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Lonsdale is in Rice County, Minnesota, a few miles northeast of Wheatland. Other nearby communities include Hazelwood, Little Chicago, Millersburg, Montgomery, New Prague, Veseli, and Webster. The first settlement in the area was in the late 1800s, when Norwegian and Bohemian immigrants platted a town that they called Trondheim in anticipation of a railroad coming through the area. However, plans were put on hold and, in 1891 the Chicago, Milwaukee and St. Paul Railroad decided to lay a track from Mankato to Wells, but to locate it six miles southwest of Trondheim. The Milwaukee Land Company developed, surveyed and platted forty acres of land donated by Thomas Wilby in 1902, and the resulting community was named Lonsdale. The first three businesses built in Lonsdale were a saloon, hotel, and livery stable. Many of the businesses in the unincorporated community of Veseli, two miles north, were moved to Lonsdale, and soon the new settlement also had a grain elevator, hotel, and livery stable. Lonsdale was incorporated as a village in 1903. The city’s population has increased each census year since 1950, more than doubling its population in the 2000s.

 

 

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