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Swift County is a small county located in western Minnesota that may not be known to many. However, this county has a unique history that is rich with interesting facts.

1. Named After a War Hero
Swift County was named after Henry Adoniram Swift, who was a Union soldier during the Civil War. He was born in Massachusetts and moved to Minnesota in 1855, where he became a lawyer and a member of the Minnesota House of Representatives. During the Civil War, he served as a colonel and was later promoted to brigadier general.

2. Origin of the First West Nile Virus Case in the US
In 2002, Minnesota reported its first human case of the West Nile virus, and it originated from Swift County. The patient was a female farmer who had become infected through a mosquito bite.

3. Home of One of the Earliest Known Viking Artifacts in the US
In 1898, a group of Scandinavians in Swift County discovered a flat stone that had a runic inscription on it. The inscription was identified as Old Norse and was translated to read "Gripi owns this." This artifact is one of the earliest known Viking artifacts in the United States.

4. Birthplace of the First Female African American Mayor in Minnesota
Evelyn Turner became the first female African American mayor in Minnesota when she was elected in Benson, Swift County, in 1986. She served in office for eight years and was known for her community involvement and dedication to the city.

5. Site of a Bank Robbery by the Famous Dillinger Gang
In 1934, the famous John Dillinger gang robbed a bank in Benson, Swift County. They fled the scene with $27,000 in cash but were eventually caught by law enforcement.

6. Home of One of the Oldest Hutterite Colonies in the US
The Swift Colony was established in 1874 and is one of the oldest Hutterite colonies in the United States. The Hutterites are an Anabaptist religious group that lives communally and practices a simple lifestyle.

7. Location of a Major Pioneer Fort Along the Chippewa River
Fort Swift was a major military post established in 1863 by the US Army during the Dakota War. Situated along the Chippewa River, the fort served as a supply and communication point for troops during the conflict.

In conclusion, Swift County may be small, but it has a fascinating history with unique facts that make it a remarkable place. From the birthplace of the first African American female mayor in Minnesota to the site of a Viking artifact and a bank robbery by the famous Dillinger gang, Swift County's history is full of surprises and rich with interesting facts.

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