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Princeton, Minnesota facts for kids

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The Great Northern Depot served Princeton on the Great Northern Railway until 1976.
The Great Northern Depot served Princeton on the Great Northern Railway until 1976.
"A Growing Community On the Rum River"
Location of the city of Princetonwithin Mille Lacs and Sherburne Countiesin the state of Minnesota
Location of the city of Princeton
within Mille Lacs and Sherburne Counties
in the state of Minnesota
Country United States
State Minnesota
Counties Mille Lacs, Sherburne
 • Total 4.99 sq mi (12.93 km2)
 • Land 4.77 sq mi (12.36 km2)
 • Water 0.22 sq mi (0.57 km2)
981 ft (299 m)
 • Total 4,698
 • Estimate 
 • Density 990.99/sq mi (382.62/km2)
Time zone UTC-6 (Central (CST))
 • Summer (DST) UTC-5 (CDT)
ZIP code
Area code(s) 763
FIPS code 27-52522
GNIS feature ID 0649738

Princeton is a city in Mille Lacs and Sherburne counties in the U.S. state of Minnesota, at the junction of the Rum River and its West branch. It is 50 miles north of Minneapolis and 30 miles east of St. Cloud, at the intersection of Highways 169 and 95. The population was 4,698 at the 2010 census. A majority of its residents live in Mille Lacs County.


In the winter of 1855 Samuel Ross, Jame W. Gillian, Dorilus Morrison, John S. Prince and Richard Chute platted the town of Princeton. The plat was officially recorded on April 19, 1856.


  1. Princeton's location near the confluence of the Rum River and its West branch was critical to the town's development. In 1847 Daniel Stanchfield led an expedition to explore the Rum River. The group discovered vast white pine forests upstream from Princeton's future site along the Rum River, the West Branch Rum River, and their tributaries. Three sawmills were built in Princeton between 1856 and 1867. Lumbermen floated logs down the Rum River to the Princeton's mills, though most of the logs passed through Princeton to mills in Minneapolis.


Brick-making was another important industry in the Princeton area. The industry developed about two miles northeast of Princeton near beds of clay. A community known as Brickton formed in the location. From 1889 through the late 1920s several brickyards operated in Brickton, collectively producing as many as 20,000,000 bricks per year. When the brick industry declined, Brickton ceased to exist. “Years after the last brick had been shipped from Brickton, specifications in contracts for construction of public buildings often stated that it should be of Princeton brick or of equally good quality.”


Other important industries in Princeton's early years included: wheat farming(before potatoes became primary), potato farming, starch production, dairy, and alcohol production, in which the town's distillery continues to play a key role.

The Princeton Farmers Market has been a seasonal mainstay since 1988.


According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 5.18 square miles (13.42 km2); 4.96 square miles (12.85 km2) is land and 0.22 square miles (0.57 km2) is water.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1880 587
1890 816 39.0%
1900 1,319 61.6%
1910 1,555 17.9%
1920 1,685 8.4%
1930 1,636 −2.9%
1940 1,865 14.0%
1950 2,108 13.0%
1960 2,353 11.6%
1970 2,531 7.6%
1980 3,146 24.3%
1990 3,719 18.2%
2000 3,933 5.8%
2010 4,698 19.5%
2019 (est.) 4,729 0.7%
U.S. Decennial Census

2010 census

As of the census of 2010, there were 4,698 people, 1,926 households, and 1,176 families living in the city. The population density was 947.2 inhabitants per square mile (365.7/km2). There were 2,044 housing units at an average density of 412.1 per square mile (159.1/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 96.5% White, 0.4% African American, 0.7% Native American, 0.3% Asian, 0.2% from other races, and 2.0% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.7% of the population.

There were 1,926 households, of which 31.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 41.1% were married couples living together, 14.6% had a female householder with no husband present, 5.3% had a male householder with no wife present, and 38.9% were non-families. 32.3% of all households were made up of individuals, and 16.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.35 and the average family size was 2.92.

The median age in the city was 38.7 years. 24.5% of residents were under the age of 18; 8.5% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 24.9% were from 25 to 44; 22.7% were from 45 to 64; and 19.4% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 46.7% male and 53.3% female.

"Coke Geysers" World Record Attempt

The Princeton High School Student Council organized a community effort to break the world record for simultaneously erupting coke geysers on May 27, 2011. The record of 2,854 bottles was set in October 2010 in the Philippines. Hundreds of students participated, with a goal of setting off a series of 3,000 geysers, a figure they exceeded with 3,051 total simultaneous eruptions. But Guinness World Records personnel did not officiate the event and never made the record official. Students say the idea grew from a plan for a graduation prank into a way to put their small town on the map. A video of the attempt was broadcast on Minnesota NBC News affiliate KARE 11 and edited by a YouTube user named Physics314Nerd.



Princeton is served by the Princeton Municipal Airport.

Major highways

The following routes are located within the city of Princeton:

  • US 169 (MN).svg U.S. Highway 169
  • MN-95.svg Minnesota State Highway 95

Notable people

  • Bob Backlund, former World Wrestling Federation champion wrestler
  • Jared Berggren, Professional basketball player, former Wisconsin Badgers men's basketball player
  • Fay Craven, Minnesota legislator and newspaper editor
  • Charles R,. Davis, Minnesota legislator and educator
  • Kurt Daudt, Speaker of the Minnesota House of Representatives
  • Robert C. Dunn, Minnesota legislator and newspaper editor
  • Robert G. Dunn, Minnesota legislator and building contractor
  • Rod Grams, United States Senator from Minnesota
  • Robert J. Odegard, Minnesota state representative
  • Jerome P. Peterson, Minnesota legislator and educator

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Princeton (Minnesota) para niños

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