Winona, Minnesota

Winona, Minnesota

Infobox Settlement
official_name = Winona, Minnesota
settlement_type = City
nickname = The Island City"

imagesize =
image_caption =

imagesize =
image_caption =

mapsize = 250px
map_caption = Location within the state of Minnesota

mapsize1 =
map_caption1 =
subdivision_type = Country
subdivision_name = United States
subdivision_type1 = State
subdivision_name1 = Minnesota
subdivision_type2 = County
subdivision_name2 = Winona
government_type =
leader_title = Mayor
leader_name = Jerry Miller
established_date =
area_magnitude = 1 E9
area_total_km2 = 61.0
area_land_km2 = 47.2
area_water_km2 = 13.8
population_as_of = 2000
population_total = 27069
population_density_km2 = 573.3
timezone = CST
utc_offset = -6
timezone_DST = CDT
utc_offset_DST = -
latd = 44 |latm = 02 |lats = 52.4 |latNS = N
longd = 91 |longm = 38 |longs = 25.58 |longEW = W
area_total_sq_mi = 23.6
area_land_sq_mi = 18.2
area_water_sq_mi = 5.3
elevation_m = 200*–380**
elevation_ft = 655*–1,247**
website = []
postal_code_type = ZIP codes
postal_code = 55987
area_code = 507
blank_name = FIPS code
blank_info = 27-71032GR|2
blank1_name = GNIS feature ID
blank1_info = 0654269GR|3
footnotes = *Elevation in valley
**Elevation on bluffs

Winona is a city in and the county seat of Winona CountyGR|6, Minnesota, United States.GR|6 Located in picturesque bluff country on the Mississippi River, its most noticeable physical landmark is Sugar Loaf.

The city is named after semi-mythical Princess We-Noh-Nah, possibly a relative of Chief Wapasha (Wabasha) III.Fact|date=April 2008

The population was 27,069 at the 2000 census. Its annual celebration, "Steamboat Days", is held in the summer. It is known as the stained glass capital of the United States. [ [ MPR: Winona company makes glass into art ] ]


Evidence gathered by archaeologists indicates that people lived in the valley as early as 9500 B.C. The earliest evidence of human habitation in Winona County is based on the discovery of a Woodland period site (circa 800 B.C.-900 A.D.). The present-day city of Winona was founded on the village of Keoxa. As the seat of the Wapasha dynasty, it was home to a Mdewakanton band of the eastern Sioux. The summer homes of the Keoxa natives were made of bark supported by a framework and poles. Their winter residence was a teepee made of about 8 buffalo hides sewn together with deer sinew, typically about 12 feet (4 m) high and 10 to 12 feet (3 to 4 m) in diameter, with a fire in the middle to keep the temperature inside the dwelling tolerable even in the coldest weather.

Lieutenant Zebulon Pike left Fort Bellefontaine on August 9, 1805 with orders to find the source of the Mississippi. On September 14, 1805, he reached the Mississippi Valley near island number 72 (on his map), which would one day be Winona, Minnesota, and recorded his impressions in his log.

Less than fifty years later, Pike's island 72 was selected by Captain Orrin Smith as a townsite on the west bank of the Mississippi River. For over twenty-five years, Smith had sailed the river between Galena, Illinois and Fort Snelling, Minnesota as owner and pilot of the river packet Nominee. In 1851 Smith learned that the treaties of Traverse des Sioux and Mendota would establish a reservation in the interior of the state, and realized that there would be a rush to develop townsites on the Minnesota side of the river. On October 15, 1851 Orrin Smith became the founder of Winona, by landing his ship's carpenter, Mr. Erwin Johnson, and two other men (Smith and Stevens) with the purpose of claiming title to the riverfront and surrounding prairie land. When the town site was surveyed and plotted by John Ball, United States deputy surveyor, it was given the name of "Montezuma", as requested by Johnson and Smith. Henry D. Huff bought an interest in the town site in 1853. With the consent of Capt. Smith, Huff erased the name of Montezuma and inserted the name of Winona on the plot, a name derived from the Dakota Indian word "We-no-nah", which translates to "first-born daughter".

