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Situated on the north bank of the Minnesota River, above its confluence with the Mississippi River, in southeastern Hennepin County, Bloomington is the fourth largest city in Minnesota. Bloomington is surrounded by Apple Valley, Atwood, Bloomington Ferry, Burnsville, Eagan, Eden Prairie, Edina, Mendota Heights, Richfield, Savage, and Shakopee. Minneapolis is about ten miles north, and Saint Paul is about fifteen miles northeast of Bloomington. The first European-American settlers in the area were Peter and Louisa Quinn, who built a cabin along the Minnesota River in 1843, having been sent by the government to teach farming methods to the Indians. That same year, a missionary by the name of Gideon Hollister Pond established Oak Grove Mission in that area. The 1851 Treaty of Traverse des Sioux opened the area to settlers, many of whom had come from Bloomington, Illinois, for which the town was named. The town experienced moderate growth during early 1900s, but its population grew rapidly during the 1940s and 1950s, largely due to the post-war population boom. In 1953, Bloomington Township adopted a village form of government, and became a city in 1960. From 1961 to 1981, Bloomington was home to all of the major sports teams of Minnesota. Today, Bloomington has more jobs per capita than either Minneapolis or Saint Paul, largely due to the Mall of America, the largest enclosed shopping center in the United States, as well as the presence of several corporate headquarters and industries.

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