Swift County, Minnesota

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Swift County is a county located in the U.S. state of Minnesota. As of 2000, the population was 11,956. Its county seat is Benson[1].



According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 752 square miles (1,948 km2), of which 744 square miles (1,927 km2) is land and 9 square miles (23 km2) (1.17%) is water.


Swift County was established February 18th, 1870. This county was named after Henry Adoniram Swift, the governor of Minnesota in 1863. It is located in the west central part of Minnesota and consists of 757 square miles (2,000 km2) with 3 tiers of 7 townships each. The Swift County Courthouse was built in 1897 and was declared a national historic site in 1976. The City of Benson is the County seat of Swift County. The railroad tracks run through the center of the town of Benson and divide the downtown business districts with parks on each side of the tracks.

The Indians had grievances against the government including delays in sending annuities which caused near starvation several times. In August, 1862, an Indian rebellion broke out in Minnesota. The warfare reached the settlements just getting started in the northeastern part of Swift County. By the latter part of September, 1862, the Indian War was almost over but the settlers hesitated to venture back to the prairie country of Swift County until 1865 when all danger was apparently over. Scandinavians and Germans were in decided majority among the early settlers. A number of them came with the honor and privileges of Civil War veterans.

In 1869, the St. Paul & Pacific railroad had reached Willmar and the following year it arrived in Benson. The railroad company determined the number of future trading centers (Kerkhoven, DeGraff, Benson, Randall) in the county by locating sites at intervals of approximately 8 miles (13 km).

Topography & Vegetation

Swift County is primarily an agriculture community. It is a vast, flat monotonous stretch of land, unbroken by trees. Besides farming, the county is home to agriculture equipment manufacturers, an ethanol plant, and the new Fibromin Plant which burns turkey litter to create electricity.

Swift County is home to a total of 24 lakes. Lake Oliver is one of the biggest in the county at 416 acres (1.7 km2). The lakes in Swift County are great for fishing. There are 9 rivers and streams in this county.

Major highways

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