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Swift County, Minnesota

Swift County, Minnesota
The Swift County Courthouse is one of several buildings in Benson on the National Register of Historic Places.
Map of Minnesota highlighting Swift County
Location in the state of Minnesota
Map of the United States highlighting Minnesota
Minnesota's location in the U.S.
Founded February 18, 1870[1]
Named for Henry Adoniram Swift[2]
Seat Benson
Largest city Benson
 • Total 752 sq mi (1,948 km2)
 • Land 742 sq mi (1,922 km2)
 • Water 8.82 sq mi (23 km2), 1.3%
 • (2010) 9,783
 • Density 10/sq mi (4/km²)
Congressional district 7th
Time zone Central: UTC-6/-5
Website .com.swiftcountywww

Swift County is a county located in the U.S. state of Minnesota. As of the 2010 census, the population was 9,783.[3] Its county seat is Benson.[4]


  • History 1
    • Historic buildings 1.1
  • Politics 2
  • Geography 3
    • Major highways 3.1
    • Adjacent counties 3.2
  • Demographics 4
  • Communities 5
    • Cities 5.1
    • Townships 5.2
  • See also 6
  • References 7
  • External links 8


Swift County was established February 18, 1870. This county was named after Henry Adoniram Swift, the governor of Minnesota in 1863. It is located in the west central part of Minnesota and consists of 757 square miles (2,000 km2) with 3 tiers of 7 townships each. The Swift County Courthouse was built in 1897 and was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1976. The City of Benson is the County seat of Swift County. The railroad tracks run through the center of the town of Benson and divide the downtown business districts with parks on each side of the tracks.

The Indians had grievances against the government including delays in sending annuities which caused near starvation several times. In August, 1862, an Indian rebellion broke out in Minnesota. The warfare reached the settlements just getting started in the northeastern part of Swift County. By the latter part of September, 1862, the Indian War was almost over but the settlers hesitated to venture back to the prairie country of Swift County until 1865 when all danger was apparently over. Scandinavians and Germans were in decided majority among the early settlers. A number of them came with the honor and privileges of Civil War veterans.

In 1869, the St. Paul & Pacific Railroad had reached Willmar and the following year it arrived in Benson. The railroad company determined the number of future trading centers (Kerkhoven, DeGraff, Benson, Randall) in the county by locating sites at intervals of approximately 8 miles (13 km).

Historic buildings

Historical building in Swift County include:

Native vegetation based on NRCS soils information[5]


Presidential Election Results 2000-2008
Year Democratic Republican
2008 55.43% 2,907 41.65% 2,184
2004 55.19% 3,165 43.26% 2,481
2000 49.62% 2,698 43.70% 2,376


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 752 square miles (1,950 km2), of which 742 square miles (1,920 km2) is land and 10 square miles (26 km2) (1.3%) is water.[6]

Swift County is primarily an agriculture community. It is a vast, flat monotonous stretch of land, unbroken by trees. The following example shows savanna and prairie soils: Besides farming, the county is home to agriculture equipment manufacturers, an ethanol plant, and the Fibrominn Combined Heat & Power (CHP) Plant which burns turkey litter mixed-with wood chips and mulch.

Swift County is home to a total of 24 lakes. Lake Oliver is one of the biggest in the county at 416 acres (1.7 km2). The lakes in Swift County are great for fishing. There are 9 rivers and streams in this county.

Major highways

Adjacent counties

Pope County (north)


As of the census of 2000,[12] there were 11,956 people, 4,353 households, and 2,881 families residing in the county. The population density was 16 people per square mile (6/km²). There were 4,821 housing units at an average density of 6 per square mile (2/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 90.67% White, 2.69% Black or African American, 0.50% Native American, 1.43% Asian, 1.52% Pacific Islander, 1.40% from other races, and 1.79% from two or more races. 2.68% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. Swift County has the highest percentage of Pacific Islander natives out of any U.S. county outside Hawaii. 34.4% were of German, 30.5% Norwegian, 5.2% Swedish and 5.1% Irish ancestry.

There were 4,353 households out of which 30.00% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 56.90% were married couples living together, 6.10% had a female householder with no husband present, and 33.80% were non-families. 30.90% of all households were made up of individuals and 17.60% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.39 and the average family size was 3.00.

Age pyramid of county residents based on 2000 U.S. census data

In the county the population was spread out with 23.00% under the age of 18, 7.30% from 18 to 24, 29.60% from 25 to 44, 21.60% from 45 to 64, and 18.50% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39 years. For every 100 females there were 120.60 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 124.60 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $34,820, and the median income for a family was $44,208. Males had a median income of $29,362 versus $21,667 for females. The per capita income for the county was $16,360. About 5.30% of families and 8.40% of the population were below the poverty line, including 6.90% of those under age 18 and 13.80% of those age 65 or over.




See also


  1. ^ "Minnesota Place Names". Minnesota Historical Society. Retrieved March 19, 2014. 
  2. ^ Upham, Warren (1920). Minnesota Geographic Names: Their Origin and Historic Significance. Minnesota Historical Society. p. 539. 
  3. ^ a b "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved September 1, 2013. 
  4. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07. 
  5. ^ Nelson, Steven (2011). Savanna Soils of Minnesota. Minnesota: Self. pp. 65 - 67. ISBN 978-0-615-50320-2.
  6. ^ "2010 Census Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. August 22, 2012. Retrieved October 25, 2014. 
  7. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Incorporated Places: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2014". Retrieved June 4, 2015. 
  8. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved October 25, 2014. 
  9. ^ "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved October 25, 2014. 
  10. ^ "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved October 25, 2014. 
  11. ^ "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. Retrieved October 25, 2014. 
  12. ^ "American FactFinder".  

External links

  • Swift County official website
  • Swift County Monitor website

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