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Waseca, Minnesota facts for kids

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State Street in downtown Waseca in 2007
State Street in downtown Waseca in 2007
Location of Wasecawithin Waseca County and state of Minnesota
Location of Waseca
within Waseca County and state of Minnesota
Country United States
State Minnesota
County Waseca
 • Type Mayor – Council
 • Total 5.18 sq mi (13.43 km2)
 • Land 4.00 sq mi (10.37 km2)
 • Water 1.18 sq mi (3.06 km2)
1,152 ft (351 m)
 • Total 9,410
 • Estimate 
 • Density 2,214.04/sq mi (854.85/km2)
Time zone UTC-6 (Central (CST))
 • Summer (DST) UTC-5 (CDT)
ZIP code
Area code(s) 507
FIPS code 27-68296
GNIS feature ID 0653793

Waseca is a city in Waseca County, Minnesota, United States. The population was 9,410 at the 2010 census. It is the county seat.


U.S. Highway 14 and Minnesota Highway 13 are two of the main routes in the city. U.S. 14 runs as an east–west freeway bypass just south of the city, while Minnesota Highway 13 passes through the city as State Street, running north–south.


According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 5.19 square miles (13.44 km2); 4.00 square miles (10.36 km2) is land and 1.19 square miles (3.08 km2) is water.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1870 551
1880 1,708 210.0%
1890 2,482 45.3%
1900 3,103 25.0%
1910 3,054 −1.6%
1920 3,908 28.0%
1930 3,815 −2.4%
1940 4,270 11.9%
1950 4,927 15.4%
1960 5,898 19.7%
1970 6,789 15.1%
1980 8,219 21.1%
1990 8,385 2.0%
2000 8,493 1.3%
2010 9,410 10.8%
2019 (est.) 8,865 −5.8%
U.S. Decennial Census

2010 census

As of the census of 2010, there were 9,410 people, 3,504 households, and 2,150 families living in the city. The population density was 2,352.5 inhabitants per square mile (908.3/km2). There were 3,818 housing units at an average density of 954.5 per square mile (368.5/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 89.0% White, 3.7% African American, 1.5% Native American, 1.0% Asian, 2.3% from other races, and 2.5% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 9.0% of the population.

There were 3,504 households, of which 30.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 44.7% were married couples living together, 11.7% had a female householder with no husband present, 5.0% had a male householder with no wife present, and 38.6% were non-families. 32.9% of all households were made up of individuals, and 13.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.33 and the average family size was 2.95.

The median age in the city was 36.5 years. 22.5% of residents were under the age of 18; 8.3% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 30.1% were from 25 to 44; 25.5% were from 45 to 64; and 13.4% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 42.6% male and 57.4% female.


Waseca was platted in 1867. The city took its name from Waseca County, Minnesota. A post office has been in operation at Waseca since 1867. Waseca was incorporated as a city in 1881.

A leveled house from the 1967 tornado

On April 30, 1967, Waseca was severely damaged from the 1967 Southern Minnesota tornado outbreak.


Waseca is also home to a frozen-vegetable packing plant for Birds Eye brand, owned by Pinnacle Foods.

Waseca Jewelers, Waseca, Minnesota LCCN2017706533
Waseca Jewelers photographed in 1981 by John Margolies who documented architectural sights and roadside attractions across the United States

Waseca is home to the Federal Correctional Institution, Waseca, a low-security federal prison housing female inmates.

Waseca opened a waterpark in June 2007.

Waseca has finished a new bike path that surrounds Clear Lake.

Waseca is home to the Waseca Medical Center, part of the Mayo Health System.

Waseca is home to many parks and lakes, including Clear Lake, Loon Lake, Maplewood Park, Clear Lake Park, Loon Lake Park, Courthouse Park, Blowers Park and many more.


Waseca is home to many schools. The school colors are blue and gold and the school mascot is the Bluejay.

Hartley Elementary School has kindergarten through 3rd grade.

Waseca Intermediate School (WIS), formally Central Immediate School (CIS), name changed starting with the 2012–2013 school year, holds 4th grade through 6th grade.

Also starting with the 2012–2013 school year, Waseca High School (WHS) became the Waseca Junior and Senior High School (WJSHS), housing grades 7 through 12 instead of only 9 through 12, as it was in the past.

The Waseca Alternative High School (WALC), also known as the Alternative Learning Center (ALC), has an alternative learning program for students junior high age through adult.

Sacred Heart School is a private Catholic elementary school, ranging from kindergarten through fourth grade, located in Sacred Heart Catholic Church. Sacred Heart also has a Montessori preschool. There is also another preschool, Hansel & Gretel, which is located at Faith United Methodist Church as well as other preschools such as Waseca County Head Start.

Waseca has a charter school called TEAM Academy, hosting students from kindergarten-6th grade. Until recently, TEAM Academy was sponsored by the Public Schools.

Formerly, Waseca was home to the University of Minnesota Waseca a two-year technical college (before it was converted to the Federal Correctional Institution, Waseca) and the Southern School of Agriculture boarding high school.

Notable people

  • Reverend E.H. Alden, made famous in Laura Ingalls Wilder series Little House on the Prairie
  • D. E. Bowe, member of Wisconsin State Assembly
  • Gene Glynn, former Minnesota Twins third base coach
  • George Herter, founder of Herter's outdoor goods business and an author
  • Dave Kunst, the first person to walk around the world (from 1970 to 1974); his journey began, and ended, in Waseca.
  • Ray J. Madden, member of United States House of Representatives
  • Peter McGovern, member of Minnesota Senate
  • Tim Penny, member of United States House of Representatives
  • Leroy Shield, composer, conductor, arranger for films featuring Little Rascals, Laurel & Hardy, born in Waseca
  • David Welna, correspondent for National Public Radio
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