The New International Encyclopædia/Minnesota

MINNESO′TA (Indian, sky-tinted water). One of the North-Central States of the American Union. It lies around the head waters of the Mississippi River, between 43° 30′ and 49° 25′ north latitude, and between 89° 29′ and 97° 5′ west longitude. It is bounded on the north by the Canadian provinces of Ontario and Manitoba, on the east by Lake Superior and the State of Wisconsin, on the south by Iowa, and on the west by the Dakotas. It has an extreme length north and south of about 400 miles, and east and west of 380 miles, averaging 240 miles in width, and comprising an area of 83,365 square miles, of which 4160 square miles are water. It ranks tenth in size among the States.

Topography. Northern Minnesota is an extension of the Laurentian highlands—ancient rocks smoothed down to moderate relief. The surface here is rolling, is densely covered with pine forests, except in the western part, and abounds in lakes and swamps. Southern Minnesota is largely prairie, wide expanses of gently rolling, grassy, and generally treeless plains of boulder-clay, belted with moraines. The greater part of the surface is young, the plains are as yet undissected, and lakes still remain in the moraines. In the southeastern and southwestern corners of the State the old surface was not covered over by the later Wisconsin glacial sheet, and here we find the surface has weathered smooth and the lakes have disappeared. The surface of the State has as its central feature, in the north-central part, an elevated plateau, which rises 1750 feet above the level of the sea. From this plateau the country slopes off north, south, east, and west, reaching, however, 2200 feet in the northeast in the Mesabi Mountains north of Lake Superior, and after a considerable decline rising again in the southwest corner of the State to 1800 feet in the Coteau des Prairies. The average elevation is 1200 feet, or 600 feet above the level of Lake Superior. The surface is unbroken by any sudden uplifts, and the slope from the central plateau in each direction is very gradual. The lowest portions of the State are the region around the head of Lake Superior, and the southeast section of the State where the land falls to an elevation of about 600 feet.

The rivers of Minnesota radiate in all directions from the central plateau mentioned above. The two principal drainage systems are those of the Mississippi and the Red River of the North. The Mississippi rises in the Itascan lake group, and with its two large tributaries, the Saint Croix on the eastern boundary, and the Minnesota in the west, drains more than one-half the State. The Red River of the North, which drains the western slope, flows northward on the western boundary through a flat lacustrine basin to Lake Winnipeg. The northern and northeastern slopes are small in area and drained by short streams flowing into the Rainy River and Lake system on the northern boundary, and into Lake Superior. The largest of these streams is the Saint Louis River, which flows into the western extremity of Lake Superior. The Mississippi River alone is used for navigation; the Minnesota and the Red River are reported ‘navigable,’ but are little used. The direction of the rivers, as well as the position and formation of the innumerable lakes dotting the surface of the State, have been determined by glacial action. In the north the lakes are usually cut out of the old rock and display bold tortuous shores. In the south the lakes are often broad and shallow. Three-fourths of the lakes of the State are those occupying the undrained hollows in the morainal deposits, which cover the greater portion of the surface of the State; others, such as Lakes Pepin, Traverse, and Big Stone, are river expansions. The lakes vary in size from mere ponds up to Red Lake, with an area of 340 square miles. The other more important lakes are Leech and Winnibigashish in the plateau region; Mille Lac; and Minnetonka, a popular summer resort for Minneapolis and Saint Paul.

The most important lacustrine feature of Minnesota is the extinct Lake Agassiz. An incident in the recession of the Pleistocene ice was the ponding of the marginal drainage of the ice sheet in the valley of the Red River as fast as it was uncovered by the melting ice. A great lake was formed which has been called Lake Agassiz. At its largest stage it has a maximum width of nearly 700 miles, and drained through the Minnesota River into the Gulf of Mexico. On the disappearance of the ice, and the draining out of Lake Agassiz by the Nelson River, its bed was left as a level alluvial plain.

NIE 1905 Minnesota.jpg


County Map
 County Seat.   Area in 

1890. 1900.

