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Happy Birthday, Hennepin County; you look great for 160!

Hennepin County was established 160 years ago today.

Hennepin County is 160 years old today.

It was established by the Territorial Legislature on March 6, 1852,  but Minneapolis wasn’t named the county seat until two years later, the county history says.

There were only 200 people living in the area at the time.

(Talk about today’s big government:  The county employees in the early years included three commissioners, a sheriff, a coroner, treasurer, register of deeds, district attorney, judge of probate, county surveyor, assessors and a road commissioner.)

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The initial plan was to call it Snelling County, after Col. Josiah Snelling, the first commander of Fort Snelling from 1820 to 1828. But they settled on Hennepin, after Father Louis Hennepin, the French missionary who explored the area in 1679.

The Hennepin County Board will official commemorate the birthday March 13 at its 1:30 p.m. meeting, with a presentation of historical information and photos.