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Goodhue County, Minnesota facts for kids

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Goodhue County
Goodhue County Courthouse in Red Wing, Minnesota
Goodhue County Courthouse in Red Wing, Minnesota
Flag of Goodhue County
Official seal of Goodhue County
Map of Minnesota highlighting Goodhue County
Location within the U.S. state of Minnesota
Map of the United States highlighting Minnesota
Minnesota's location within the U.S.
Country  United States
State  Minnesota
Founded March 5, 1853
Named for James M. Goodhue
Seat Red Wing
Largest city Red Wing
 • Total 780 sq mi (2,000 km2)
 • Land 757 sq mi (1,960 km2)
 • Water 24 sq mi (60 km2)  3.0%%
 • Total 47,582
 • Estimate 
47,968 Increase
 • Density 62.9/sq mi (24.3/km2)
Time zone UTC−6 (Central)
 • Summer (DST) UTC−5 (CDT)
Congressional district 2nd

Goodhue County is a county in the U.S. state of Minnesota. As of the 2020 census, the population was 47,582. Its county seat is Red Wing. 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.

Warsaw WMA Area Wiki Version
Soils of Warsaw WMA area


Barn in Goodhue County
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. Goodhue is one of 17 Minnesota counties with more savanna soils than either prairie or forest soils.


  • Birch Lake: in Wacouta Township
  • Brewer Lake: in Wacouta Township
  • Cannon Lake: in Wacouta Township
  • Clear Lake: in Welch Township
  • Devils Lake: in Wacouta Township
  • Espen Lakes: in Wacouta Township
  • Goose Lake: in Wacouta Township
  • Lake Byllesby: the northern half is in Dakota County and the southern half is in Stanton Township
  • Larson Lake: in Wacouta Township
  • Nelson Lake: in Wacouta Township
  • North Lake: in Welch Township
  • Rattling Springs Lake: in Welch Township
  • Spring Banks Lake: in Welch Township
  • Spring Creek Lake: in Wacouta Township
  • Sturgeon Lake: in Wacouta Township
  • Twin Lakes: in Welch Township

Major highways

  • US 52.svg U.S. Highway 52
  • US 61.svg U.S. Highway 61
  • US 63.svg U.S. Highway 63
  • MN-19.svg Minnesota State Highway 19
  • MN-20.svg Minnesota State Highway 20
  • MN-56.svg Minnesota State Highway 56
  • MN-57.svg Minnesota State Highway 57
  • MN-58.svg Minnesota State Highway 58
  • MN-60.svg Minnesota State Highway 60
  • MN-246.svg Minnesota State Highway 246
  • MN-292.svg Minnesota State Highway 292
  • MN-316.svg Minnesota State Highway 316
  • List of county roads

Adjacent counties


Historical population
Census Pop.
1860 8,977
1870 22,018 145.3%
1880 29,651 34.7%
1890 28,806 −2.8%
1900 31,137 8.1%
1910 31,637 1.6%
1920 30,799 −2.6%
1930 31,317 1.7%
1940 31,564 0.8%
1950 32,118 1.8%
1960 33,035 2.9%
1970 34,804 5.4%
1980 38,749 11.3%
1990 40,690 5.0%
2000 44,127 8.4%
2010 46,183 4.7%
2015 (est.) 46,435 0.5%
U.S. Decennial Census
1790-1960 1900-1990
1990-2000 2010-2015
USA Goodhue County, Minnesota age pyramid
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.




  • Belle Creek Township
  • Belvidere Township
  • Cannon Falls Township
  • Cherry Grove Township
  • Featherstone Township
  • Florence Township
  • Goodhue Township
  • Hay Creek Township
  • Holden Township
  • Kenyon Township
  • Leon Township
  • Minneola Township
  • Pine Island Township
  • Roscoe Township
  • Stanton Township
  • Vasa Township
  • Wacouta Township
  • Wanamingo Township
  • Warsaw Township
  • Welch Township
  • Zumbrota Township

Census-designated place

Other unincorporated communities

Ghost town

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