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Faribault Timeline

1745 - 1855 | 1856 - 1865 | 1866-1901
1910-1944 | 1945 - 1985


  • Wahpekute band of Dakotah occupies the area, driven south after a defeat by the Ojibwe.


  • Alexander Faribault born in Wisconsin.


  • Taopi, a Dakotah Indian who will play an important role in the relations between the Dakotah and settlers, is born, probably near Fort Snelling (approximate date).


  • Alexander Faribault builds his first trading post along the Cannon River.


  • Alexander Faribault moves his fur trading post to the junction of the Cannon and Straight Rivers, now the site of Faribault. Son of a French-Canadian fur trader and a woman of Dakotah heritage, Alexander Faribault's language skills and networks of relationships among these cultures encourage members of the Wapekute to relocate their village to this area as well.


  • Minnesota becomes a territory.


  • Treaties of Traverse-de-Sioux and Mendota signed, with the Dakotah ceding most of southern and western Minnesota.



  • First sawmill goes into operation. It uses steam power.
  • Spirit Lake Road from Faribault to Iowa and Hastings is laid out.


  • City of Faribault platted.
  • Mail service begins.
  • Writer Frederick Frink describes a settlement with log homes, frame houses and tipis.
  • Barron House hotel built.


  • First public school constructed.
  • Period of rapid church growth.
  • Total number of town buildings in the spring: 20.
  • Total number of town buildings in the fall: 250.


  • A jail and city office are constructed.
  • A plank road between Cannon City and Faribault is built.


  • Minnesota becomes a state.
  • Taopi adapts to the ways of settlers by cutting his hair, dressing in European-style clothing and converting to Christianity.
  • Henry Benjamin Whipple named first Episcopal Bishop of Minnesota.
  • James Lloyd Breck founds Seabury Divinity School and Shattuck School.


  • French-Canadian LaCroix family moves to Faribault. They will soon invent a new way to mill flour that will become a standard in the industry.


  • Civil War starts.


  • The Dakotah War occurs when a number of cultural conflicts, including those related to land treaty injustices, come to a head. Taopi and Whipple negotiate for understanding between the conflicted groups. Whipple petitions President Abraham Lincoln to stay the execution of Dakotah prisoners. Ultimately, 38 of 303 Dakotah prisoners are hanged in Mankato.


  • Alexander Faribault and Bishop Whipple support Dakotah families, including Taopi, relocating to Faribault.
  • State School for the Deaf opens in Faribault.


  • First railroad line reaches town.
  • Bethlehem Academy founded.
  • German immigrant Carl Klemer begins operation of carding mill with four looms.
  • Civil War ends.



  • Board of Trade forms to promote town businesses.
  • A peony farm is established by A.M. Brand.


  • Taopi dies.


  • Future architect Olof Hanson enters the State School for the Deaf.
  • A massive fire, uncontrolled by the town’s single fire engine and bucket brigades, destroys almost all buildings in one downtown block, including two banks and ten stores.


  • Alexander Faribault dies in poverty.
  • First electric lights and telephone arrive in Faribault.
  • Barron House hotel burns; is replaced by the Hotel Brunswick.


  • Electric lights illuminate Main Street.


  • William Kueker and Otto Koslowski move the Farmer’s Seed Company to Faribault from Chicago, making it easier to deliver their products to farmers.
  • The Opera House opens.
  • The City Waterworks begins operation.


  • The Faribault Canning Company is founded.


  • The Straight River is straightened to accommodate the town’s third rail line. The three lines are: the Milwaukee Road; the Burlington, Cedar Rapids and Northern; and the Chicago and Northwestern.


  • St. James School founded by James Dobbin.
  • Bishop Henry Whipple dies.


  • An ordinance forbidding spitting on sidewalks, in grates and on building floors or walls is enacted.
  • Business owners petition the city council to enact a 9 p.m. curfew for youth under 16, due to the “many temptations and dangers which surround them."
  • Sixteen bridges serve Faribault.


  • U.S. enters World War I.


  • Roby Allen founds a school to teach young deaf children, emphasizing lip reading and speaking.
  • Artist Grace McKinstry achieves national recognition as an artist and portrait painter.



  • County courthouse burns.
  • Over 2000 transients are “housed” in the town jail during the year as the Depression hits.


  • Architect Olof Hanson dies in Seattle.



  • U.S. enters World War II.


  • German prisoners of war work at the Faribault Canning Company and Andrews Nursery, living in local barracks.
  • Faribault woman Elizabeth Stohfus flies planes for the U.S. military. She shuttles planes within the U.S., serves as an instructor for male pilots and flies planes with targets attached for practice drills.


  • World War II ends.
  • Faribault citizens begin relief effort to Würzburg, Germany, 80% of which was destroyed by bombing during the war.


  • Faribo West Mall opens.


  • Faribault becomes Minnesota’s first Certified Local Government, making it eligible to receive federal funding for historic preservation activities.

1745 - 1855 | 1856 - 1865 | 1866-1901
1910-1944 | 1945 - 1985



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