Dakota County constitutes 587 square miles in area, originally vegetated with oak prairie savannas. It lies within the confluence of the four major rivers, draining from the state of Minnesota namely the Minnesota and Mississippi Rivers located along the northern border and the Mississippi and St. Croix Rivers on the eastern border. Prior to settlement by immigrants from Europe, Dakota County was originally a pat of the territory of the Dakota Indian Tribe. Nicholas Perrot, a fur trader, laid claim to the Dakota land for France without the consent of the native Dakota tribe in 1689. Lands west of the Mississippi were taken over by the US from France in 1805 after the Louisiana Purchase. The Minnesota Territory legislature established nine original counties, Dakota being one of them. The County seat was established in Kaposia in 1853 and then moved to Mendota in 1854 and then Hastings in 1857 until the present.