Mankato, Minnesota
City
North Riverfront Drive Commercial District
North Riverfront Drive Commercial District
Nickname: 
Key City
Motto: 
Leading the way...
Location of the city of Mankato within Blue Earth County in the state of Minnesota
Location of the city of Mankato
within Blue Earth County
in the state of Minnesota
Coordinates: 44°10′N 94°0′W / 44.167°N 94.000°W / 44.167; -94.000Coordinates: 44°10′N 94°0′W / 44.167°N 94.000°W / 44.167; -94.000
CountryUnited States
StateMinnesota
CountiesBlue Earth, Nicollet, and Le Sueur
Founded1852
Government
 • TypeCity charter
 • MayorNajwa Massad
 • City managerSusan Arntz
Area
 • City19.77 sq mi (51.20 km2)
 • Land19.43 sq mi (50.33 km2)
 • Water0.34 sq mi (0.87 km2)
Elevation
794 ft (238 m)
Population
 • City44,488
 • Estimate 
(2021)[3]
44,693
 • Density2,289.54/sq mi (883.99/km2)
 • Urban
57,584 (US: 456th)
 • Metro
103,612 (US: 350th)
DemonymMankatoans
Time zoneUTC-6 (CST)
 • Summer (DST)UTC-5 (CDT)
ZIP codes
56001-56003
Area code507
FIPS code27-39878
GNIS feature ID0647438[4]
Websitemankatomn.gov

Mankato (/mænˈkt/ man-KAY-toh) is a city in Blue Earth, Nicollet, and Le Sueur counties in the state of Minnesota. The population was 44,488 according to the 2020 census,[2] making it the 21st-largest city in Minnesota, and the 5th-largest outside of the Minneapolis–Saint Paul metropolitan area. It is along a large bend of the Minnesota River at its confluence with the Blue Earth River. Mankato is across the Minnesota River from North Mankato. Mankato and North Mankato have a combined population of 58,763 according to the 2020 census. It completely encompasses the town of Skyline. North of Mankato Regional Airport, a tiny non-contiguous part of the city lies within Le Sueur County. Most of the city is in Blue Earth County.

Mankato is the larger of the two principal cities of the Mankato-North Mankato metropolitan area, which covers Blue Earth and Nicollet Counties and had a combined population of 103,566 at the 2020 census. The U.S. Census Bureau designated Mankato a Metropolitan Statistical Area in November 2008.[5]

In 2017, Schools.com named Mankato the second-best small college town in the United States.[6][7]

History

Henry Jackson was an early settler.
Henry Jackson was an early settler.
Execution of the 38 Sioux Indians at Mankato, Minnesota, 1862
Execution of the 38 Sioux Indians at Mankato, Minnesota, 1862

Mankato Township was not settled by European Americans until Parsons King Johnson in February 1852, as part of the 19th-century migration of people from the east across the Midwest. New residents organized the city of Mankato on May 11, 1858, the day Minnesota became a state. The city was organized by Johnson, Henry Jackson, Daniel A. Robertson, Justus C. Ramsey, and others. A popular story says that the city was supposed to have been named Mahkato, but a typographical error by a clerk established the name as Mankato.[8] According to Warren Upham, quoting historian Thomas Hughes of Mankato, "The honor of christening the new city was accorded to Col. Robertson. He had taken the name from Nicollet's book, in which the French explorer compared the 'Mahkato' or Blue Earth River, with all its tributaries, to the water nymphs and their uncle in the German legend of Undine...No more appropriate name could be given the new city, than that of the noble river at whose mouth it is located."[9] While it is uncertain that the city was intended to be called Mahkato, the Dakota called the river Makato Osa Watapa ("the river where blue earth is gathered"). The Anglo settlers adapted that as "Blue Earth River".[9] Frederick Webb Hodge, in the Handbook of American Indians North of Mexico, said the town was named after the older of the two like-named chiefs of the Mdewakanton nation of the Santee Dakota, whose village stood on or near the site of the present town.

