According to the History Center of Olmsted County, Rochester was founded when George Head claimed land here in 1854. The city was created to be a stagecoach line between St. Paul and Dubuque, Iowa.  A year later legislators created Olmsted County. Did you know our county was named after a man that never actually lived here? David Olmsted was St. Paul's first mayor. Olmsted County became official in 1855.

Head named the city after his hometown of Rochester, NY. So how did Rochester, NY get its name? Well according to, a group of Marylanders, including Nathaniel Rochester, obtained the land in the early 1800s and started a settlement there around 1812. In 1817, it was incorporated as a village under the name Rochesterville. Thankfully, they dropped ville from the name shortly after otherwise we'd be living in Rochesterville, Minnesota.



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