Minnesota: Kandiyohi County

Kandiyohi County (pop. 42,239) is just east of Swift County. “Kandiyohi” is a Dakota word meaning “where the buffalo fish abound.”

Buffalo fish (ictiobus)

Kandiyohi County’s motto is “Where the Lakes Begin,” because it’s where people driving from the south will first see Minnesota’s abundance of lakes – more than 250 of them in the county.

The county has a town named Kandiyohi (pop. 491). In 1869, the Minnesota state legislature voted to make Kandiyohi the state capital because of its central location, but the governor vetoed the bill.

Kandiyohi could have looked like this!

The county seat of Kandiyohi County is Willmar (pop. 16,610). In 1930, the Machine Gun Kelly gang robbed the Bank of Wilmar of about $70,000 and wounded three people.

Sibley State Park is in the northern part of the county, along Lake Andrew.

The park’s Mt. Tom Lookout has excellent views of the surrounding lakes and countryside.

The tower was built in 1938.

The town of New London (pop. 1,251) is known for its many antique stores and for the annual 120-mile New London to New Brighton Antique Car Run.

It started in 1987.

The town of Raymond (pop. 764) was the birthplace of William A. Mitchell, a chemist for General Foods who helped developed Tang, Pop Rocks, and Cool Whip.


3 comments on “Minnesota: Kandiyohi County

  1. Parry Dodds says:

    We’ve been to Wilmar, it must be forgetable!

  2. Charlie Warnes says:

    A little background in the New London to New Brighton antique car tour. Its origins are a Minnesota ‘tongue in cheek’ take off of England’s rather famous annual London to Brighton Veteran Car Run. However the MN event has earned its own strong measure of fame.

  3. Mary Schlick says:

    “Kandiyohi” (county), “ictiobus” (a species of fish) Wow! I’ve known folks from Wilmar but, gosh, nobody used such delicious words!

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