Crow Wing County History & Facts

  • Historic Courthouse, Brainerd Minnesota
  • County Seat: Brainerd, Minnesota
  • Year Organized: 1857
Population Trends
  • 1980 41,633
  • Square Miles: 999
  • 1990 44,249
  • County Commissioners: 5
  • 2000 55,099
  • Senate District: 10
  • 2007 61,390
  • House District: 10A, 10B
  • 2010 62,500
  • Congressional District: 8
Crow Wing County was established on May 23, 1857 and organized March 3, 1870. The county is named for the Crow Wing River. Early French explorers noted that where the Crow Wing River joins the Mississippi River was an island in the shape of a crow's wing, thus the French term riviere a 1 Aile de Corbeau, River of the Wing of the Raven. The area was a center for Indian trading for all the upper country. Some of the original doorknobs located within the Historic Courthouse have a design that includes the raven.

The original courthouse, built in 1872, was located on 4th Street to the north of Washington Street (TH 210) and later became an apartment house. The current Crow Wing County Historic Courthouse building was erected in 1919-1920.

The County campus expanded during the period of 2004 - 2007 with the addition of a new Jail, Judicial Center and Community Services buildings. In addition, other structures remodeled included Central Services (formerly the Highway Department), Land Services and the Law Enforcement Center. The Highway Department moved to a new off-site campus on the east side of Brainerd near the Brainerd Lakes Regional Airport. Our Waste Management offices also moved to a new site located on the County Landfill property.

*Reproduced from the Centennial Edition of the Brainerd Daily Dispatch (1871-1971).