About Houston County

Four years before Minnesota was admitted to the Union as the 32nd state on May 11, 1858, Houston County was chartered after its division from the eastern half of Fillmore County on April 4, 1854. The county seat was the village of Houston for a few years, but the county board moved the official records to Caledonia for safe storage in the cabin of Commissioner Samuel McPhail. The first court hearings were held in that cabin, and a one-story courthouse and jail was built in Caledonia in 1857. Turmoil over the county seat continued, a two-story building was built in Caledonia in 1867, and several referenda allowed Caledonia to prevail as the county seat by 1874. From that point on, Caledonia prospered, and Houston slowly diminished. The only other area of prominence was La Crescent, which benefited from its connection to La Crosse, Wisconsin.


The county name was chosen to honor Sam Houston, who was president of Texas before its annexation by the United States and afterward was a senator from that state. In the years 1854-56, when antagonism between the North and South on slavery questions would lead eventually to the Civil War, Houston aspired to nomination as the Democratic candidate for the national presidency. In October 1854, the general Democratic committee of New Hampshire recommended him as “the people’s candidate” for the campaign in 1856. His popularity in Minnesota at that time recommended the name of this county, and, likewise, counties in Tennessee and Texas and cities and villages in Texas, Mississippi, Missouri, and other states bear his name.


Minnesota Top Ten Employers

Employer Service or Product Number of Employees
State of Minnesota State Government 40,208 employees
United States Federal Government Federal Government 34,000 employees
Mayo Foundation Health Care 32,893 employees
Target Corporation Retailer 30,500 employees
Allina Health System Health Care 23,302 employees
Wal-Mart Stores Inc. Retailer 20,434 employees
Fairview Health Services Health Care 20,178 employees
Wells Fargo Bank Minnesota Banking 20,000 employees
University of Minnesota Public University 19,157 employees
Minnesota State Colleges and Universities Public Colleges and Universities 18,516 employees

Source: Minneapolis-St. Paul Business Journal, 2011


Population and Demographics

Apr 1, 2010 Census Jan 1, 2013 Estimate Numeric Change Proportional Change
United States 308,400,408 315,090,923 6,690,515 2.2%
Minnesota 5,303,925 5,422,060 118,135 0.7%
Fillmore County 19,027 18,799 -228 -1.0%

Source: Minnesota, State & County QuickFacts, United States Census Bureau

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