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Becker County, Minnesota

Becker County administrative offices are located at 915 Lake Avenue, Detroit Lakes, MN 56501; phone: 218‑846‑7201.


Beginnings [1]

Becker County is located in west central Minnesota, 30 miles east of the Fargo/Moorhead metropolitan area. The County was established by an act of the legislature on March 18, 1858. Situated in the heart of what is known as Park Region and is considered one of the state's most beautiful and versatile recreation areas, the County contains more than 400 lakes and encompasses 11 communities, including the county seat, Detroit Lakes. It encompasses 1,440 square miles, divided into 37 townships, and stretches 30 miles north to south and 48 miles east to west. Becker County is the only Minnesota county in which all the Minnesota state symbols (loons, pink and white lady slippers, wild rice, Norway Pines, blueberries and eagles) may be found.

Becker County was named for Brigadier General George Loomis Becker of St. Paul. In 1857, when Minnesota was a new state, Becker was one of three men elected as members of Congress. Minnesota could only send two, so Becker stayed in Minnesota, and authorities promised him they would name the next county after him. Thus, the County was named Becker after the General.

For 10 years after the establishment of Becker County there were no white settlers. The Chippewa (Ojibwe) Indians occupied nearly all of the County. The Sioux Indians had about one half of Cormorant Township and a small part of the corner of Lake Park Township. In 1867, a treaty was signed establishing the White Earth Reservation, a large tract of land in the northern part of Becker County, to be home for the Chippewa Indians.

The Soo Line Railroad was built through the County in 1903. The Burlington Northern and Soo Line Railroads serve the area with connections to the City/County owned Industrial Park. Federal and State Highways 10, 59 and 34 directly link the Twin Cities, Duluth and the Fargo/Moorhead area. School District #22 in Detroit Lakes serves over 3,200 students in 3,278 square mile area. The District includes five elementary schools, one junior high school, one senior high school, three parochial schools, and a technical college. Three major universities are located within 45 miles.

  1. CR Planning and URS for Becker County, Minnesota, Comprehensive Plan, 2003, www.co.becker.mn.us, accessed December, 2015.

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