola, Roscoe, Ryan, Skyberg, Sogn, Stanton, Vasa, Wacouta, Wangs, Warsaw, Wastedo, Welch and White Rock


Cemeteries of Minnesota



Genealogy Trails

Goodhue County Historical Society

National Register of Historic Places

MN Gen Web