Once part of Ramsey and Benton Counties, Anoka County was settled in the 1850s by fur traders.  Communities developed near railway centers and nearby rivers and lakes. By 1869, Anoka County was established and the name was a combination of Indian words meaning both side of working waters. Early industry included agriculture and lumbering and the city of Anoka was selected as the county seat. A courthouse was built in 1878, remaining unchanged until 1955 when it was remodeled to house a variety of government offices. After World War II, Anoka County began to grow as community developments attracted new citizens. Today Anoka County is home to approximately 327,090 residents.