Baxter, Minnesota

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Baxter is a city in Crow Wing County, Minnesota, United States. The population was 5,555 at the 2000 census. It is part of the Brainerd Micropolitan Statistical Area.

Minnesota State Highways 210 and 371 are two of the main routes in the city.



Baxter is located just north of the geographical center of Minnesota, in a terminal moraine area created by the Superior Lobe of the Labradorian ice sheet. The city is home to numerous lakes and ponds.

Baxter is bordered on the west by Cass County and on the east by Brainerd. The Mississippi River marks the current southern border but expansion both north and south is possible.

Along with the rest of Crow Wing County and parts of the adjoining counties, Baxter is part of the so-called Brainerd Lakes Area. Many residents of Baxter work in Brainerd or consider themselves Brainerd residents.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 19.7 square miles (50.9 km²), of which, 17.3 square miles (44.9 km²) of it is land and 2.3 square miles (6.1 km²) of it (11.95%) is water.


A suburb of nearby Brainerd, Baxter owes its existence partly to the 1920s operation of a (since closed) large tie-treating plant, owned by Northern Pacific Railroad. Farming was also an important early industry.

Baxter was incorporated on May 25, 1939. The town is named after Luther Baxter, an attorney for the railroad who served in the Minnesota Legislature and as a colonel in the Civil War.

Tourism and various service industries have become Baxter's biggest employers, and numerous housing subdivisions have been developed in the wooded area west of Minnesota Highway 371, which passes through the town. Owing to the amount of unused land in the area, commercial development along the highway itself has also increased in recent years, though it has tended to conform to the pattern of urban sprawl.

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