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Kenyon is situated along the North Fork of the Zumbro River in Goodhue County, in southeastern Minnesota. The chief routes through the city are Minnesota Highways 56 and 60, while Highway 246 is just north of the city. Nearby localities include Berne, Bombay, Cannon City, Concord, Dennison, Epsom, Hader, Moland, Medford, Merton, Nerstrand, Prairieville, Roscoe, Roscoe Center, Skyberg, Sogn, Walcott, Wanamingo, Wastego, and West Concord. Faribault is about fifteen minutes west of the city, Zumbrota is under twenty miles east, and Owatonna is just over twenty miles southwest of Kenyon. Named for Kenyon College in Ohio, the city was founded in 1856. The first settlers in the area came in the spring of 1855, and in the next few years north and west portions of the township were settled, but the southeastern portion was sparsely settled. Although much of the county was settled largely by Norwegian immigrants, the village of Kenyon was inhabited mostly by people who came from elsewhere in the United States. In May of 1856, James H. Day and James M. LeDuc owned most of the land on which the village was built, while two men named Howe and Hilton owned other parts of the land, and these four men laid out and platted the village. A general store was opened by partners named Crowley and Baker, and Stephen A. Bullis built the first hotel in 1857, and Stephen Hilton built the community’s first school house in 1859. Martin Gunderson established a mill, and provided electricity to the city as early as 1896. Kenyon’s population has remained fairly stable since 1900, with slight decreases between 1950 and 1980.

 

 

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