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Minnesota Deed History

The United States received the land contained in Minnesota in 1783, and it underwent several different government or territorial subdivisions before becoming its own territory. Minnesota was formed from the eastern part of the Minnesota Territory when Minnesota was admitted to the Union in 1858 as the 32nd state. The Minnesota Territory existed from 1849 until 1858. There were three cities when the territory was formed: St. Paul, St. Anthony (now part of Minneapolis), and Stillwater.

Minnesota has 87 counties, 57 of which were established upon statehood. The first nine counties were established in 1849. Hennepin County, which was formed by the Minnesota Territorial Legislature in 1852, is the most populous county in the state. Hennepin County’s first registrar of deeds was George Chowen in 1850. From 1853-57, the registrar of deeds for Ramsey County was Louis Olivier.


The construction of Fort Snelling took place between 1819 and 1825, after Zebulon Pike (an American explorer) acquired land from Native Americans where the Minnesota and Mississippi rivers meet. Shortly thereafter, water-powered industries helped fuel the growth of Minneapolis. During this time, squatters, government officials, and others had settled near the fort. They were kicked out by the military and they settled in what would become St. Paul, Minnesota.