The Polk County Journal, published in Crookston, is available online at and provided by the Minnesota Historical Society with most issues from 1881-1908. The Journal can be read online or downloaded in PDF or various eReader formats. The text recognition is rife with errors, the PDF is searchable. We recommend downloading the high resolution PDF.

The Warren Sheaf is published in Marshall County, directly north of Polk County. Some good-natured ribbing occurred between the Polk County Journal and the Warren Sheaf, and news of northern Polk County residents may be in the Sheaf. The Sheaf is hosted by the US Library of Congress.

 Books and Publications

Compendium of history and biography of Polk County, Minnesota (1916) contains a wealth of early history of Polk County and hundreds of biographies of the early settlers and persons influential in the development of the county. The 800 page book is available online or may be downloaded in PDF format.

Maj. R. I. Holcombe, historical editor, William H. Bingham, general editor. With special articles by Elias Steenerson, W. E. McKenzie, N. P. Stone … and others … Published Minneapolis, W. H. Bingham & Co., 1916.

The Compendium is also published in sections by the University of Minnesota Crookston.

CENTENNIAL HISTORY OF POLK COUNTY (1958) By T. M. McCall was published on the Centennial year of Minnesota Statehood and, as one of the original nine counties of Minnesota, the centennial celebration for Polk County. The book writing was funded by the Polk County Board of Commissioners and is digitally published and hosted by the University of Minnesota Crookston.

Bicentennial History of Polk County, Minnesota Pioneers of the Valley (1976) published in 1976 by the Polk County Historical Society, contains hundreds of biographies and histories of the entire county. It is organized by town and township. The digital version is hosted by the University of Minnesota Crookston.

WorldCat Library Database lists many books on the history of Polk County with abstracts and libraries around the world that circulate the publications.

Legendary Locals of Crookston (2014), by Kristina Gray. Gray is a Polk County Historical Society board member, historian, and author. Her book covers over 100 people influential in the history of Crookston and Polk County. Available from and from Kristina Gray.

Crookston, Images of America by Kristina Gray. A rich photo essay of the history of Crookston, county seat of Polk County, highlighting the robust and progressive growth of early Polk County.

University of Minnesota Crookston Digital Archives. A large collection of digitized publications from the region.

University of Minnesota CrookstonCommencement – 1909-2007Commentator – 1966-1979Cycle – 1895-1968

Fourth Estate – 1991-1997

Gleanings – 1895-1995

New Student Directory – 1993-2003

Northwest Monthly – 1916-1968

Torch – 1977 – Current

Yearbooks – 1910-2000

Polk County75 Years of the Red River Valley Winter Shows – 1910-1985A Tale of Two Valleys – 1951Bicentennial History of Polk County, Minnesota Pioneers of the Valley – 1976

Centennial History of Polk County – 1858-1958

Crookston 90 Years – 1879-1969

Compendium of History and Biography of Polk County, Minnesota – 1916

Footprints of Yesterday – 1879-1979

NW Minnesota Land of Prosperity – 1915

Warren…Plains to Plenty – 1880-1980

 Genealogy Research Resources

The MNGenWeb Polk County Site contains links to hundreds of Polk County research sites with obituaries, cemetery records, census, articles, and much more.

Historic Map Works has hundreds of maps of Polk County, including atlases by township and city from 1902 on. You may view maps online or purchase prints or download high quality digital images for $19.99.

Find a Grave is a free online site that indexes 121 million interments. Many Polk County cemeteries are listed. has a number of Polk County cemeteries as well as links to birth, marriage, and death records. is a subscription based worldwide genealogy research website.


1930 Polk County Atlas from Minnesota Reflections