Aitkin E 4  Aitkin 1,869    2,462  6,743
Anoka E 5  Anoka 447  9,884 11,313
Becker C 4  Detroit City 1,389    9,401 14,375
Beltrami C 3  Bemidji 4,680      312 11,030
Benton D 5  Sauk Rapids 397  6,284  9,912
Big Stone B 5  Ortonville 484  5,722  8,731
Blue Earth D 6  Mankato 756 29,210 32,263
Brown D 6  New Ulm 611 15,817 19,787
Carlton F 4  Carlton 856  5,272 10,017
Carver E 6  Chaska 360 16,532 17,544
Cass D 4  Walker 2,977    1,247  7,777
Chippewa C 5  Montevideo 583  8,555 12,499
Chisago F 5  Center City 440 10,359 13,248
Clay B 4  Moorhead 1,022   11,517 17,942
Cook H 3  Grand Marais 1,490       98    810
Cottonwood C 6  Windom 634  7,412 12,069
Crow Wing D 4  Brainerd 508  8,852 14,250
Dakota E 6  Hastings 604 20,240 21,733
Dodge F 7  Mantorville 432 10,864 13,340
Douglas C 5  Alexandria 685 14,606 17,964
Faribault D 7  Blue Earth City 720 16,708 22,055
Fillmore F 7  Preston 825 25,966 28,238
Freeborn E 7  Albert Lea 720 17,962 21,838
Goodhue F 6  Red Wing 744 28,806 31,137
Grant B 5  Elbow Lake 555  6,875  8,935
Hennepin E 5  Minneapolis 573  185,294    228,340  
Houston G 7  Caledonia 561 14,653 15,400
Hubbard D 4  Park Rapids 547  1,412  6,578
Isanti E 5  Cambridge 446  7,607 11,675
Itasca E 2  Grand Rapids 5,575      743  4,573
Jackson C 7  Jackson 720  8,924 14,793
Kanabec E 5  Mora 536  1,579  4,614
Kandiyohi C 6  Willmar 814 13,997 18,416
Kittson A 1  Hallock 1,059    5,387  7,889
Lac qui Parle B 5  Madison 763 10,382 14,289
Lake G 3  Two Harbors 2,122    1,299  4,654
Lesueur E 6  Lesueur Center  475 19,057 20,234
Lincoln B 6  Lake Benton 528  5,691  8,966
Lyon C 6  Marshall 714  9,501 14,591
McLeod D 6  Glencoe 504 17,026 19,595
Marshall A 2  Warren 1,784    9,130 15,698
Martin D 7  Fairmont 732  9,403 16,936
Meeker D 5  Litchfield 613 15,456 17,753
Millelacs E 4  Princeton 576  2,845  8,066
Morrison D 4  Littlefalls 1,126   13,325 22,891
Mower F 7  Austin 700 18,019 22,335
Murray C 6  Slayton 705  6,692 11,911
Nicollet D 6  Saint Peter 452 13,382 14,774
Nobles C 7  Worthington 720  7,958 14,932
Norman B 3  Ada 1,425   10,618 15,045
Olmsted F 6  Rochester 644 19,806 23,119
Ottertail B 4  Fergus Falls 2,127   34,232 45,375
Pine F 4  Pine City 1,425    4,052 11,546
Pipestone B 6  Pipestone 460  5,132  9,264
Polk B 3  Crookston 1,893   30,192 35,429
Pope C 5  Glenwood 700 10,032 12,577
Ramsey B 1  St. Paul 172 139,796  170,554 
Red Lake B 3  Redlake Falls 1,116   ...... 12,195
Redwood C 6  Redwood Falls 870  9,386 17,261
Renville C 6  Beaverfalls 989 17,099 23,693
Rice E 6  Faribault 497 23,968 26,080
Rock B 7  Luverne 490  6,817  9,668
Roseau A 1  Roseau 1,692   ......  6,994
St. Louis F 2  Duluth 5,532   44,862 82,932
Scott E 6  Shakopee 360 13,831 15,147
Sherburne E 5  Elk River 446  5,908  7,281
Sibley D 6  Henderson 588 15,199 16,862
Stearns D 5  Saint Cloud 1,310   34,844 44,464
Steele E 6  Owatonna 426 13,232 16,534
Stevens B 5  Morris 557  5,251  8,721
Swift C 5  Benson 740 10,161 13,503
Todd D 5  Long Prairie 967 12,930 22,214
Traverse B 5  Wheaton 545  4,516  7,573
Wabasha F 6  Wabasha 531 16,972 18,924
Wadena C 4  Wadena 532  4,053  7,921
Waseca E 7  Waseca 430 13,313 14,760
Washington F 5  Stillwater 402 25,992 27,808
Watonwan D 7  Saint James 432  7,746 11,496
Wilkin B 4  Breckenridge 720  4,346  8,080
Winona G 6  Winona 630 33,797 35,686
Wright D 5  Buffalo 680 24,164 29,157
Yellow Medicine B 6  Granite Falls 744  9,854 14,602
White Earth
 Indian Reservation
C 3 .... .... ......  3,486

Climate and Soil. Minnesota lies in the middle of the north temperate zone, and in the geographical centre of the continent. This gives it a continental climate, with marked extremes of temperature. The average temperatures for January are 15° F. at the southeastern corner, and at the northwestern corner only 1° or 2° F. For July it is 70° F. in the south and 65° F. in the north. Maximum shade temperatures rise above 100° F. over all the State west of Duluth, while the minima are 40° F. below zero in the southern and northeastern counties and 50° F. below in the extreme northwestern, thus giving a range of 150° degrees or over for Red River Valley. The annual rainfall ranges from 20 inches in the northwest to over 30 inches in the southeast. The rainfall is characterized by a scant precipitation in the winter season, and moderately heavy rains during the crop season. There is an average annual snowfall of 20 inches in the southwestern part of the State, which increases gradually to 80 inches at Pigeon Point. The southern counties have an average annual relative humidity of less than 70 per cent., rising steadily northward to 75 per cent. in the northwestern counties. The average velocity of the wind is 8 miles per hour in the east, and almost 11 miles per hour at Crookston, which is the highest inland average velocity recorded in America. The average path of the northwest cyclones passes through the southern counties. Between 300 and 350 such storms occur in ten years. The prevailing wind is west in the northern half and southwest in the southern half. The climate on the whole is rigorous in winter, though mild and even occasionally hot in the southern counties in summer. But the nights are always cool, and the air dry, making the whole State a favorite summer resort.