Ishtakhaba, also known as Chief Sleepy Eye, of the Sisseton band, was said to have directed settlers to this location. He said the site at the confluence of the Minnesota and Blue Earth Rivers was well suited to building and river traffic, and yet safe from flooding.[10]

On December 26, 1862, United States Volunteers of the State of Minnesota carried out the largest mass execution in U.S. history at Mankato after the Dakota War of 1862. Companies of the 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th Minnesota Infantry Regiments, and Minnesota Cavalry oversaw the hanging of 38 men: 35 Santee Sioux and 3 biracial French/native American, for their involvement in the war crimes committed during the uprising.[11][12] The crimes included intentional killings, mutilations and rapes of hundreds of unarmed civilians. A USV military tribunal reviewed nearly 500 cases, of which 303 received a death sentence, but President Lincoln requested the court files. He reviewed them, placing the rape cases at the top, and pardoning 265. Episcopal Bishop Henry Benjamin Whipple urged leniency to which Lincoln responded that he had to take a balanced approach. His position and dismissals were unpopular in Minnesota. To commemorate the 50th anniversary of the event a large granite marker was erected that stood at the site until 1971, when the city took it down. Today, a different monument marks the execution site. Across the street are two monuments to the indigenous people in what it called Reconciliation Park. The Blue Earth County Library, Main street and Reconciliation Park cover the immediate vicinity of the execution site.

In 1880, Mankato was Minnesota's fourth-most populous city, with 5,500 residents.[13]

Former Vice President Schuyler Colfax died while traveling through Mankato on January 13, 1885.[14]

Geography

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 18.26 square miles (47.29 km2), of which 17.91 square miles (46.39 km2) is land and 0.35 square miles (0.91 km2) is water.[15] The Minnesota, Blue Earth, and Le Sueur rivers all flow through or near the city.

Climate

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Mankato has a humid continental climate, type Dfa (hot summer subtype). Winters are cold, with snow cover (continuous most winter seasons) beginning typically between mid-November and mid-December, ending in March most years. However, Mankato often receives less snow than areas to its north and east. For example, Minneapolis, 75 miles (121 km) northeast of Mankato, averages over 54 inches (140 cm) of snow per winter season, compared to Mankato's seasonal average of 35 inches (89 cm). The coldest month, January, has an average monthly temperature around 14 °F (−10 °C). Dangerously low wind-chill temperatures are a significant hazard during the winter months, as Arctic air outbreaks rush into the area from Canada, borne on high winds; this can bring about ground blizzard conditions, especially in nearby rural areas.

Summers are warm, with occasional but usually brief hot, humid periods, often interspersed with pushes of cooler air from Canada, often preceded by showers and thunderstorms. The hottest month, July, has an average monthly temperature around 73 °F (22.8 °C). Precipitation falls year round, but falls mostly as snow from December to February, sometimes March, and as showers and thunderstorms during the warmer season, from May to September. Mankato's average wettest months are from June to August, with frequent thunderstorm activity. Mankato lies on the northern fringe of the central United States’ main tornado belt, with lower risk than in Iowa and Missouri to the south. The highest-risk months for severe thunderstorms and (rarely) tornadoes, are May through July. However, a very unusual early tornado outbreak affected areas within 20 miles (32 km) of Mankato on March 29, 1998, when an F3 tornado hit St. Peter, 13 miles (21 km) to Mankato's north. On August 17, 1946, tornadoes struck southwestern areas of Mankato and the town of Wells to the southeast, killing 11 people.[16]

Climate data for Mankato, Minnesota
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °F (°C) 62
(17)
64
(18)
84
(29)
94
(34)
106
(41)
105
(41)
106
(41)
107
(42)
100
(38)
91
(33)
82
(28)
66
(19)
107
(42)
Average high °F (°C) 23
(−5)
30
(−1)
41
(5)
57
(14)
71
(22)
80
(27)
83
(28)
81
(27)
73
(23)
60
(16)
41
(5)
27
(−3)
56
(13)
Average low °F (°C) 6
(−14)
11
(−12)
23
(−5)
36
(2)
48
(9)
57
(14)
62
(17)
59
(15)
50
(10)
37
(3)
24
(−4)
11
(−12)
35
(2)
Record low °F (°C) −38
(−39)
−33
(−36)
−27
(−33)
−3
(−19)
22
(−6)
31
(−1)
39
(4)
34
(1)
20
(−7)
−1
(−18)
−18
(−28)
−32
(−36)
−38
(−39)
Average precipitation inches (mm) 0.96
(24)
0.78
(20)
1.94
(49)
2.88
(73)
4.13
(105)
5.02
(128)
4.88
(124)
5.31
(135)
3.18
(81)
2.49
(63)
1.80
(46)
1.05
(27)
34.42
(875)
Average snowfall inches (cm) 7.5
(19)
6.2
(16)
7.9
(20)
1.6
(4.1)
0.1
(0.25)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0.1
(0.25)
4.5
(11)
7.4
(19)
35.3
(89.6)
Source: National Climatic Data Center[17]

