Minnesota Historical Society M-Flame Logo
Townships and Villages banner
Mill at Fairhaven, 1948

Mill at Fairhaven, 1948
Stearns Census Information
Estab:  February 20, 1855
Parent Counties:  Cass, Nicollet, Pierce, Sibley
Stearns county with county seat

Southeast region of Minnesota Southwest region of Minnesota Northwest region of Minnesota Northeast region of Minnesota Central region of Minnesota

Go to Mn. Place Names Home page
Go to Stearns County Towns page
Go to Stearns Lakes & Streams page
Go to Stearns People page
Go to Stearns Other Items page
Go to Stearns names from other languages or places page
Stearns County

This county, established February 20, 1855, was named for Hon. Charles Thomas Stearns, member of the council of the territorial legislature, 1854 and 1855. The name, however, was decided by a mistake, told in the History of the Upper Mississippi Valley as follows: "The bill, as originally introduced, bore the name of Stevens county, in honor of Governor Stevens, then prominently connected with the survey of the Northern Pacific railroad and passed both branches of the Legislature in that shape; but in the enrollment of the bill the change occurred from Stevens to Stearns, and when discovered, it was concluded best to let the matter stand, as the name was still in the line of honorable mention, and Mr. Stearns well entitled to public recognition in this way."

Stearns was born in Pittsfield, Mass., January 9, 1807; came from Illinois to Minnesota in 1849 and first settled in St. Anthony; thence removed in 1855 to St. Cloud, the county seat of Stearns County, where he was proprietor of a hotel during 14 years; and about the year 1870, having sold his hotel to be one of the buildings of the State Normal School, he removed to Mobile, Ala. Later he resided in New Orleans, La., and died there May 22, 1898. He was the last survivor of the founders of the Masonic Grand Lodge of Minnesota.