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Itasca County, Minnesota
Map of Minnesota highlighting Itasca County
Location in the state of Minnesota
Map of the U.S. highlighting Minnesota
Minnesota's location in the U.S.
Founded October 27, 1849 [1]
Named for Two Latin words for "truth" and "head"
Seat Grand Rapids
Largest city Grand Rapids
 - Total
 - Land
 - Water

2,927.78 sq mi (7,583 km²)
2,665.06 sq mi (6,902 km²)
262.72 sq mi (680 km²), 8.97%
 - (2010)
 - Density

16/sq mi (6/km²)
Time zone Central: UTC-6/-5

Itasca County is a county located in the U.S. state of Minnesota. It is named after Lake Itasca, which is in turn a shortened version the Latin words veritas caput, meaning 'truth' and 'head', a reference to the source of the Mississippi River. As of 2010, the population was 45,058.[1] Its county seat is Grand Rapids[2]. Portions of the Bois Forte and Leech Lake Indian reservations are in the county.

History[edit | edit source]

Itasca County was first formed in 1849, upon the creation of the Minnesota Territory. It was originally a much larger county, which covered many of today's northeastern Minnesota counties. The original Itasca County stretched over Cook, Lake, St. Louis, Koochiching, eastern Lake of the Woods, eastern Beltrami, Itasca, northern Aitkin, and northern Carlton counties, today in Minnesota.

Itasca County was originally named for Lake Itasca. It was found to be the true source of the Mississippi River. After many disputes over finding the source of the Mississippi River, Henry Roe Schoolcraft set out to find its true source in 1832. Once he came upon its true source, he decided to name this 'Lake Itasca.' The Mississippi River flows from its small beginnings at Lake Itasca past Bemidji and other cities all the way down to the Gulf of Mexico.

Broken down, Itasca makes reference to the Latin saying 'Veritas Caput' which has a definition of 'true head.'

It was thought to name Itasca County after Lake Itasca because of the importance of finding the true source of the Mississippi River. With the Mississippi River being one of our great waterways of the nation, the name being chosen for this county was only appropriate to be after the Mississippi's true source: Lake Itasca.

Presidential Election Results 2000-2008
Year Democrat Republican
2008 55.18% 13,460 42.26% 10,309
2004 54.54% 13,290 43.93% 10,105
2000 48.74% 10,583 43.96% 9,545

Topography & Vegetation[edit | edit source]

The landscape in Itasca County varies greatly. The low plains, rolling hills, and wetlands occur where there was glacial activity in the past. This area is known greatly for being forested, and has been for centuries. The different forests are made up of trees such as pines, spruces, hardwoods, cedar, and tamarack. The many large forests in the area make forestry and logging major sectors in the economy.

Major forests in the county include the Chippewa National Forest, the Big Fork State Forest, George Washington State Forest, Golden Anniversary State Forest, and the Marcell Experimental Forest.

In Itasca County there are many different bodies of water from big lakes, to small creeks, to major rivers. Over 1400 lakes are located within the county. These bodies of water help support many different wildlife species such as different birds and small mammals. Major bodies of water in the county include Lake Winnibigoshish, Pokegama Lake, Deer Lake, the Mississippi River, Bowstring Lake, and the Blandin Paper Mill Reservoir.

Geography[edit | edit source]

According to the 2000 census, the county has a total area of 2,927.78 square miles (7,582.9 km2), of which 2,665.06 square miles (6,902.5 km2) (or 91.03%) is land and 262.72 square miles (680.4 km2) (or 8.97%) is water.[3]

Major highways[edit | edit source]

Adjacent counties[edit | edit source]

National protected area[edit | edit source]

Demographics[edit | edit source]

Historical populations
Census Pop.
1850 97
1860 51 −47.4%
1870 96 88.2%
1880 124 29.2%
1890 743 499.2%
1900 4,573 515.5%
1910 17,208 276.3%
1920 23,876 38.7%
1930 27,224 14.0%
1940 32,996 21.2%
1950 33,321 1.0%
1960 38,006 14.1%
1970 35,530 −6.5%
1980 43,069 21.2%
1990 40,863 −5.1%
2000 43,992 7.7%
2010 45,058 2.4%
U.S. Decennial Census

Age pyramid of county residents based on 2000 U.S. census data.

As of the census[4] of 2000, there were 43,992 people, 17,789 households, and 12,381 families residing in the county. The population density was 16 people per square mile (6/km²). There were 24,528 housing units at an average density of 9 per square mile (4/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 94.64% White, 0.16% Black or African American, 3.40% Native American, 0.27% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 0.16% from other races, and 1.34% from two or more races. 0.60% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 25.6% were of German, 13.8% Norwegian, 7.7% Finnish, 7.2% Swedish, 6.2% Irish, 5.0% United States or American and 5.0% English ancestry.

There were 17,789 households out of which 29.20% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 58.30% were married couples living together, 7.60% had a female householder with no husband present, and 30.40% were non-families. 26.00% of all households were made up of individuals and 12.20% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.43 and the average family size was 2.91.

In the county the population was spread out with 24.40% under the age of 18, 7.60% from 18 to 24, 24.40% from 25 to 44, 26.70% from 45 to 64, and 16.80% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 41 years. For every 100 females there were 99.70 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 98.20 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $36,234, and the median income for a family was $44,025. Males had a median income of $37,066 versus $22,327 for females. The per capita income for the county was $17,717. About 7.70% of families and 10.60% of the population were below the poverty line, including 13.60% of those under age 18 and 8.80% of those age 65 or over.

Cities and towns[edit | edit source]

Cities Townships Unincorporated communities Unorganized territories

See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

External links[edit | edit source]

Coordinates: 47°31′N 93°38′W / 47.51, -93.63

This page uses content from the English language Wikipedia. The original content was at Itasca County, Minnesota. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with this Familypedia wiki, the content of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons License.
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