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Situated just north of the geographical center of Minnesota, Baxter is in Crow Wing County. The city is bordered on the west by Cass County, and on the east by Brainerd. Its southern border is currently the Mississippi River, but expansion north and south is possible. Baxter is part of the Brainerd Lakes Area, along with the rest of Crow Wing County and parts of the adjoining counties. Other nearby communities include Barrows, Casino, Crow Wing, East Gull Lake, Legionville, Loerch, Merrifield, Motley, Pillager, Saint Mathias, Shephard, Sylvan, and Woodrow. The Camp Ripley Military Reservation is southwest of Baxter. The community was formed in the 1920s around a large tie-treating plant operated by the Northern Pacific Railroad, while another early industry was farming. Baxter was incorporated as a city in 1939, and named for Luther Baxter, a railroad attorney who had served as a colonel in the Civil War, and as a member of the state legislature. In recent years, tourism and service industries have become the area’s chief employers. The city’s population has increased rapidly since the 1960s and 1970s, slowing somewhat in the last few years.


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