The soils of the State are wholly glacial, and since the outcropping stratified rock is largely limestone, most of the soil derived from this source is extremely rich—a black and finely comminuted loam. On the older drift in the southeastern counties, for 30 to 40 miles back from the Mississippi River, there is a coating of loess, an extremely fine black loam of great fertility. Where the Cambrian sandstone outcrops in the east central part of the State, considerable areas are covered with a light sandy soil, not at all encouraging for agriculture. In the old land of the northeast and north central counties there are large areas almost denuded of soil, or covered with a scanty coating of granitic drift. In the Valley of the Red River the silts of the extinct Lake Agassiz occur, a fine black soil of almost incomparable richness, constituting some of the best wheat lands in the world.

Geology. The northwestern corner of the State formed a part of the old Archæan continent, and its east central portion was in Archæan times occupied by a large island. These areas now consist of granites and gneisses of the archæan basal complex, parts of which have also been uncovered along the upper valley of the Minnesota River, where there are valuable granite quarries. Shore deposits and lava flows of the Huronian age outcrop as highly metamorphosed rocks in broad zones along the margins of these Archæan old lands, cutting into the latter in deep tongues and bands, some of which contain iron-bearing beds of great wealth. The broad Huronian belt extending southwestward from the Minnesota River contains the Sioux quartzites, a most beautiful and valuable building stone, and beds of metamorphosed red mud, the catlinite, or far-famed red pipestone of the Indians. The Lake Superior synclinal trough is occupied by Cambrian sandstones and limestones, and Ordovician rocks occur in the southeastern part of the State, consisting of the Saint Peter sandstone beds covered with Trenton limestone, a combination which has given rise to the bluffs along this part of the Mississippi, and to the Falls of Saint Anthony. Silurian rocks occur in the valley of the Red River and in some of the southeastern counties, and slight cretaceous deposits are found in various parts of the State. The Pleistocene ice invasion is most largely responsible for the present surface, the State lying in a sort of focus of glacial activity. It was entirely covered by ice in the Kansan and Iowan epochs, and in the Wisconsin epoch two great lines of invading ice met at the centre of the State, and flowed south in a great tongue into Iowa.

Mining. The prominence of Minnesota as a mining State is based principally on its iron deposits. The mineral is found in an almost pure state in the Vermilion and Mesabi ranges. Although the existence of iron in Minnesota was known as early as 1860, nothing was done toward exploitation before 1884. The State has occupied since 1894 the second position among the iron-producing States. In 1901 its output exceeded that of Michigan. Prior to 1892 the Vermilion Range was the only source of iron in the State. In that year operations were begun in the Mesabi Range, the output of which advanced from 29,245 tons in 1892, to 1,913,234 tons in 1894. Since 1895 the Mesabi Range has been the largest iron-producing range in the Lake Superior region (and probably the largest in the world). Its output advanced in 1901 to 9,303,541 tons, against 1,805,996 from the Vermilion Range, making the total output of the State for that year 11,100,537 tons, or 38 per cent. of that of the United States. The value of the output at the mines in that year amounted to $15,335,513. In the same year 10,790,953 tons of iron ore were shipped from the Vermilion and Mesabi ranges, chiefly from the ports of Two Harbors and Duluth. Minnesota has building-stone and slate, and produces cement on a small scale. The slate deposits are believed to be considerable, but they are not much exploited. The local clay is used chiefly for the manufacture of brick.