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
18703,482
18805,55059.4%
18908,83859.2%
190010,59919.9%
191010,365−2.2%
192012,46920.3%
193014,03912.6%
194015,65411.5%
195018,80920.2%
196023,79726.5%
197030,89529.8%
198028,651−7.3%
199031,4779.9%
200032,4273.0%
201039,30921.2%
202044,48813.2%
2021 (est.)44,693[3]0.5%
U.S. Decennial Census[18]
2020 Census[2]

2010 census

As of the census of 2010, there were 39,309 people, 14,851 households, and 7,093 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,194.8 inhabitants per square mile (847.4/km2). There were 15,784 housing units at an average density of 881.3 per square mile (340.3/km2). The city's racial makeup was 89.9% White, 4.0% African American, 0.3% Native American, 2.8% Asian, 0.8% from other races, and 2.1% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino people of any race were 2.9% of the population.

There were 14,851 households, of which 22.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 35.0% were married couples living together, 9.0% had a female householder with no husband present, 3.7% had a male householder with no wife present, and 52.2% were non-families. 30.9% of all households were made up of individuals, and 9.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.35 and the average family size was 2.91.

The median age in the city was 25.4 years. 16.3% of residents were under the age of 18; 32.6% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 23.8% were from 25 to 44; 16.6% were from 45 to 64; and 10.6% were 65 years of age or older. The city's gender makeup was 50.0% male and 50.0% female.

2000 census

As of the census of 2000, there were 32,427 people, 12,367 households, and 6,059 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,132.5 people per square mile (823.2/km2). There were 12,759 housing units at an average density of 839.1 per square mile (323.9/km2). The city's racial makeup was 92.55% White, 1.90% African American, 0.34% Native American, 2.81% Asian, 0.10% Pacific Islander, 0.94% from other races, and 1.36% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino people of any race were 2.22% of the population.

There were 12,367 households, of which 23.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 36.7% were married couples living together, 8.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 51.0% were non-families. 32.2% of all households were made up of individuals, and 9.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.31 and the average family size was 2.90.

16.9% of the city's residents were under the age of 18; 32.5% were between age 18 and 24; 23.9% were from 25 to 44; 15.4% were from 45 to 64; and 11.3% were age 65 or older. The median age was 25 years. For every 100 females, there were 96.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 95.5 males.

The city's median household income was $33,956, and the median family income was $47,297. Males had a median income of $30,889 versus $22,081 for females. The city's per capita income in 2010 was $25,772.[19] About 8.5% of families and 19.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 15.6% of those under age 18 and 11.8% of those age 65 or over. In 2010, the unemployment rate was 5.7%.[19]

Economy

Top employers

According to the City's 2020 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report,[20] the top employers in the city are:

# Employer # of employees
1 Independent School District 77 2,500
2 Immanuel St. Joseph's - Mayo Health System 1,871
3 Minnesota State University 1,700
4 Mankato Clinic 689
5 Walmart T Distribution Center 525
6 Blue Earth County 509
7 Mankato Rehabilitation Center Inc 319
8 The City of Mankato 310
9 Minnesota Elevator, Inc. 307
10 Verizon Wireless 300

Arts and culture

Major events

Places of interest

The original Happy Chef Restaurant and corporate offices on U.S. Highway 169
The original Happy Chef Restaurant and corporate offices on U.S. Highway 169

Government and politics

Mankato is in Minnesota's 1st congressional district, represented by Brad Finstad.[24] It is in Minnesota Senate district 19, represented by Nick Frentz, and Minnesota House district 19B, represented by Luke Frederick. Mankato voted overwhelmingly for Joe Biden in the 2020 presidential election.[25]

Presidential election results 1960–2020
Precinct General Election Results[26]
Year Republican Democratic Third parties
2020 37.7% 8,032 59.4% 12,651 2.9% 628
2016 39.7% 8,056 48.9% 9,922 11.4% 2,297
2012 38.5% 7,942 57.6% 11,901 3.9% 812
2008 38.0% 8,099 59.3% 12,632 2.7% 575
2004 43.1% 8,224 55.4% 10,573 1.5% 304
2000 42.8% 6,465 48.6% 7,349 8.6% 1,301
1996 34.1% 4,609 54.1% 7,298 11.8% 1,595
1992 30.2% 4,814 46.0% 7,340 23.8% 3,805
1988 46.3% 6,306 53.7% 7,319 0.0% 0
1984 51.4% 7,707 48.6% 7,291 0.0% 0
1980 40.6% 5,859 45.3% 6,540 14.1% 2,036
1976 46.8% 6,755 50.1%' 7,235 3.1% 445
1972 50.4% 6,860 48.3% 6,569 1.3% 185
1968 48.0% 5,064 49.2% 5,191 2.8% 304
1964 42.2% 4,155 56.9% 5,600 0.9% 81
1960 57.6% 5,768 42.3% 4,231 0.1% 12

