Blooming Prairie, Minnesota, is a small town located in Steele County. Despite its size, the area has been significant in shaping Minnesota's history. Here are seven historical events that have taken place near Blooming Prairie.
1. Treaty of Traverse des Sioux (1851)
A significant event in Minnesota's history occurred in 1851 when the U.S. government signed a treaty with the Dakota tribes at Traverse des Sioux, just 70 miles northwest of Blooming Prairie. The treaty resulted in the cession of millions of acres of land to the U.S. Government, including the land that makes up Steele County and Blooming Prairie.
2. The Murder of Pearl Larson (1927)
In 1927, a man named Arthur Setterstrom, who lived in a farm near Blooming Prairie, murdered his neighbor Pearl Larson. The crime shocked the small community, and Setterstrom was sentenced to life in prison. The case received widespread coverage and remains a landmark criminal case in Minnesota's history.
3. Visit of President Teddy Roosevelt (1903)
President Teddy Roosevelt visited Rochester, MN, in 1903, and made a speech at the State Hospital for the Insane. He also made several stops on his way to Rochester, including Blooming Prairie, where he greeted the locals and gave a short speech at the train station.
4. Formation of Steele County Fair (1909)
The first Steele County Fair was held in 1909, just outside of Owatonna, 10 miles east of Blooming Prairie. The event, which included a horse race, livestock shows, and an exhibition of farming equipment, attracted thousands of people from the area and marked the beginning of a long tradition of agrarian fairs in Minnesota.
5. Great Depression in Minnesota (1929-1939)
The Great Depression took a heavy toll on Minnesota, as it did the rest of the country. Many farmers in the area lost their land, while businesses struggled to stay afloat during the decade-long economic crisis. Blooming Prairie and the surrounding area suffered significant impacts from the Depression, including a loss of jobs and stagnant economic growth.
6. Tornado Outbreak (1965)
On June 4, 1965, a massive tornado outbreak struck southern Minnesota, including Blooming Prairie. The storm system produced around 24 tornadoes, resulting in 13 fatalities and over 500 injuries. The city of Blooming Prairie was heavily damaged, and the tornado resulted in the destruction of over 100 homes and businesses.
7. Soybean Rust Epidemic (2005)
In the summer of 2005, the soybean rust epidemic struck Minnesota, impacting thousands of soybean farmers in the area surrounding Blooming Prairie. The disease, which was caused by the fungus Phakopsora pachyrhizi, reduced crop yields and led to significant economic losses for farmers.
Overall, Blooming Prairie and the surrounding area have a rich history, with notable events that have impacted the community and the state of Minnesota. From the signing of the Treaty of Traverse des Sioux to the Soybean Rust Epidemic, these historical events remain an essential part of Minnesota's past, reminding us of the hardship and triumphs of those who came before.
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