Agriculture. Although only a little over one-half (51.8 per cent.) of the land area is included in farms, the State has attained the first rank in the cultivation of certain crops. Every decade since 1850 has witnessed a large gain in the farm acreage, the largest being made from 1890 to 1900. The percentage of improved farm land has also constantly increased, reaching 70.3 per cent. in 1900. The land not included in farms is found mainly in the extensive forest areas of the northern part of the State. From 1891 to 1901 an annual average of about 375,000 acres of homestead lands were entered. The recent expansion of the farming area has been greatest in the Northwest. The formation of many large farms in that section tends to increase the average size of farms for the State, notwithstanding the division of farm holdings going on in the southern part of the State. In 1900 there were 365 farms containing each 1000 acres or more. The average size in 1900 was 169.7 acres, as compared with 139.4 acres in 1870. The rent system is becoming very common, the percentage of rented farms having increased from 9.2 in 1880 to 17.3 in 1900. About four-fifths of these were rented according to the share system. It is in this region—particularly the Red River Valley—that wheat-growing has been so extensively developed. For a number of years there was little indication that the crop would attain much prominence in the State. The processes of milling then in use could obtain only an inferior quality of flour from the ‘spring wheat’ such as was raised in the State. With the introduction of modern methods, however, this difficulty was obviated and the State mills became famous for the high quality of their product. The cultivation of wheat then increased rapidly, and in 1890 the State had become first in both acreage and production. From 1890 to 1900 the increase was unprecedented, the acreage for the latter year being 94.5 per cent. greater than for the former, and constituting 58.5 per cent. of the area devoted to cereals. The per acre production is high, and the State easily holds first rank in the production of this cereal. In parts of the State the sowing and harvesting of wheat are done with the large type of machinery which performs a number of processes. Oats has about a third as great an acreage as wheat, and ranks next to it in importance. It has always been a prominent crop in the State, and continues to increase in acreage. Owing principally to the shortness of the season, corn has never been a favorite crop, and in this respect the State stands in striking contrast with Iowa and most of the other Mississippi Valley States. Both corn and oats are grown most extensively in the southwestern part of the State. In barley and flaxseed raising also, the State takes a high rank, and increasing quantities of rye are produced. Hay and forage crops cover about one-half as great an acreage as is devoted to wheat. Of this, 69.6 per cent. (1900) consisted of wild, salt, and prairie grasses. Large quantities of Irish potatoes are raised, and the cultivation of the sugar beet has been introduced. Fruit culture is mainly confined to the southern part of the State and is not yet extensively developed.

The little attention given to the raising of corn is largely responsible for the poor showing of the State in the raising of stock. Most of the Mississippi Valley States far excel Minnesota in this respect. Nevertheless, every decade since 1850 shows an increase for all varieties of farm animals, except sheep, and mules, and asses, for the decade 1890-1900. The relative gain in the number of dairy cows was greatly excelled by the increase in the dairy produce. Of a total value of $16,623,460 for the year 1900, 66.9 per cent. represented the amount derived from sales. The value of poultry products for the census year 1900 amounted to $7,364,865.

The following tables show the relative importance of the leading varieties of crops and farm animals for the census years 1890 and 1900:

1890 1900

Acres Acres
Wheat  3,372,627   6,560,707 
Oats  1,579,258  2,201,325
Corn 901,690   1,441,580
Barley 358,510  877,845 
Rye 62,869  118,869 
Flaxseed 303,635  566,801 
Hay and forage   2,709,191  3,157,690
Potatoes 105,880  146,659 

1890 1900

Dairy cows  593,908  753,632 
Other neat cattle   779,671  1,117,693 
Horses  461,509 696,469 
Mules and asses  9,511  8,500 
Sheep  399,049 359,328 
Swine  853,715  1,440,806

Manufactures. Minnesota has won much renown by virtue of its manufacturing enterprises. The success of these is mainly attributable to the abundance of its grain and forest products, and the excellence of its water power and transportation facilities. Lake Superior, touching the State on the northeast, gives access to the whole system of lake transportation, while the Mississippi River and the railroad development in the south give superior advantages to that section. In but few, if any, States has the industrial development been so rapid. The value of the manufactured product in 1900—$262,655,000—was eleven times as large as in 1870. The absolute gain was greatest between 1880 and 1890. In 1900 the industry employed 77,200 wage-earners, or 4.4 per cent. of the population. This was a higher absolute figure than for 1890, but a smaller per cent. of the population than in 1890. The beginning of the manufacturing industry in the State was prophetic of the course of its development. In 1822 a saw-mill was erected at the Falls of Saint Anthony, and two years later was fitted up for the grinding of flour. In 1900 the value of the products of these and certain allied industries was over one-half of the total for the State, and around the Falls of Saint Anthony had grown up the twin city of Minneapolis-Saint Paul—one of the three large industrial centres located on the Mississippi River.

For a long time the flour and grist-milling industry made but little progress. About 1870 the method of reducing the grain to flour by a number of distinct processes began to replace the old method by which the flour was obtained by a single grinding, and marked a new epoch in the development of the industry. The flour now produced was of the best quality, and heavy shipments were made to home and foreign markets. The power afforded by the Falls of Saint Anthony gave the millers who utilized them a decided advantage over those of other portions of the country and tended to centralize the industry at that point. However, from 1890 to 1900, the increase in the number of mills was greatest outside of Minneapolis. The total increase in the value of products for that decade was 39.4 per cent. The capital invested in the State mills in 1900 was 11 per cent. of the total for the United States. The value of the State products was 15 per cent. of the total for the country, and nearly twice as great as that of New York, the second State in rank.

