Place Names - Cottonwood River

Cottonwood River

The Cottonwood River is a translation of the Dakota name for cottonwood Waraju. The river was named from the abundance of this tree on its banks. Early French explorer Joseph Nicollet stated that the most important village of the Sisseton Dakota was on its north bank near its junction with the Minnesota River. The cottonwood, also called the necklace poplar, is a fast-growing, tall tree, common or frequent through the southern half of the state. (Upham)

(1) cottonwood (2) a grove (3) river. “The river where there are cottonwoods.” Riviere aux Liards in French. Present day Cottonwood River. (Durand)

Watersheds | Blue Earth | Chippewa | Cottonwood | Hawk Creek | Lac qui Parle | Le Sueur | Pomme de Terre | Redwood | Watonwan | Yellow Medicine | Minnesota River |


Upham, Warren (1969) Minnesota Geographic Names. Minnesota Historical Society: St. Paul, MN
Durand, Paul (1994) Where the Waters Gather and the Rivers Meet: An Atlas of the Eastern Sioux. Prior Lake, MN
Minnesota Place Names


This page was last updated 4/15/11