Minnesota: Waseca County

Waseca County (pop. 19,136) is just west of Steele County. The county seat is Waseca (pop. 9,410).

Waseca is a Dakota word meaning “rich” or “fertile.”


The Waseca County Courthouse was built in 1897.

In the Richardsonian Romanesque style

Waseca had a branch of the University of Minnesota from 1971 to 1992; it was closed for budgetary reasons, and the campus was turned into a low-security Federal Correctional Institution for Women.

The university focused on agricultural education.

Waseca has a 4.6-mile bike path around Clear Lake.

The town of Janesville (pop. 2,256) still uses its 1912 Carnegie library.

Janesville Free Public Library

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