The manufacturing industry has recently taken on a much broader scope than formerly, reflecting the more diversified aspect which agriculture is now assuming in that section. The dairy industry—the manufacture of cheese, butter, and condensed milk—has attained its present large proportions almost wholly since 1880. The increase in the value of the product from 1890 to 1900 was 186.6 per cent. The slaughtering and meat-packing industry and the manufacture of malt liquors and linseed oil are also of recent development. The rate of their increase is significant of their future possibilities. These three industries are centred mainly in Minneapolis and Saint Paul.

The extensive iron-mining in the north does not benefit the State's manufacturing interests greatly, since there are no coal or limestone deposits in proximity to the ore. The latter can be exported more economically than the former can be imported. The foundries and machine shops, however, are in a flourishing condition. Other important industries are those required by the growing railroad interests of the State, the manufacture of boots and shoes, and the printing and publishing of newspapers and periodicals. The table on the following page covers the eleven most important industries for the decade 1890-1900.

Forests and Forest Products. Minnesota is one of the richest States in forest resources, having in 1900 a woodland area of about 52,200 square miles, including stump-lands. The forest area extends well over the northern two-thirds of the State, excluding the Red River Valley. Hard-wood forests border the prairies, while farther north the white pine predominates, Norway pine and spruce being also abundant. Although the white pine has been heavily drawn upon, at the end of the nineteenth century it was estimated that there were over 12,000,000,000 feet of this variety still standing, and the merchantable forest pine was estimated to be greater than in any other State. The lumber industry of the State increased but slowly until 1880. From 1890 to 1900 the increase (see table below) in the value of the product was greater than in any other State, and it ranked third in importance. The unusual facilities for water transportation afforded by the large number of streams and lakes have been of advantage to the industry. But recently railroads have been extensively used for timber transportation, especially in the shipments to Minneapolis, where nearly half the lumber of the State is sawed. The State has displayed a greater interest in forest preservation than have most other States. The three elected town supervisors are fire wardens, and have the authority of impressing men into service to prevent forest fires. The system has worked so effectively that for a number of years the State has wholly escaped destructive fires. The State has encouraged tree-planting in the prairie region, and about $600,000 in bounties has been expended for this purpose. There is a forest reserve of 200,000 acres in Chippewa Reservation.

Transportation. Minnesota is favored with the advantages of both the Saint Lawrence and the Mississippi systems of navigation. The latter is becoming relatively less important owing to the development of railroads, and the former is becoming rapidly more important with the industrial development of the North. The possibility of lake transportation has been largely responsible for the development of the State's mining industry, and Duluth has become one of the leading lake ports. It has immense shipments of ore, grain, and lumber. But few regions of the country are better supplied with railroads than are the southern and western parts of the State. Minneapolis-Saint Paul is the objective point of most of the great lines northwest of Chicago, and the transcontinental Great Northern and Northern Pacific cross the State from east to west. Among the lines which have a large mileage in the State are the Chicago, Milwaukee and Saint Paul; the Chicago and Northwestern; the Chicago, Saint Paul and Omaha; the Eastern Railway of Minnesota; and the Minnesota and Saint Louis. The total mileage increased from 1092 miles in 1870 to 5545 in 1890 and 6996 in 1900. The State has a railroad and warehouse commission which hears and passes judgment upon complaints, with due notice to carriers to arrange a tariff of freight in pursuance thereof. Upon refusal of the carriers to adopt such rates the commission publishes the same.

INDUSTRIES  Year  Number of
Value of products,
including custom
 work and repairing 

  Total for selected industries for State
1900 2,500  35,862  $177,172,025 
1890 1,405  30,334  111,052,701 

Increase 1890 to 1900 ...... 1,095  5,528  $66,119,324 
Per cent. of increase ...... 77.9  18.2  59.5
Per cent. of total of all industries in State
1900 22.5  46.4  67.5
1890 18.7  43.5  57.8
Flouring and grist mill products
1900 512  4,086  $83,877,709 
1890 307  3,509  60,158,088 
Cheese, butter, and condensed milk,
 factory products
1900 596  740  8,479,896 
1890 106  783  2,958,476 
Slaughtering and meat packing: Total
1900 20  668  7,810,555 
1890 18  222  2,510,431 
Liquors, malt
1900 78  856  4,456,928 
1890 66  548  2,206,366 
Oil, linseed
1900 155  3,272,598 
1890 90  1,547,719 
Foundry and machine shop products
1900 175  3,139  5,975,077 
1890 92  1,289  2,815,024 
Boots and shoes, factory product
1900 16  2,025  3,615,801 
1890 1,099  2,032,814 
Cars and general shop construction and repairs 
 by steam railroad companies
1900 39  4,700  6,319,876 
1890 18  1,951  2,628,174 
Printing and publishing,
 newspapers and periodicals
1900 560  2,714  5,790,148 
1890 341  2,143  4,157,026 
Lumber and timber products
1900 438  15,140  43,585,161 
1890 392  16,170  25,075,132 
Lumber, planing mill products,
 including sash, doors, and blinds
1900 61  1,639  3,988,276 
1890 54  2,530  4,943,451 

