Mower County, MN

Mower County, Minnesota

Mower County (named for John Edward Mower) is a county located in the U.S. state of Minnesota. As of 2000, it was home 38,603 people, 23,314 of whom live in its county seat of Austin. Lake Louise State Park is located in the southeast part of the county near Le Roy. The entire county is served by area code 507 and all ZIP codes in the county have 559 as the first three numbers.

Settlement and History

For more historical details, see the individual cities, towns and townships listed below.
In 1852 Jacob McQuillin and his family settled what was to become Mower County. By 1855 the area had enough people to merit official formation and on March 1, 1856 Minnesota Governor Willis A. Gorman (D) signed the act organizing Mower County. The county was named in honor of John Edward Mower, a member of the territorial legislature. (More history at Austin, Minnesota.)


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 712 square miles (1,843 km²), of which, 712 square miles (1,843 km²) of it is land and 0 square miles (1 km²) of it (0.03%) is water.


Although Mower County is one of only four counties in Minnesota with no natural lake, it does have four small ponds and lakes created by dams.

The Cedar River (sometimes called the Red Cedar River) flows south into the county from its source in Dodge County and continues all the way through the county into Mitchell County, Iowa. It flows through Mower County's four westernmost townships: Udolpho, Lansing, Austin, and Lyle.

Major highways

  • Minnesota State Highway 56
  • Minnesota State Highway 105
  • Adjacent counties


    As of the census of 2000, there were 38,603 people, 15,582 households, and 10,315 families residing in the county. The population density was 54 people per square mile (21/km²). There were 16,251 housing units at an average density of 23 per square mile (9/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 94.74% White, 0.56% Black or African American, 0.17% Native American, 1.47% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 2.18% from other races, and 0.87% from two or more races. 4.26% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 35.9% were of German, 24.4% Norwegian and 7.0% Irish ancestry according to Census 2000.

    There were 15,582 households out of which 29.70% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 54.70% were married couples living together, 8.00% had a female householder with no husband present, and 33.80% were non-families. 29.10% of all households were made up of individuals and 14.80% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.42 and the average family size was 2.98.

    In the county the population was spread out with 25.10% under the age of 18, 8.20% from 18 to 24, 25.70% from 25 to 44, 21.40% from 45 to 64, and 19.60% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39 years. For every 100 females there were 97.00 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 93.60 males.

    The median income for a household in the county was $36,654, and the median income for a family was $45,154. Males had a median income of $31,743 versus $23,317 for females. The per capita income for the county was $19,795. About 6.30% of families and 9.20% of the population were below the poverty line, including 11.30% of those under age 18 and 5.60% of those age 65 or over.



    Adams, Austin (the county seat), Brownsdale, Dexter, Elkton, Grand Meadow, Le Roy, Lyle, Mapleview, Racine, Rose Creek, Sargeant, Taopi, Waltham


    All of Mower County's land is divided into 20 townships that are 36 square miles (six miles north to south X six miles west to east) in area. Mower County is five townships wide (a total of 30 miles west to east) and four townships from north to south (a total of 24 miles). The arrangement of the townships within the county is shown below (Udolpho Township is in the northwest corner and Le Roy Township is in the southeast).
    Location of townships in Mower County
    1 2 3 4 5
    1 Udolpho Waltham Sargeant Pleasant Valley Racine
    2 Lansing Red Rock Dexter Grand Meadow Frankford
    3 Austin Windom Marshall Clayton Bennington
    4 Lyle Nevada Adams Lodi Le Roy


    Mower County is divided into five districts for purposes of administration and each has one county commissioner. All information is current as of November 25, 2005.


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