Norman County

In the Heart of the Red River Valley

Norman County


 During what hours is the Courthouse open?

Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m., except for Federal holidays and weather emergencies.

 Where is Norman County located?

Norman County is located in the Red River Valley of Minnesota, one of the great farming regions of the world. To the east it is bounded by Mahnomen County, to the south by Clay County, and to the north by Polk. The western boundary is formed by the Red River of the North. The county is made up of twenty-four townships.

The general surface is very flat, the highest point being Frenchman’s Bluff near the village of Flom in the eastern part of the county. This is 1400 feet above sea level. The soil in the greater part of the county is rich, dark loam, famed for its fertility, but it becomes sandy in the extreme eastern part. All the county except this eastern section was once a part of the Lake Agassiz bed.

The only river of any consequence is the Wild Rice River.  This stream runs from east to west and passes near the towns of Twin Valley and Ada.  It enters the Red River somewhat to the south of the city of Halstad.  Just east of the city of Ada, the river divides into two parts.  The northern one, known as the Marsh River, joins the Red River close to the town of Shelly.

The Norman County seat, Ada, located near the center of the county is 266 miles Northwest of Minneapolis. 

Norman County has an approximate land area of 566,500 acres. It has 24 legal townships and 10 towns and villages. The county is 24 miles wide and approximately 37 miles long from east to west.

The 581 farms in Norman County make up a land area of 457,670 acres. The average size farm is 788 acres.

 Where is the Norman County Courthouse located?

Physical Address: 16 3rd Ave E, Ada MN 56510

At the Intersection of State Highways 9 and 200 in Ada. 

  1. Go North on East Main Street (State Highway 9) three blocks
  2. Turn right on 3rd Ave East
  3. The Courthouse is on the corner of 3rd Ave E and 1st St East

    The Law Enforcement Center is directly south of the Courthouse and is located on 2nd Ave East.

 When was Norman County Organized?

  • Norman County was organized on February 17, 1881, from a part of Polk County, which in turn had been a part of Pembina County. The name was chosen because of the great number of Norwegian immigrants who settled in the county.

 What are the leading farm products in Norman County?

  • Soybeans leads the way with 173,000 acres, spring wheat is next with 143,000 acres grown each year, 46,000 acres of sugarbeets, about 43,000 acres of corn and alfalfa hay, 10,000 acres of sunflowers, barley with 5,000 acres, smaller acreage’s of dry beans, potatoes, oats and other specialty crops.
  • Livestock numbers in Norman County are small but very important. We have 2,000 head of dairy cows (1 large dairy operation with approximately 1000 head), 1 large turkey operation with more than a half million birds.  There are only a handful of dairy and pig operators. 
  • There are dry edible bean, sunflower and oat processing facilities in the County.

 What businesses and job opportunities are in Norman County?

  • We have large Agri-Business Centers for the farmers crop and livestock needs and selling of their commodities.

    Crop Consultants or farmer advisors are growing in numbers each year.  Specialist in many crops and livestock fields are helping out the farmers.

    Other jobs in the county include the three school systems in Norman County, County Government systems, three regional telephone systems, a hospital, clinics, and nursing home care.

 What kind of recreational/tourist opportunities are there in Norman County?

  • We do not have any regional parks or state parks, but we do have interesting areas of interest. Some of the wild life areas mainly to the eastern half of the county or the beach ridge of glacial lake Agassiz. Frenchman’s Bluff a high spot in the county and it has types of birds and insects only found in that area.  Water fowl and moose can be seen in those areas.  Large populations of white tail deer are found throughout the county.  Norman County has only one lake called Home Lake, another called Love Lake by Hendrum but it is not a real lake. People did find some three legged frogs by this lake in past years.

    We do have some very nice community parks, Hendrum Community Park, just east of town on the Wild Rice River.  Halstad Community Park, just west of town along the Red River, Ada Community, has three parks, two in town and one along the Marsh River called Bosworth Park south of town on Highway #9. Heiberg Park is on the Wild Rice River north of Twin Valley, Minnesota. Now we have groomed snowmobile trails going across the county from Fertile, Minnesota, to Ulen, Minnesota, on the old Soo Line railroad bed. We have a walking track in Ada, Minnesota, and a cross country skiing trails at Fertile Sand Hills, and Heiberg Park.