Banks. The first banking law of Minnesota was passed in 1858, at the first session of the Legislature; the law was amended in 1878, placing the banks under the control of the public examiner, who is ex-officio superintendent of banks. The law was amended and made more stringent in 1881, 1889, and 1895. Banking business in the State was very unprofitable at first, and all the State banks organized in 1858-68 were discontinued. In 1878 there were 17 banks, and in 1898 161 banks in operation. Savings banks are regulated by the law of 1879, which placed them under the jurisdiction of the Bank Commissioner. Trust companies were authorized in 1883, but are prohibited from doing a general banking business. In 1902 there were 128 national banks, with an aggregate capital of $13,323,000; surplus, $2,952,000; cash, etc., $6,984,000; loans, $65,646,000; and deposits, $65,797,000; 238 State banks with capital of $7,360,700; surplus, $1,236,055; cash, $3,220,534; loans, $38,100,783; and deposits, $41,283,240.

Finance. The Constitution of 1857 prohibited debts for public improvement, and prohibited any State debt above $250,000. But an amendment in 1858 enabled the State to issue $5,000,000 of 7 per cent. bonds to lend to the railroads of the State under guaranty of first mortgage bonds. Less than half of these bonds were sold, the railroads defaulted the interest on their mortgage bonds, and the State acquired their property by foreclosure. Nevertheless the State was unable to meet the interest payment, and in 1860 the debt on these bonds was repudiated. The obligations were resumed in 1881, when the old bonds were exchanged for new ones at the rate of 50 per cent. This gave the State a debt of $4,253,000, which was quickly reduced in the eighties, amounting to $2,154,000 in 1890 and $2,009,000 in 1901. The original constitutional prohibition of State debts is in force and no further extension of the debt is possible. The budget rose rapidly from less than a million in 1870 to more than five millions in 1890, and in 1901 the receipts amounted to $8,901,184, and disbursements to $6,900,841, leaving a balance of $2,000,343. The receipts included the permanent school fund, $1,258,127; the general school fund, $1,906,670; the general university fund, $429,479; and the revenue fund, $4,457,708.

Population. The population of Minnesota by decades is as follows: 1850, 6077; 1860, 172,023; 1870, 439,706; 1880, 780,773; 1890, 1,301,826; 1900, 1,751,394. The rank of the State has risen every decade, standing nineteenth in 1900. The largest absolute gain was in the decade 1880-90. From 1890 to 1900 the increase amounted to 34.5 per cent., as compared with 20.7 for the United States. During that decade every county in the State shared in the increase, but it was generally greatest throughout the northern ones, where the population is still very sparse. The movement of the population turned toward Minnesota at a period when the German immigration was still great and the Scandinavian peoples were just beginning to come in large numbers. As a result these elements are heavily represented. No other State contains so large a number of Swedes and Norwegians. In 1900 the foreign-born population numbered 505,318. The colored population numbered only 14,358, of whom 4959 were negroes, 7414 Indians taxed, and 1768 Indians not taxed. As is common in newly settled States, there is a large excess of the male sex. At the last census there were 22.1 inhabitants to the square mile. The State contains the two large metropolises of the Upper Mississippi Valley—Minneapolis and Saint Paul—and the per cent. of urban population is therefore high for so new a State. In 1900 the 19 places which exceeded 4000 inhabitants each constituted 31 per cent. of the total population. The figures for the four largest cities in 1900 were as follows: Minneapolis, 202,718; Saint Paul, 163,065; Duluth, 52,969; Winona, 19,714.

Religion. The noteworthy characteristic of the religious situation in Minnesota is the great predominance of the Roman Catholic and the Lutheran Churches. The strongest of the other denominations represented are the Methodists, Baptists, Presbyterians, Congregationalists, and Protestant Episcopalians.

Education. The census of 1900 reported 4.1 of the population ten years of age and over as being illiterate; for the native white population alone it was only 0.8 per cent. The average length of the school year in 1900 was 169 days, which was greater than that of any other State west of the Appalachians. The State has been very zealous in building up a complete and superior system of public schools, and its success has been greatly aided by the large State endowment. Minnesota has developed a system intended both to aid and to stimulate the schools to a higher degree of efficiency. The apportionment of the current school fund is based upon the number of pupils attending school forty days in the year, and in addition to this there are State appropriations to such schools as attain a certain meritorious rank, the test of merit being the employment of teachers holding the higher certificate, and meeting the requirements of duration, of equipment, and of gradation. In 1900 additional aid was received by 115 high schools, 110 graded schools, 191 semi-graded schools, and 660 rural schools. The policy of causing the special appropriation to depend in part upon the grade of certificate held made it necessary to establish a uniform test, to secure which the State took over the examination of candidates for that grade of certificate. The counties still examine the candidates for the lower certificates. The total number of teachers in 1900 was 10,586, of whom 8,534 were females. The State provides opportunity for pedagogical training at the normal schools at Mankato, Moorhead, Saint Cloud, and Winona. The policy of supporting sununer schools for the benefit of teachers has been adopted. The State University, located at Minneapolis, is one of the foremost educational institutions in the West. The enrollment has reached about 3500. There are also a number of small denominational colleges in the State. In July, 1900, the total permanent school fund amounted to $12,546,599, the principal sources of which were the sale of lands ($9,417,791) and the sale of pine timber ($2,176,673). The permanent university fund of that date amounted to $1,246,817. The apportionment for the current school fund in 1900 was $1,295,459, and the total paid to teachers amounted to $3,842,987.

