Today, we wrap up a series we started last week on the origins of Minnesota county names. (Earlier posts on this topic were: Minnesota Counties with Indigenous Names, and Minnesota County Names Honoring National Figures.)
Nearly half of Minnesota counties are named for early explorers, settlers, soldiers, businessmen, and politicians who have some connection to this place. Some were named for historical bit players, others for wheeler dealers. Some county names have troubling back stories, honoring people who had institutional roles in grave mistreatment of American Indians; other county names have a more humorous background.
We’ll start on the lighter side.
Becker County is named for Brigadier General George Loomis Becker, a relative unknown. According to Wikipedia: “Becker was one of three men elected to congress when Minnesota became a state, but since Minnesota could only send two, Becker elected to stay behind, and he was promised to have a county named after him.” Continue reading