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Cokato is in Wright County, Minnesota. US Highway 12 serves as the chief route through the city. Cokato is north of Stockholm, east of Dassel, and west of Smith Lake and Howard Lake. St. Cloud is about thirty-five miles north, and Minneapolis is about fifty miles east of Cokato. The area was first settled in 1858, with settlers building their homes near Sucker Creek. At that time, the area was part of Middleville Township. Cokato Township was established in July of 1868 and Cokato was founded as a railroad stop in 1869, when the St. Paul & Pacific Railroad (later Great Northern) was extended to that point, and the town was incorporated as a village in 1878. It wasn’t long before Cokato had a post office, hotels, general stores, saloons, blacksmith shops, and several homes. The first residents of Cokato came mostly from New York, New Hampshire, and Maine, but they were soon followed by immigrants from Sweden, Finland, Norway, Germany, and other European countries, eventually becoming mostly Swedish and Finnish. A school was established in 1871, and the town’s first newspaper began publishing in 1878. Other than a slight decrease in population in 1960 and 2010, Cokato has experienced steady growth since 1880.


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