Charitable and Penal Institutions. A law was passed in 1901 for the creation of a Board of Control, consisting of three members appointed by the Governor and Senate for the term of six years, and having full power to manage and control the State charitable and penal institutions, and authority in financial matters in certain State schools, including those for the deaf and blind. Under the new system each institution has but one head, the superintendent. To prevent nepotism, the board has ordered that superintendents or wardens cannot employ or retain any relative, or any relative of the officer to whom such an employee would be directly responsible; nor does the board itself appoint any relative of any member to office under it. A uniform system of records and accounts has been introduced, and the first report of the Board of Control shows a general decrease in expenses over the preceding year. The following table gives a summary of the institutions, with the average number of inmates, and the per capita cost of maintenance for the fiscal year ending in 1902:

 number of 

Anoka Asylum $116.70  121.3
Hastings Asylum 137.98 133.5
Fergus Falls Hospital 125.49 1,359.1 
Saint Peter Hospital 154.89 971.4
Rochester Hospital 151.71 1,101.8 
School for Deaf, Faribault 192.41 257. 
School for Blind, Faribault 254.48  79.4
School for Feeble-Minded, Faribault  143.27 769. 
State Public School, Owatonna 152.79 228.4
State Training School, Red Wing 138.51 390.9
Reformatory, Saint Cloud 280.70 170.7
Prison, Stillwater  48.62 547.8

The State public school is for dependent and neglected children. The Reformatory, at Saint Cloud, is for criminals within the age period of sixteen to thirty years, while the older age group is sent to the prison at Stillwater. The convicts at the State prison are worked under the piece-price and public account systems, and also manufacture supplies for the use of the public institutions.

Militia. In 1900 the population of militia age of the State amounted to 399,734. The aggregate strength of the militia in 1901 was 1922 men.

Government. The present Constitution, which is the only one the State has had, was adopted by an almost unanimous vote of the people, in October, 1857. Proposed amendments upon receiving a majority vote of both Houses must be submitted to the people at a general election, when each amendment is voted upon separately and becomes a part of the Constitution if it receives a majority of the votes cast. A two-thirds vote of each House and a majority of the popular vote are necessary to call a constitutional convention.

Voters must have resided in the State six months and in the election district thirty days and have been citizens of the United States for three months. Women may vote for school and library officers, or upon any measure pertaining to schools and libraries, and are eligible to school and library offices. Registration is required by law.

Legislature. Senatorial and Representative districts are composed of contiguous territory, and no Representative district can he divided in the formation of a Senate district. Senators serve four and Representatives two years. State elections occur on the Tuesday after the first Monday in November. The Legislature meets biennially on the Tuesday after the first Monday in January, and is limited to a session of 90 days. Except on request of the Governor no new bill can be introduced during the last twenty days of the session. Revenue bills originate in the Lower House. No law can be passed unless voted for by a majority of all the members elected to each House. The power of impeachment rests with the House, the trial of impeachment with the Senate.

Executive. A Governor, Lieutenant-Governor, Secretary of State, Treasurer, and Attorney-General are elected for two years, and an Auditor for four years. The Governor may convene extra sessions of the Legislature; he may veto any bill or any item of an appropriation bill, but a two-thirds vote of both Houses overrides the veto.

Judiciary. The Supreme Court judges cannot exceed five in number, and are elected by the electors of the State at large. The State is divided into districts, in each of which one or more judges are elected for a term of six years. There is a probate court in each county, elected for two years. Justices of the peace are elected for a term of two years.

Local Government. New counties may be organized or old ones altered (subject to their own consent), but not reduced below 400 square miles in area. Cities of 20,000 inhabitants may be organized into separate counties. Any city or village may frame a charter subject to the general limits prescribed by State laws, which must receive a four-sevenths vote of the electors voting. State laws provide for the election of county and township officers.

Other Constitutional or Statutory Provisions. Married women retain the same legal existence and personality as before marriage, may sue or be sued, and, with the exception of voting, receive equal protection of all their rights. The legal rate of interest is 7 per cent.; 10 is allowed by contract: the penalty for usury is forfeiture of debt if the interest is over 12 per cent. A local-option liquor law is in force, and high license obtains in places that do not prohibit. Combinations to monopolize the markets for food products, or restrict the freedom of such markets, are criminal conspiracies.

