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Adrian, Minnesota is in Nobles County, in southwestern Minnesota. The community began as a stop along the St. Paul and Dakota Railroad, which was a branch of the Sioux City and St. Paul Railroad. In the summer of 1876, railroad employees surveyed the area and developed a townsite in advance of the track-laying crews which arrived in August. The plat was filed in October. The city was named for Adrian C. Islen, who was a major stockholder in the rail line, according to a railroad company history, but the town’s history states that the city was named for a Mrs. Adrian Iselin, the mother of Adrian C. Iselin. The community was populated largely by Catholics, due to the efforts of Bishop John Ireland, who encouraged Catholics from eastern cities to emigrate to Minnesota, buying land to sell to the new arrivals. St. Adrian’s Parish was founded in 1877. Its first church was burned on Christmas Eve of 1899, and its current building was constructed in 1901, and is on the National Register of Historic Places. In the early days of the town, Adrian prospered as a shipping point for grain. In 1967, a section of Interstate Highway 90 was constructed to bypass Adrian to the north, which contributed to the city’s status as a small town, and it is largely a bedroom community today. Along Interstate 90, Adrian is east of Magnolia and west of Rushmore. Other nearby communities include Ash Creek, Ellsworth, Kanaranzi, Kenneth, Lismore, Luverne, Ransom, Reading, and Wilmont. Sioux Falls, South Dakota is about forty-five miles west of Adrian.

 

 

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