Winona was settled by non-Native Americans in 1851, and the town was laid out into lots in 1852-3 with growth expanding rapidly over the years. The population increased from 815 in December, 1855, to 3,000 in December, 1856. In 1860 Winona had a population of 2,456, and was third largest city in Minnesota until the late 1880s. Part of the surge in population in 1856 was the fact that land claims became legal in 1855 with the completion of land surveys and the opening of a local federal land office. It was incorporated as a city in 1857.

Growth in Winona was built on a railway and steamboat transportation system, wheat milling, and lumber. In 1856 over 1,300 steamboats stopped at Winona. The railway system grew and the Winona Railway Bridge, built of steel and iron with a steam-powered swingspan over the river, was the second railway bridge to span the Mississippi. The first train crossed on July 4, 1891 and the bridge served the Green Bay & Western (GBW) and Burlington Route for the next 94 years until it was closed in 1985 and dismantled in the fall of 1990. In 1892, a wagon toll-bridge over the Mississippi, a wooden high-bridge, was completed and remained in service until 1942.

During the 1860s southern Minnesota was the greatest wheat producing region in the country and Winona was the main port for shipping Minnesota wheat. By 1870, Winona was the fourth largest wheat shipping port in the United States. In 1899 Bay State Milling was founded, and is still in operation today. John Laird started the first lumber mill in 1855; he later was joined by his cousins James and Matthew Norton in founding the Laird-Norton Co. The Winona sawmills reached their peak production in 1892 when they produced over 160 million board feet (380,000 m³) annually and ranked eighth in production of lumber in the upper Midwest.

Winona's population reached 19,714 in 1900, but thereafter declined for some years after the collapse of the lumber industry.


According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 23.6 square miles (61.0 km²), of which, 18.2 square miles (47.2 km²) of it is land and 5.3 square miles (13.8 km²) of it (22.62%) is water.

Winona's primary "suburbs" are Goodview, Stockton, and Minnesota City to the west and Homer to the east. Rochester is 45 minutes west of Winona and La Crosse 30 minutes southeast.


Winona's weather station records the warmest climate of any in Minnesota, with a normal year-round average (1971-2000) temperature of 48.9°F, [cite web | title = Temperature Summary Station: 219067 WINONA, MN,1971-2000 NCDC Normals | work = Historical Climate Data | publisher = | date = | url = | accessdate = 2007-12-16 ] compared to 43.2° in Austin to the city's southwest or 45.4° in Minneapolis, to the northwest, which experiences a strong urban heat island effect. Temperatures are generally very mild by Minnesota standards year-round; the January mean is 17.6°, while that of July is 75.8°.


1860= 2464
1870= 7192
1880= 10208
1890= 18208
1900= 19714
1910= 18583
1920= 19143
1930= 20850
1940= 22490
1950= 25031
1960= 24895
1970= 26438
1980= 25075
1990= 25399
2000= 27069

As of the censusGR|2 of 2000, there were 27,069 people, 10,301 households, and 5,325 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,485.0 people per square mile (573.3/km²). There were 10,666 housing units at an average density of 585.1/sq mi (225.9/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 94.47% White, 1.13% African American, 0.23% Native American, 2.65% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 0.47% from other races, and 1.03% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.35% of the population.

Ancestries: German (43.2%), Norwegian (15.5%), Polish (14.8%), Irish (13.0%), English (5.5%), French (3.6%).

There were 10,301 households out of which 23.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 40.4% were married couples living together, 8.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 48.3% were non-families. 35.2% of all households were made up of individuals and 12.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.27 and the average family size was 2.94.

In the city, the population was spread out with 18.0% under the age of 18, 27.5% from 18 to 24, 22.2% from 25 to 44, 18.0% from 45 to 64, and 14.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 29 years. For every 100 females there were 88.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 85.1 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $32,845, and the median income for a family was $48,413. Males had a median income of $31,047 versus $23,302 for females. The per capita income for the city was $16,783. About 6.5% of families and 17.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 11.5% of those under age 18 and 10.7% of those age 65 or over.