The State has nine votes in the United States Electoral College. Saint Paul is the capital.

History. The first European to visit the region now included within the State was Duluth, who, in 1678, built a fort at the mouth of the Pigeon River, on the north shore of Lake Superior. In 1680 the Falls of Saint Anthony were discovered by Louis Hennepin, a Franciscan priest. Before 1700 there were trading posts on Lake Pepin and on the Minnesota River. A part of Minnesota was included in the extensive territory ceded by France to Great Britain in 1763. In 1766 it was explored by Capt. Jonathan Carver, of Connecticut. In 1783 it became a possession of the United States. The part of the State lying east of the Mississippi belonged in turn to the Territories of Indiana, Michigan, and Wisconsin. The region west formed part of the Territories of Louisiana, Missouri, and Iowa. In 1805 a tract of land at the mouth of the Saint Croix and another at the mouth of the Minnesota were purchased of the Indians, but the number of settlers was small. The exploring expedition of Lieutenant Pike in 1805 was followed by many others within the succeeding forty years; and with an increased knowledge of the country came the first important beginning of immigration. Fort Saint Anthony (Snelling) was built in 1819-21; in 1822 a clearing was made at the Falls of Saint Anthony, and a mill was built, and in 1823 the first steamboat ascended to the falls. The next settlements made were by a colony of Swiss, near Fort Snelling in 1827, and at Stillwater in 1843. Two years before this latter date Father Galtier had erected a log chapel a little southeast of the Falls of Saint Anthony and dedicated it to Saint Paul. This was the nucleus of the present city of that name. The Indian titles to the lands east of the Mississippi were not extinguished until the year 1838, and it was not until March 3, 1849, that the Territory of Minnesota was organized, with the Missouri River as its western boundary. In 1851 the Indian titles to the lands (except reservations) between the Mississippi and the Red River of the North were extinguished, and immigration increased rapidly. On May 11, 1858, Minnesota was admitted as a State. The excellent educational institutions for which Minnesota is noted took their rise early in the history of the Territory. Hamline University, at Hamline, was founded in 1854, and Saint John's University at Collegeville, was established three years later. In 1862 the Sioux Indians, under Little Crow, angered at the continuous inroads made upon their lands, attacked and destroyed many of the frontier settlements. Over 500 white settlers and soldiers were killed and 25,000 people were driven from their homes. The Indians were decisively defeated at Wood Lake on September 22, 1862, and after engaging in sporadic raids in 1863 were removed west of the Missouri. In spite of the horrors of Indian war, immigration continued undiminished; it was stimulated by the activity of immigration agents in the Eastern States and Europe, and was encouraged by the enactment of liberal homestead laws. From the sale of its extensive public lands, the State obtained a very large school fund, which it employed in building up an admirable school system. Legislation after the Civil War was concerned largely with the regulation of railway corporations, and the most debated question of policy for a long time was that of the redemption of $2,275,000 in bonds, which the State had issued in 1858 to aid in the construction of railways, and had repudiated in 1860. For more than twenty years a large party in the State urged the redemption of the bonds as a measure necessitated by public honor, and in 1881 the Legislature accepted the offer of the bondholders to surrender their bonds at half the face value.

Since 1860 Minnesota has been steadily Republican, save for the election of 1898, when the Democrats, Populists, and Silver Republicans elected their candidate for Governor. The following is a list of the Governors of Minnesota since its organization as a Territory:

Alexander Ramsey 1849-53
Willis A. Gorman 1853-57
Samuel Medary 1857-58
Henry H. Sibley Democrat 1858-60
Alexander Ramsey Republican 1860-64
Stephen Miller 1864-66
William R. Marshall 1866-70
Horace Austin 1870-74
Cushman K. Davis 1874-76
John S. Pillsbury 1876-82
Lucius F. Hubbard 1882-87
Andrew R. McGill 1887-89
William R. Merriam 1889-93
Knute Nelson 1893-95
David M. Clough 1895-99
John Lind  Democrat-Populist  1899-1901
Samuel R. Van Sant Republican 1901—

Bibliography. Seymour, Sketches of Minnesota (New York, 1850); Bond, Minnesota and Its Resources (New York, 1854); Geological and Natural History Survey Annual Reports (Saint Paul, 1873 et seq.); Harrington, Geography, History, and Civil Government (Minneapolis, 1891); McVey, Government of Minnesota, Its History and Administration (New York, 1901); Williams, “Outline History of Minnesota from 1858-81,” in Warner and Foote, History of Dakota (Minneapolis, 1881); Neill, Concise History of the State of Minnesota (Minneapolis, 1887); Flandrau, History of Minnesota (Saint Paul, 1900); Gilfillan, Early Political History of Minnesota (Saint Paul, 1901); Minnesota Historical Society Collections, vol, iii., contains bibliography (Saint Paul, 1880).