Rochester is a city in the U.S. state of Minnesota and the county seat of Olmsted County. Located on rolling bluffs on the Zumbro River's south fork in Southeast Minnesota, the city is the home and birthplace of the renowned Mayo Clinic.
At the 2020 census, the city had a population of 121,395, making it Minnesota's third-largest city. The Rochester metropolitan area, which also includes the nearby rural agricultural areas, had a population of 226,329 in 2020.
The area developed as a stagecoach stop between Saint Paul, Minnesota, and Dubuque, Iowa near the Zumbro River. The community was founded by George Head and his wife Henrietta who built a log cabin named Head's Tavern in 1854 and named the city after his hometown of Rochester, New York. When the Winona and St Peter Railroad initiated service in October 1864, it brought new residents and business opportunities and spurred growth. In 1863, Dr. William W. Mayo arrived as the examining surgeon for Union draftees in the Civil War.
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