U.S. Highway 14, U.S. Highway 61, and Minnesota Highway 43 are three of the main routes in the city. Interstate Highway 90 is located a short distance south of the city.

Winona was once served by several passenger railroads. Its Amtrak station is now served by Amtrak's Amtrak lines|Empire Builder daily in each direction between Chicago and Seattle and Portland.

Winona Municipal Airport - Max Conrad Field serves general aviation in the area.


Winona is home to the headquarters of the Watkins Corporation, Fastenal, Thern inc., RTP Company, Winona Canoe and Current Designs Kayaks, United Building Centers, Bloedow's Donuts, WinCraft Sports, and Pete's EZ Fishing Products.

Government and politics

Winona is located in Minnesota's 1st congressional district, represented by Mankato educator Tim Walz, a Democrat.


Winona became the site of the first normal school west of the Mississippi in 1858 with the establishment of Winona Normal School (now Winona State University). This was the beginning of Winona's tradition as a center of higher education. In addition, St. Mary's College (now Saint Mary's University) was founded as a private Roman Catholic school in 1912. Later, as the necessary opportunity of higher education for women became apparent, the College of St. Teresa was created. After St. Mary's became co-ed in 1969, St. Teresa's closed down in 1988, and its facilities are now used by Winona State, St. Mary's, Cotter High School, and the Valencia Performing Arts Academy. St. Mary's University now owns and operates the campus. Minnesota State University - Southeast Technical additionally has a campus in Winona.

There is also a relatively diverse variety of K-12 educational opportunities. Run by Independent School District 861, the local public school system includes 7 elementary schools (4 in Winona), the Winona Middle School, and the Winona Senior High School. In addition, there is a large private Catholic preparatory school system, that includes St. Mary's primary school, Cathedral School, St. Stan's Middle School, Cotter Junior High School, and Cotter Senior High School. There are also other non preparatory private schools. Bluffview Montessori Charter School, located in Winona, was the first charter Montessori, and the second charter school overall in the United States. Finally, there are two private Lutheran K-8 schools, and Hope Lutheran High School.


*Winona is the episcopal see for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Winona. The Cathedral of the Sacred Heart is the mother church of the Diocese. The Immaculate Heart of Mary Seminary, which is located in Winona, is sponsored by the Roman Catholic Church.
*Winona is also home to Saint Stanislaus Kostka Catholic Church, a landmark Roman-Catholic Church built in the Polish Cathedral style, known for its Old World opulence.
*Winona is also the seat of the Seminary of St. Thomas Aquinas. This is the United States seminary for the Society of St. Pius X. It previously was in Ridgefield, Connecticut, but was moved to Winona in 1988.


In addition to the arts brought to the community by the local educational institutes, Winona has two professional theater companies, the Great River Shakespeare Festival and the Theatre du Mississippi. Recently completed is the Minnesota Marine Art Museum, which encompasses work by both international and local artists, a collection of photographs by the river engineer Henry Bosse, and sculpture by Leo Smith and will eventually have an actual river dredge as an exhibit.


Winona has two newspapers: the Winona Daily News, a daily morning paper; and the Winona Post, a bi-weekly paper that has mid-week and Sunday editions. Papers from the La Crosse, Rochester, and Twin Cities are also commonly read. There is one local public broadcast TV network, HBCI; however, it is only available to cable subscribers of the HBC cable company. Winona does receive TV signals from neighboring cities, including several channels each from La Crosse, Rochester, Eau Claire, and the Twin Cities, although exactly what can be received depends entirely on one's location in the area, as the extensive system of valleys and ridges may permit or block any or all signals. Local radio stations include:

Notable people

*James Earle Fraser (1876–1953), sculptor, designer of the Buffalo Nickel, and the "End of the Trail" statue
*Tracy Caulkins, swimmer
*Mike O'Callaghan, former Nevada governor
*Paul Giel, athlete
*Josh Peterson, Videographer, Engineer
*Winona Ryder, Actress

ister cities

* Bytów, Poland
* Kogota, Miyagi, Japan
* [ Winona Sister-City Website]


External links

* [ City of Winona, MN -- Official site]
* [ "Winona Daily News" newspaper site]

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