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Minnetonka, Minnesota facts for kids

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Minnetonka Community Center
Minnetonka Community Center
Location of Minnetonkawithin Hennepin County, Minnesota
Location of Minnetonka
within Hennepin County, Minnesota
Country United States
State Minnesota
County Hennepin
Founded 1852
Incorporated 1956
 • City 27.95 sq mi (72.39 km2)
 • Land 26.91 sq mi (69.71 km2)
 • Water 1.04 sq mi (2.69 km2)
889 ft (271 m)
 • City 53,781
 • Rank US: 735th MN: 17th
 • Density 1,924.2/sq mi (742.93/km2)
 • Metro
3,524,583 (US: 16th)
Time zone UTC-6 (Central (CST))
 • Summer (DST) UTC-5 (CDT)
ZIP codes
55305, 55343, 55345, 55391
Area code(s) 952
GNIS feature ID 0647949

Minnetonka ( MIN-i-TONG-kə) is a suburban city in Hennepin County, Minnesota, United States, about 9 miles (14 km) west of Minneapolis. The name comes from the Dakota Sioux mni tanka, meaning "great water". U.S. Highway 12 and Minnesota State Highway 7 are the city’s main roads.

As of the 2020 census, the population was 53,781. The city is the home of Cargill, the country's largest privately owned company, and UnitedHealth Group, the state's largest publicly owned company.


According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 28.22 square miles (73.09 km2), of which 26.93 square miles (69.75 km2) is land and 1.29 square miles (3.34 km2) is water. Part of the city includes the eastern tip of Lake Minnetonka, one of the largest lakes in Minnesota. The outlet of Lake Minnetonka is Minnehaha Creek, which winds through south Minneapolis and flows over Minnehaha Falls and into the Mississippi River. Minnetonka is located 8 miles (13 km) west of Minneapolis, in Hennepin County.


Since the mid-19th century, Minnetonka has evolved from heavily wooded wilderness through extensive farming and thriving industrialization to its present primarily residential suburban character. The Dakota and Ojibwe Indians were the first people to settle in the area. They believed the land around Lake Minnetonka (minne meaning water and tonka meaning big) was the legendary home of an extinct race. The first recorded exploration of the area by European settlers was in 1822, when a group from newly constructed Fort Snelling made its way up Minnehaha Creek (then known as Brown's Creek or Falls Creek) to the lake. In 1851, the Dakota sold the area including Minnetonka to the United States with the Treaty of Traverse des Sioux. The first census, the Territorial Census of 1857, lists 41 households. Twenty-nine of the heads of households are listed as farmers. The occupations of the remaining twelve are associated with the operations of Minnetonka Mill and a nearby hotel.

In 1852, a claim was staked on Minnehaha Creek near McGinty Road. The sawmill that was constructed in the thick woods of maple, oak, elm, red cedar and basswood was the first privately operated mill in Minnesota west of the Mississippi River. Oak timbers from this mill were used to build the first suspension bridge across the Mississippi River at Saint Anthony Falls in 1853. The settlement of Minnetonka Mills that grew up around the mill was the first permanent European–American settlement west of Minneapolis in Hennepin County. In 1855, a two-story sawmill was constructed with a furniture factory on the second floor. A building for varnishing furniture was built on the south side of the creek, at the present Bridge Street. Production consisted mainly of chairs and bedsteads. The Minnetonka Republican at St. Anthony published a short article describing the area. The February 12, 1857, issue said:

Minnetonka City - We have already called attention to the thrift and activity of that little town. Large investments are made there. On January 1, 40 hands were being employed turning out weekly 500 chairs and 200 bedsteads. By April it will be 2000 weekly. 1,000,000 board feet (2,400 m3) of lumber is in the pond, half of it nicely seasoned. Machinery is on the way for a flour mill. J. P. Miller is erecting a new hotel.

The Cargill Lake Office, occupying a former mansion, houses the company's top executives.

In 1860, after only 8 years of operation, the sawmill closed. In 1869, a flour and grist mill were constructed and operated until the late 1880s. In 1874, Charles H. Burwell came to manage the Minnetonka Mill Company, and he built a Victorian home on the north bank of Minnehaha Creek (Minnetonka Boulevard at McGinty Road East) for his family. The Charles H. Burwell House is now on the National Register of Historic Places and is owned by the city. There were two other mills in Minnetonka. The St. Alban's Mill, which was less than 1 mile (2 km) downstream from Minnetonka Mills on Minnehaha Creek, operated as a flour mill from 1874 to 1881. A grist mill built on Purgatory Creek was washed out in a flood shortly after construction. Minnetonka Mills, with its post office and port for Lake Minnetonka, was the principal business and trading center for a large area until the 1870s.

Between 1883 and 1956, the area within the original 36-square-mile (93 km2) township grew smaller as Wayzata, Hopkins, Deephaven, Woodland and Saint Louis Park incorporated or annexed portions of then-Minnetonka Township. Excellent transportation facilities to Hopkins and Minneapolis began to transform the township's economy. Train service to Minneapolis had been available since the 1880s, and in 1905 streetcar service began. The attraction to become a city wage earner was great and rapid transit made it possible. In 1956, as a maneuver to prevent neighboring villages from continuing to annex portions of then-Minnetonka Township, residents in 1956 voted to establish a village out of the remaining 28 square miles (73 km2), and the area was incorporated as Minnetonka Village. However, Minnetonka Village lasted only thirteen years. The complexities and the heavy demands of administering a rapidly developing community required professional management and larger representation. In 1969, a city charter was approved to serve the 35,000 residents. Ridgedale Center is located in Minnetonka.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1860 203
1870 552 171.9%
1880 1,069 93.7%
1890 1,441 34.8%
1900 1,083 −24.8%
1910 1,538 42.0%
1920 2,298 49.4%
1930 4,601 100.2%
1940 6,466 40.5%
1950 11,896 84.0%
1960 25,037 110.5%
1970 35,776 42.9%
1980 38,683 8.1%
1990 48,370 25.0%
2000 51,301 6.1%
2010 49,734 −3.1%
2020 53,781 8.1%
U.S. Decennial Census

2010 census

As of the census of 2010, there were 49,734 people, 21,901 households, and 13,619 families living in the city. The population density was 1,846.8 inhabitants per square mile (713.1/km2). There were 23,294 housing units at an average density of 865.0 per square mile (334.0/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 90.0% White, 3.7% African American, 0.3% Native American, 3.1% Asian, 0.7% from other races, and 2.1% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.4% of the population.

