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Ivanhoe is in Lincoln County, in southern east Minnesota. With a population of just over five hundred, Ivanhoe is the least populous county seat in the state, it having been moved from Marshall in 1904 when the first county seat began to decline in population. Its peak population was 761 in 1980. The main routes through the city are US Highway 75 and Minnesota Highway 19. Nearby communities include Arco, Astoria, Minneota, Taunton, and Wilno. Canby is just under twenty miles to the north, Marshall is about twenty-five miles east, and Brookings, South Dakota is about thirty-five miles west of Ivanhoe. Platted in 1901, the city was named for the Sir Walter Scott historical novel, and some of its earliest streets were named for the noblemen and noblewomen in the novel, such as Rowena, Rebecca, Rotherwood, Norman, and Saxon. Prior to its incorporation, it was known as Wilmo, a corruption of Wilna, a place in Russia.



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