Todd County was established by the Minnesota Territorial Legislature in February of 1856. It extended east to the Mississippi River. Fort Ripley was in the original county. Young John Baines Smith Todd was in command of the Fort at that time. In keeping with the custom of the times, counties were named for prominent people, and Captain Todd lent his name to the county.
When Minnesota became a state in 1858, the county lines were changed with the land west of a line straight south of the junction of the Crow Wing and Long Prairie Rivers remaining in Todd County. The land east of that line became Morrison County. By 1867, the county was fully organized and those boundaries have remained as such for 125 years.
As early as 1845, Long Prairie was the site of the Winnebago Indian Agency. The Winnebago Indians were brought here to serve as a buffer between the Dakota and the Ojibway nations. The Agency continued to operate in Todd County until the mid-1850's when the Winnebago Indians were relocated to the Blue Earth area.
In 1871, John P. Tweed, a trustee of the Long Prairie Land Company, gave a full block to Todd County. The consideration for this transfer stated "that the same shall be used for permanent County buildings". The Todd County Courthouse was built in 1883 and the first jail was built in 1900 and was used until 1985. Construction for a new jail facility was started in July of 1984. Ground was broke for a new Court Facility in June of 1995, now known as the Government Center and Law Enforcement/Detention Center. Annex I was built in 1964 and Annex II was constructed in 1978 with an addition built in 1990. These buildings are all located on the original specified site.
Todd County is situated in the geographical center of Minnesota. It is part of the transitional area where "the eastern forest meets the western prairie". The total land area is approximately 631,280 acres with over 27,000 acres of lakes.
Todd County is governed by five commissioners representing the various districts in the county. There are 28 townships and 13 towns in the County, with Long Prairie being the County Seat.