Skip to main content Skip to office menu Skip to footer
Capital IconMinnesota Legislature
Skip Navigation Links > >

Minnesota Agencies

Information on Minnesota State Agencies, Boards, Task Forces, and Commissions

Compiled by the Minnesota Legislative Reference Library

Geographic Board

Also known as:
State Geographic Board
Active dates:1937-1971

Determines the correct and most appropriate names of lakes, streams, place, and other geographic features in Minnesota, and establishes the correct spelling of such names.


The State Geographic Board was established by the legislature in 1937 and consisted of the commissioner of conservation, the commissioner of state highways, and the director of the Minnesota Historical Society. Prior to the board's establishment, geographic names were changed by petitioning county boards (1925 Minn. Laws Chap.157). The county boards submitted all changes to the commissioner of drainage and waters to prevent duplication. The functions of the board were to determine the correct and most appropriate names of the lakes, streams, places, and other geographic features in the state and the spelling thereof; to pass upon and give names to unnamed geographic features in the state; and to cooperate with county boards in changing geographic names to eliminate duplication of names as far as possible. The board also sponsored the Minnesota gazetteer project, which was designed to compile and publish a gazetteer of Minnesota place names and was carried out with WPA funds. It was never completed. The board was abolished by the legislature in 1971 and its functions transferred to the commissioner of Natural Resources (1969 Minn. Laws 1969 Chap. 1129 Art. 3 Sec. 3), who assigned the work to the Division of Waters, Soils, and Minerals.

All the powers and duties now vested in, or imposed upon the state Geographic Board under this chapter, are transferred to, vested in, and imposed upon the commissioner of natural resources. The state Geographic Board as heretofore constituted is abolished.

Record last updated: 04/29/2019

All information on this group from the Library’s collection of agency notebooks has been digitized. These materials are incorporated into the “documents/articles” section of the record. Please contact a librarian with any questions. The Minnesota Agencies database is a work in progress.

Agencies image