There were 21,901 households, of which 25.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 52.1% were married couples living together, 7.3% had a female householder with no husband present, 2.8% had a male householder with no wife present, and 37.8% were non-families. 31.1% of all households were made up of individuals, and 11.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.25 and the average family size was 2.85.

The median age in the city was 45 years. 20.8% of residents were under the age of 18; 6% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 23.2% were from 25 to 44; 33.3% were from 45 to 64; and 16.7% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 47.5% male and 52.5% female.


The headquarters of Carlson are in Minnetonka. The headquarters of Cargill are located in Minnetonka and are in the Wayzata Post Office area. Founded in 1865, Cargill is the largest privately held corporation in the U.S. in terms of revenue. Other companies based in Minnetonka include Digital River, Radisson Hotel Group, and the uniform companies AmeriPride Services and G&K Services.

Top employers

According to the city's 2016 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report, the top employers in the city are:

# Employer # of Employees
1 UnitedHealth Group 4,400
2 Cargill 3,400
3 Carlson 3,100
4 Minnetonka Public Schools 1,671
5 Rosemount Engineering (Emerson) 1,600
6 Medica Health Plans 1,300
7 Starkey Hearing Technologies 1,300
8 St. Jude Medical 1,300
9 SuperValu 1,265
10 MTS 800


The Minnetonka Dynamo, a bandy club, became national champions of bandy in 1994, 1998 and 2000.

The Minnetonka Millers, a Class A baseball club, became state champions in 2015, 2016, and 2017. The Millers play at Veterans Field, located on the campus of Minnetonka High School.


Public schools

The city of Minnetonka is covered by three independent school districts. The Hopkins School District, which encompasses the central and eastern part of Minnetonka; the Minnetonka School District, in the western part of city north of Lake Minnetonka; and the Wayzata School District, which covers an area along the northern boundary of the city. Some students attend public schools in other school districts chosen by their families under Minnesota's open enrollment statute.

Public Schools in Minnetonka (Minnetonka School District)
Elementary School Junior High School Senior High School
Clear Springs Elementary Minnetonka Middle School East Minnetonka High School
Groveland Elementary
Scenic Heights Elementary

The Minnetonka School District also includes four schools outside of the city of Minnetonka: Deephaven Elementary School (Deephaven), Excelsior Elementary School (Excelsior), Minnewashta Elementary School (Shorewood), and Minnetonka Middle School West (Chanhassen).

Public Schools in Minnetonka (Hopkins School District)
Elementary Schools Junior High School Senior High School
Gatewood Elementary School Hopkins West Junior High School Hopkins High School
Glen Lake Elementary School Hopkins North Junior High School
L. H. Tanglen Elementary School

The Hopkins School District comprises two-thirds of the city of Minnetonka, the entirety of Hopkins, and portions of the cities of Golden Valley, Edina, St. Louis Park, Wayzata, and Plymouth. In addition to schools located within Minnetonka, the Hopkins School District also includes four schools in the cities of Hopkins and Golden Valley: Eisenhower Elementary School/Xin Xing Academy (Hopkins), Alice Smith Elementary School (Hopkins), Meadowbrook Elementary School (Golden Valley), and Harley Hopkins Early Childhood/Family Center (Hopkins).

Private schools

There are four private and parochial schools within Minnetonka's city limits:

  • Accell Academy, an accredited private college preparatory school serving grades K-12
  • Notre Dame Academy, preschool through eighth grade
  • Minnetonka Christian Academy
  • Academy of Whole learning, an accredited non-profit school specializing in children with Autism and other learning differences, serving K-12

Public libraries

The Hennepin County Library has its headquarters in the Ridgedale Library in Minnetonka. The system also operates the Minnetonka Library.

Notable people

  • Beau Allen – Defensive Tackle, NFL, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
  • Douglas Ewald - Minnesota state legislator
  • Eric Freeman – former actor
  • Jake Gardiner – professional hockey player currently with the Carolina Hurricanes
  • Jack Hillen – retired professional ice hockey player
  • Kris Humphries – retired professional basketball player.
  • Gary Jacobson – professional golfer.
  • Ryan McCartan – Disney channel actor
  • Sidney Morin – professional ice hockey player currently with HV71
  • Tom Petters – former CEO of Petters Group Worldwide convicted of running a 3.65 billion dollar Ponzi scheme.
  • Al Quie – former Governor of Minnesota (1979–1983)
  • Gretchen Quie – artist and former First Lady of Minnesota (1979–1983)
  • Mike Ramsey – member of United States 1980 Olympic Gold Medal hockey team, the "Miracle Team"
  • Terrell Sinkfield – American football cornerback who is currently a free agent
  • Dave Snuggerud – professional ice hockey player drafted by the Buffalo Sabres
  • Wesley So – Chess Grandmaster
  • Judy Traub – Minnesota state senator and community volunteer
  • Jill Trenary – professional figure skater
  • Will Leer – professional runner

See also

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