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Parkers Prairie is in southeastern Otter Tail County, Minnesota. Lake Adley makes up a portion of the city’s southeastern limits, while Cora Lake is on its northeastern border, and several other lakes are nearby, including Augusta Lake, Horsehead Lake, and Nelson Lake. The main routes through the city are Minnesota Highways 29 and 235, and Interstate Highway 94 is about twenty miles south of Parkers Prairie. Nearby communities include Almora, Leaf Valley, Miltona, Rose City, Spruce Center, Urbank, and Wrightstown. Alexandria is twenty miles south, Wadena is twenty-six miles northeast, and Fergus Falls is about forty-five miles west of Parkers Prairie. The township that later became Parkers Prairie was originally organized as Jasper in 1870, for a mythical Revolutionary War hero after whom several counties and townships around the country were named. Ben Pease, the first settler in the village, chose the name. The first township election was held at a store operated by Henry Asseln on the shores of Lake Adley. In 1873, the township’s name was changed to Parkers Prairie to commemorate one of the original surveyors. The township was first surveyed by a party led by Warren Adley of Osakis, for whom Lake Adley was named, and Parker was the one in the party who first saw the prairie ahead after climbing a tree. On their way back to Osakis, Parker drowned trying to cross the Long Prairie River. The first homesteaders arrived in Parkers Prairie in 1868, staking claims mostly along the edge of the prairie. There are about fifteen lakes in the township, the largest being Nelson Lake, followed by Rainy, Horsehead, and Adley. Other lakes include Fish, Cora, Clarno, and Augusta. Other than those feeding the lakes, there are no rivers or streams within the township. The Soo Railroad came through in 1902, running north-south through the township. The village of Parkers Prairie was incorporated in 1903.

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