Sauk Rapids, Minnesota

Sauk Rapids, Minnesota
Sauk Rapids, Minnesota
—  City  —
Location of Sauk Rapids, Minnesota
Coordinates: 45°35′34″N 94°9′50″W / 45.59278°N 94.16389°W / 45.59278; -94.16389Coordinates: 45°35′34″N 94°9′50″W / 45.59278°N 94.16389°W / 45.59278; -94.16389
Country United States
State Minnesota
County Benton
 – Total 4.8 sq mi (12.5 km2)
 – Land 4.6 sq mi (11.8 km2)
 – Water 0.2 sq mi (0.6 km2)
Elevation 1,033 ft (315 m)
Population (2010)[1]
 – Total 12,773
 – Density 2,234.1/sq mi (862.6/km2)
Time zone Central (CST) (UTC-6)
 – Summer (DST) CDT (UTC-5)
ZIP code 56379
Area code(s) 320
FIPS code 27-58684[2]
GNIS feature ID 0651235[3]

Sauk Rapids is a city in Benton County, Minnesota, United States. The population was 12,773 at the 2010 census.[1] It is located on a set of rapids on the Mississippi River near its confluence with the Sauk River.

Sauk Rapids is part of the St. Cloud Metropolitan Statistical Area.



Sauk Rapids was originally little more than a forest of oak, maple and basswood trees along the Mississippi River until the first home was constructed there in 1851, a large mansion named Lynden Terrace erected by W.H. Wood. Soon other settlers followed and the town was named Sauk Rapids after the rapids just below the Sauk River's mouth on the Mississippi. Soon a general store was built, then a hotel, and a large jail. The first settlers organized a Congregational church that was soon followed by a Methodist, an Episcopalian and a Lutheran church. The first paper outside of St. Paul was the "Sauk Rapids Frontiersman," founded in 1854.[4]

A flour mill was erected in 1875, but was destroyed in 1886. In 1876 the first bridge was built, was destroyed later in 1876, but rebuilt in 1879. The first school was built in 1886.

In 1874 Sauk Rapids was the end of the line for the local railroad. All the settlers from as far away as the upper Red River Valley brought their produce there to ship it. A six-horse stage coach made bi-weekly trips between St. Cloud and Crow Wing.

In 1856 the county seat moved to Watab, then returned to Sauk Rapids in 1859. A new courthouse was built, but in 1897 the seat moved to Foley where it currently resides. In 1917 the courthouse burned down.

Until 1886 Sauk Rapids was one of the most important cities in Minnesota. It stood a good chance of becoming even more so, but on April 14 at approximately 4:00 p.m. a tornado struck the town. The twister swept through the heart of the city, destroying all of the stores. In Sauk Rapids alone, 44 people were killed and several hundred were wounded. The event was a great setback for the city, and though it has rebuilt since then it never regained its former prominence in state-wide affairs.

In recent years the downtown area of Sauk Rapids has gone through substantial changes due to the construction of the New Sauk Rapids Bridge.[5] This was primarily because the new bridge links to 2nd Street rather than 1st Street, as the original Sauk Rapids Bridge did. Several buildings had to be demolished during the construction process, which meant that some parts of downtown were rebuilt. In addition, some sidewalks were repaved with cobblestone.

Law and government

Sauk Rapids' city council consists of a mayor and four City Council members elected at-large to represent the community and legislate citywide policy. Sauk Rapids' mayor is Mark Campbell and its four council members are Jared Gapinski, Brad Gunderson, Dave Saunders, and Paul Weber. They possess the authority to pass and enforce ordinances, establish public and administrative policies, create advisory boards and commissions, and manage the city's financial operations including preparing a budget, auditing expenditures, and transacting other city business as required by law. The City Council also appoints a City Administrator who oversees the day-to-day operations of the city and implements the policies of the Council.

City recreational facilities include 22 parks, miles of paved walking pathways, playgrounds, tennis courts, baseball and soccer fields, a golf course and a wading pool.[6][7]


According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 4.8 square miles (12.5 km²), of which, 4.6 square miles (11.8 km²) of it is land and 0.2 square miles (0.6 km²) of it (4.99%) is water.

U.S. Route 10 and Minnesota State Highway 15 are two of the main routes in Sauk Rapids. Other nearby routes include Interstate 94, Minnesota State Highway 23, and County 75. Sauk Rapids is immediately northeast of the city of St. Cloud, on the east bank of the Mississippi River.


Historical populations
Census Pop.
1890 1,185
1900 1,391 17.4%
1910 1,745 25.4%
1920 2,349 34.6%
1930 2,656 13.1%
1940 2,981 12.2%
1950 3,410 14.4%
1960 4,038 18.4%
1970 5,051 25.1%
1980 5,793 14.7%
1990 7,825 35.1%
2000 10,213 30.5%
2010 12,773 25.1%
U.S. Decennial Census

As of the census[2] of 2000, there were 10,213 people, 3,921 households, and 2,599 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,234.1 people per square mile (862.9/km²). There were 4,017 housing units at an average density of 878.7 per square mile (339.4/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 97.11% White, 0.57% African American, 0.31% Native American, 0.78% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 0.23% from other races, and 0.96% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.08% of the population.

There were 3,921 households out of which 37.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 52.1% were married couples living together, 10.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 33.7% were non-families. 26.2% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.53 and the average family size was 3.09.

In the city the population was spread out with 28.1% under the age of 18, 9.6% from 18 to 24, 33.4% from 25 to 44, 17.8% from 45 to 64, and 11.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 32 years. For every 100 females there were 91.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 86.1 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $45,857, and the median income for a family was $53,938. Males had a median income of $36,074 versus $24,657 for females. The per capita income for the city was $19,510. About 2.8% of families and 4.9% of the population were below the poverty line, including 4.5% of those under age 18 and 10.2% of those age 65 or over.

See also


  1. ^ a b "2010 Census Redistricting Data (Public Law 94-171) Summary File". American FactFinder. U.S. Census Bureau, 2010 Census. Retrieved 23 April 2011. 
  2. ^ a b "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  3. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  4. ^
  5. ^
  6. ^ "Parks". City of Sauk Rapids website.{89EE0580-1F55-4E49-B008-884207FB3AC1}. Retrieved 2009-09-05. 
  7. ^ "Park Amenities". City of Sauk Rapids.{89EE0580-1F55-4E49-B008-884207FB3AC1}. Retrieved 2009-09-05. 

External links

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