Education

Old Main, Bethany Lutheran College

The Mankato Area Public Schools are consolidated to include the cities of Mankato, North Mankato, Eagle Lake, and Madison Lake. There are ten elementary schools (Franklin, Eagle Lake, Kennedy, Washington, Roosevelt, Jefferson, Monroe, Hoover, Rosa Parks, and Bridges); two middle schools (Dakota Meadows Middle School and Prairie Winds Middle School); and two high schools (Mankato West High School and Mankato East High School).

Mankato has four parochial schools: Loyola Catholic School, Immanuel Lutheran Grade School and High School (K–12), Mount Olive Lutheran School (K–8) and Risen Savior Lutheran School (K–8). There is also a public charter school, Kato Public Charter School. The alternative school Central High, on Fulton Street, is another educational option.

The Blue Earth County Library, part of the Traverse des Sioux Library System, serves the city.

Higher education institutions

Media

The major daily newspaper in the area is the Mankato Free Press.

Television

Radio

FM

AM

Notable people

Infrastructure

Transportation

Public transportation in Mankato is provided by the Mankato Transit System. The city is served by Mankato Regional Airport which has no commercial flights. Under MnDOT's 2015 State Rail Plan, Mankato is listed as a Tier 1 Corridor for regional rail service from Minneapolis and/or St. Paul. U.S. Highways 14 and 169 and Minnesota State Highways 22 and 60 are four of the main routes in Mankato.

Major highways

The following routes are within the city of Mankato.

In popular culture

Mankato was the basis for Deep Valley in Maud Hart Lovelace's Betsy-Tacy series of children's books and novels. The children's/young adult wing of the Blue Earth County Library is named in her honor.

In Sinclair Lewis's 1920 novel Main Street, heroine Carol Milford is a former Mankato resident. Lewis describes Mankato as follows: "In its garden-sheltered streets and aisles of elms is white and green New England reborn", alluding to its many migrants from New England, who brought their culture with them. Lewis wrote a substantial portion of the novel while staying at the J.W. Schmidt House at 315 South Broad Street, as now marked by a small plaque in front of the building.[32]

In the Little House on the Prairie television series, Mankato is a trading town that the citizens of Walnut Grove visit. It does not appear in the Laura Ingalls Wilder books.

The 1972 film The New Land, a sequel to The Emigrants (1971), both by Swedish director Jan Troell, depicts the mass execution of 38 Dakota Indians at the end of the 1862 Dakota War.

In 1996, Don Descy created city-mankato.us as a teaching tool and example that not everything on the Internet should be believed.[33][34]

