Lincoln County, named after Abraham Lincoln, was created by the Minnesota Legislature on March 6, 1873. But what we know today as Lincoln County was not Minnesota's first attempt to honor the assassinated president.
A patriotic Minnesota Legislature, desiring to honor Lincoln upon his assumption of the presidency in 1861, sought to give his name to a county established from the northeastern part of the present Renville County, with the addition of the two southernmost townships now in Meeker County. But this act failed to receive the necessary ratification by the people of the affected counties.
A second attempt to honor Lincoln came in March of 1866, when the State Legislature sought to change the name of Rock County to "Lincoln" County. This act was ignored by the people of Rock County.
A third unsuccessful attempt came on February 12, 1870, on the anniversary of Lincoln's birth. Another effort was made to remove part of eastern Renville County and establish "Lincoln" County, but not with the same borders as had been proposed in 1861. Once again, this failed to be ratified by the local people.
Finally, in 1873, Lincoln County was successfully created out of the western part of Lyon County, with the support of the voters. Counties have been named for Abraham Lincoln in fifteen other states.