History

Historical Map 1850s

Redwood County was first established in 1862, and is one of the largest counties in southern Minnesota, with 26 townships, 555,474 acres, with 874 square miles and approximately 18,000 population. At one time there was nearly 150 lakes.

Steamboat travel started up the Minnesota river in 1850, and reached into Redwood County in 1853, bringing in supplies and people and carrying out wheat near what was north Redwood, then called Riverside which in 1881 became the birthplace of Sears.

The railroads came into the southern part of the country in 1873 and to Redwood Falls in 1878. The northern part was served in 1884. In 1899, it reached from Sanborn to Vesta, and the last one from Evan through Wabasso and on to Marshall came in 1901. At one time there were 116 school districts in this county.

There are 16 cities in the county, more than most. The oldest building still in use was built in 1861, the Old Agency Stone House, about 8 miles east of Redwood Falls. It is the site of the Sioux Uprising in 1862.

The first saw mill was on the Redwood River at the Falls, built in 1855 by the United State Government. The first courthouse (wood), was built in 1873 and replaced in 1891 with the present brick one, with additions in 1963, 1967 and 1970 and the other floors remodeled thereafter.