Goodhue County, Minnesota

Goodhue County, Minnesota

Goodhue County Courthouse in Red Wing, Minnesota
Map of Minnesota highlighting Goodhue County
Location in the U.S. state of Minnesota
Map of the United States highlighting Minnesota
Minnesota's location in the U.S.
Founded March 5, 1853[1]
Named for James Madison Goodhue,[2] the first printer-editor in Minnesota
Seat Red Wing
Largest city Red Wing
  Total 780 sq mi (2,020 km2)
  Land 757 sq mi (1,961 km2)
  Water 24 sq mi (62 km2), 3.0%
Population (est.)
  (2015) 46,435
  Density 61/sq mi (24/km²)
Congressional district 2nd
Time zone Central: UTC-6/-5

Goodhue County is a county located in the U.S. state of Minnesota. As of the 2010 census, the population was 46,183.[3] Its county seat is Red Wing.[4] Nearly all of Prairie Island Indian Community is within the county.

Goodhue County comprises the Red Wing, MN Micropolitan Statistical Area and is included in the Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN-WI Combined Statistical Area.


The county was formed from territory within Wabasha County on March 5, 1853. County boundaries were defined in 1854 and further refined again in 1855.

Hamline University, Minnesota's first college of higher learning, was originally located in Red Wing, Minnesota. It opened its doors in 1854 but closed during the Civil War due to low enrollment. Hamline University re-opened in Saint Paul, Minnesota in 1869.

The county was a leading producer of wheat during the mid-nineteenth century, and for several years the county boasted the highest wheat production in the country, sending wheat through numerous mills in Red Wing and then transporting the grain along the Mississippi River.

The effect of 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.

The first municipal swimming pool in the state was built in the county.

In October 1960, President Dwight D. Eisenhower visited the county for a bridge dedication ceremony. The Hiawatha Bridge had been built to replace the Old High Bridge that spanned the Mississippi River since 1895. This visit drew 20,000 people. Eisenhower hoped that his visit would help in the elections, swaying Minnesota voters to vote for Richard Nixon in the 1960 presidential election in the coming month. The visit wasn't enough, however, as John F. Kennedy carried the state on his way to being elected the next president.

Native vegetation based on NRCS soils information[5]
Soils of Warsaw WMA area


Rural Goodhue County from U.S. Route 61/63

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 780 square miles (2,000 km2), of which 757 square miles (1,960 km2) is land and 24 square miles (62 km2) (3.0%) is water.[6] Goodhue is one of 17 Minnesota counties with more savanna soils than either prairie or forest soils.


Major highways

Adjacent counties


Historical population
Census Pop.
Est. 201546,435[7]0.5%
U.S. Decennial Census[8]
1790-1960[9] 1900-1990[10]
1990-2000[11] 2010-2015[3]
Age pyramid of county residents based on 2000 U.S. census data

As of the census of 2000, there were 44,127 people, 16,983 households, and 11,905 families residing in the county. The population density was 58 people per square mile (22/km²). There were 17,879 housing units at an average density of 24 per square mile (9/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 96.57% White, 0.63% Black or African American, 0.98% Native American, 0.57% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 0.53% from other races, and 0.69% from two or more races. 1.07% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 39.1% were of German, 22.0% Norwegian, 7.9% Swedish and 6.8% Irish ancestry.

There were 16,983 households out of which 33.80% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 59.20% were married couples living together, 7.20% had a female householder with no husband present, and 29.90% were non-families. 25.20% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.50% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.53 and the average family size was 3.04.

In the county the population was spread out with 26.50% under the age of 18, 7.40% from 18 to 24, 27.90% from 25 to 44, 23.20% from 45 to 64, and 15.00% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females there were 98.10 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 95.40 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $46,972, and the median income for a family was $55,689. Males had a median income of $36,282 versus $25,442 for females. The per capita income for the county was $21,934. About 3.70% of families and 5.70% of the population were below the poverty line, including 6.20% of those under age 18 and 8.60% of those age 65 or over.




Unincorporated communities

Ghost Town

See also


  1. "Minnesota Place Names". Minnesota Historical Society. Retrieved March 18, 2014.
  2. Gannett, Henry (1905). The Origin of Certain Place Names in the United States. Govt. Print. Off. p. 139.
  3. 1 2 "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved August 31, 2013.
  4. "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07.
  5. Nelson, Steven (2011). Savanna Soils of Minnesota. Minnesota:Self. pp. 43 - 48. ISBN 978-0-615-50320-2
  6. "2010 Census Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. August 22, 2012. Retrieved October 15, 2014.
  7. "County Totals Dataset: Population, Population Change and Estimated Components of Population Change: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2015". Retrieved July 2, 2016.
  8. "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved October 15, 2014.
  9. "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved October 15, 2014.
  10. "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved October 15, 2014.
  11. "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. Retrieved October 15, 2014.

Coordinates: 44°25′N 92°43′W / 44.41°N 92.72°W / 44.41; -92.72

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