See also

References

  1. ^ "2020 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved July 24, 2022.
  2. ^ a b c "Explore Census Data". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved May 30, 2022.
  3. ^ a b "City and Town Population Totals: 2020-2021". United States Census Bureau. May 29, 2022. Retrieved May 30, 2022.
  4. ^ "U.S. Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. United States Geological Survey. October 25, 2007. Archived from the original on July 1, 2015. Retrieved November 21, 2019.
  5. ^ Linehan, Dan (April 12, 2008). "Mankato designated MSA". Mankato Free Press. Archived from the original on January 28, 2013. Retrieved November 21, 2019.
  6. ^ LaPonsie, Maryalene (July 24, 2017). "The 25 Best Small College Towns 2017". schools.com. Archived from the original on September 20, 2017. Retrieved March 24, 2020.((cite web)): CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
  7. ^ Stavig, Vicky (April 25, 2018). "How Mankato Came to Be Minnesota's Hottest Economic Region". Twin Cities Business Magazine. MSP Communications. Archived from the original on March 24, 2020. Retrieved March 24, 2020.
  8. ^ "History of Blue Earth County". Blue Earth County, Minnesota. Blue Earth County, Minnesota. Archived from the original on August 14, 2019. Retrieved November 21, 2019.
  9. ^ a b Upham, Warren (2001). Minnesota Place Names, A Geographical Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition. Saint Paul, Minnesota: Minnesota Historical Society. p. 65. ISBN 0-87351-396-7.
  10. ^ "Ish Tak Ha Be (Sleepy Eye)". Minnesota State University Mankato. May 31, 2010. Archived from the original on May 31, 2010. Retrieved July 5, 2021.
  11. ^ 9th Regiment, Minnesota Infantry, The Civil War - Battle Unit Details, Union Minnesota Volunteers, National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior website [1]
  12. ^ 10th Regiment, Minnesota Infantry, Battle Unit Details, Union Minnesota Volunteers, National Park Service, Department of the Interior website [2]
  13. ^ Minnesota Place Names: A Geographical Encyclopedia, Minnesota Historical Society website. http://mnplaces.mnhs.org/upham/index.cfm Archived June 20, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
  14. ^ Glass, Andrew (January 13, 2010). "Former House Speaker Schuyler Colfax dies, Jan. 13, 1885". Politico. Retrieved December 29, 2020.
  15. ^ "US Gazetteer files 2010". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on February 20, 2011. Retrieved November 13, 2012.
  16. ^ Nienaber, Dan (May 31, 2006). "Memories of 1946 tornado remain vivid". Mankato Free Press. Archived from the original on December 5, 2019. Retrieved November 21, 2019.
  17. ^ "Monthly and Season Total SnowFall Amount". NCDC. 2010. Archived from the original on June 29, 2011. Retrieved July 2, 2010.
  18. ^ United States Census Bureau. "Census of Population and Housing". Retrieved September 12, 2013.
  19. ^ a b Scott, Daniel (May 20, 2011). City of Mankato, Minnesota Comprehensive Annual Financial Report for the Fiscal Year Ended December 31, 2010 (Report). City of Mankato, Minnesota Finance Department. Retrieved November 21, 2019.
  20. ^ Scott, Daniel (June 25, 2019). "2020 City of Mankato CAFR". City of Mankato. p. 227. Retrieved May 30, 2022.
  21. ^ "Mankato readies for Vikings training camp". The Washington Times. Archived from the original on November 21, 2014. Retrieved November 12, 2014.
  22. ^ Olson, Rochelle (July 19, 2017). "Minnesota Vikings, Mankato part ways after one final training camp beginning next week". Star Tribune. Archived from the original on July 31, 2017. Retrieved August 11, 2017.Vikings-Mankato-Part-Ways
  23. ^ Linehan, Dan (June 25, 2007). "Civic center to be Alltel Center". Mankato Free Press. Archived from the original on March 21, 2019. Retrieved March 21, 2019.
  24. ^ "Republican Rep. Brad Finstad sworn in to finish Hagedorn's House term". August 12, 2022.
  25. ^ Park, Alice; Smart, Charlie; Taylor, Rumsey; Watkins, Miles (January 3, 2019). "An Extremely Detailed Map of the 2020 Election". The New York Times. Archived from the original on February 2, 2021. Retrieved February 2, 2021.
  26. ^ "Office of the Minnesota Secretary of State - Election Results". Archived from the original on February 22, 2021. Retrieved February 22, 2021.
  27. ^ "The Economic Impact of Minnesota State University, Mankato" (PDF). Amherst H. Wilder Research Foundation. Archived from the original (PDF) on April 26, 2016. Retrieved October 23, 2015.
  28. ^ Stavig, Vicky (April 25, 2018). "How Mankato Came to Be Minnesota's Hottest Economic Region". Twin Cities Business Magazine. MSP Communications. Archived from the original on August 17, 2018. Retrieved August 16, 2018. Top Five Employers: Taylor Cos. (2,400 employees), Mayo Clinic Health System (1,830 employees), Minnesota State University Mankato (1,700 employees), Mankato Area Public Schools (1,200 employees), MRCI (1,200 employees), Source: Greater Mankato Growth
  29. ^ The Legislative Manual of the State of Minnesota. Saint Paul, MN: Minnesota Secretary of State. 1937. p. 482 – via Google Books.
  30. ^ Broadwater, Luke; Mazzetti, Mark (November 9, 2021). "At the Willard and the White House, the Jan. 6 Panel Widens Its Net". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved December 4, 2021.
  31. ^ https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/us-politics/mike-lindell-fbi-raid-phone-b2166729.html?amp
  32. ^ "Historical Attractions". Archived from the original on July 14, 2013. Retrieved June 4, 2013.
  33. ^ Dyslin, Amanda. "Parody Web site fools two into visiting Mankato". Mankato Free Press. Retrieved April 20, 2021.
  34. ^ Kelley, Tina (March 4, 1999). "Whales in the Minnesota River". The New York Times. Retrieved May 30, 2021.