Cottonwood County, Minnesota

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Cottonwood County is a county located in the U.S. state of Minnesota. As of 2000, the population was 12,167. Its county seat is Windom[2].



Cottonwood County was established July, 29, 1870. It was named after the Cottonwood River which runs through the northeast corner of Germantown Township. The river received its name from the abundance of cottonwood trees on its banks.

Minnesota Governor Austin appointed three county commissioners when the county was established. They met at a private home about six miles northwest of Windom on the Des Moines River at Big Bend. During this meeting, they designated the commissioners districts and changed various county officers. In the fall of 1870, the first general election was held. The first deed on record was filed on January 10, 1870. The first land assessments were made in 1871, and in 1872, the first taxes were paid.

Windom[2] was declared the county seat in the 1872 general election and a proclamation was signed by the governor.


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 1,681 km2 (649 sq mi). 1,658 km2 (640 sq mi) of it is land and 23 km2 (9 sq mi) of it (1.37%) is water.


The northeast part of the county drains north to the Minnesota River through numerous small creeks, the Cottonwood River and Watonwan River. The southwest part of the county drains south through the Des Moines River. These two watersheds come together at the Mississippi River near Keokuk, Iowa. Most wetlands in the county have been drained for agricultural use.

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