Winona was founded in 1851. The early years of settlement were difficult due to the primitive conditions, sickness, strife over land claims, and lack of capital. In 1855 the city of 815 people began to grow steadily in population, as well as economically and politically. The land office opened, two newspapers were established, and the lumber industry and wheat milling were in early stages of formation. A census was taken in 1857, as required for Minnesota's admission to the Union as a state. By 1860 the city grew to 2,464 and the county to 6,744.
Winona in 1861