Stearns County in Minnesota has a lot of fascinating history that might surprise you. Here are seven interesting facts about this county that you may not have known.
1. The first settlers in Stearns County were German immigrants.
In the mid-1800s, a group of German immigrants known as the "Illinois Germans" started coming to Stearns County. They faced great difficulties, including harsh winters, prairie fires, and crop failures, but they were determined to create a new home for themselves and their families.
2. Stearns County was once the site of a major conflict between Native Americans and the US government.
In 1862, the US government was engaged in a conflict with the Dakota Sioux. The Dakota War was fought in Stearns County, and the Dakota Sioux were eventually defeated, leading to the exile of many Native Americans from their ancestral lands.
3. The county seat of Stearns County was moved several times before finally being established in St. Cloud.
St. Cloud was finally chosen as the county seat in 1856 after several other locations were considered, including tiny towns like Kratka, Maine Prairie, and New Munich.
4. St. Cloud was once home to a major granite quarry.
The town of St. Cloud became known for its high-quality granite, which was used to build many famous landmarks across the United States, including the state capitol buildings in Minnesota, North Dakota, and South Dakota.
5. The town of Sauk Centre was the birthplace of Pulitzer Prize-winning writer Sinclair Lewis.
Sinclair Lewis was born in Sauk Centre in 1885 and went on to become one of the most famous American writers of the 20th century. He was the first American writer to be awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature.
6. Stearns County was a major hub for bootlegging during Prohibition.
During the Prohibition era, Stearns County was a hotbed of illicit activity. Bootleggers smuggled alcohol across state lines and operated clandestine speakeasies in towns like St. Cloud and Sauk Centre.
7. The St. Cloud Amateur Baseball Hall of Fame is located in Stearns County.
St. Cloud has a rich history of amateur baseball, and the St. Cloud Amateur Baseball Hall of Fame celebrates the local players, coaches, and volunteers who have made significant contributions to the sport in the area.
These are just a few of the many interesting facts about Stearns County. If you're interested in exploring more about this fascinating area, a visit to the local historical society or museum is a great place to start.
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