Stevens County, located in West Central Minnesota, has a rich history with many interesting facts that have shaped the area. Here are 7 interesting facts about Stevens County in Minnesota history.
1. Early Settlers Were Swedish and Norwegian
In the late 1800s, many Swedish and Norwegian immigrants moved to Stevens County to farm the land. They settled in towns like Morris and Hancock and established communities that are still present today. The influence of these early settlers can be seen in the area's culture and architecture.
2. C.A. Smith Was the Founder of Morris
Charles A. Smith, also known as C.A. Smith, founded the town of Morris in 1879. He was a businessman who saw the potential of the area and worked to establish a trading post and train depot. Today, Morris is the largest city in Stevens County and serves as a hub for commerce and education.
3. Stevens County Was Named After a Governor
Stevens County was named after the first territorial governor of Minnesota, Henry Hastings Sibley. Sibley served from 1849 to 1853 and was known for his efforts to establish Minnesota as a state.
4. The Great Fire of 1879
In October of 1879, a massive fire swept through Morris and destroyed much of the town. The fire was caused by a spark from a passing train and quickly spread because of dry conditions. The town was rebuilt relatively quickly and the experience served as a lesson in fire safety.
5. Cut Finger Creek Was Named After a Battle
Cut Finger Creek, located in Stevens County, was named after a battle between the Dakota and Ojibwe tribes. During the battle, a Dakota warrior had his finger cut off, leading to the name of the creek. The battle is part of the complex history of the area with indigenous peoples.
6. The Stevens County Courthouse Has a Unique Design
The Stevens County Courthouse, located in Morris, has a unique design that sets it apart from other county courthouses in Minnesota. Built in the early 1900s, the courthouse features a Renaissance Revival style and a striking dome at the center.
7. The University of Minnesota, Morris
The University of Minnesota, Morris was founded in 1960 and has been an important part of the community ever since. It is a liberal arts college with a focus on sustainability and environmentalism. The campus is home to many historic buildings, including an old armory that was once used for military training.
These are just a few interesting facts about Stevens County in Minnesota history. From early settlers to modern-day institutions, the area has a rich and diverse history that continues to shape the region today.
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