General Info

Winona was named in honor of Princess Winona, the daughter of Chief Wapasha.  “Winona” is derived from the Dakota Indian Word meaning “first-born Daughter.” The story is told that Princess Winona jumped to her death from Maidens Rock in Pepin, Wisconsin after she was forced to marry someone she didn’t love.  Winona County was originally inhabited by native Sioux and Dakota Indians.  Settlement began in the early 1800s and pioneers were attracted to river and rich prairies for agriculture.  Winona County was finally established on February 23, 1854 after Fillmore C­ounty was divided up.  Winona County was very profitable for its production of agriculture and its shipping ports. Populations in the county were on a steady rise until the early 1900s when the lumber industry started to decline. The area is now known for its beautiful scenery and rich heritage. The county features limestone bluffs, rolling prairies and spectacular views of the Mississippi River Valley. Today Winona County is home to approximately 49,879 residents.