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Anoka, Minnesota is the county seat of Anoka County, and a northern suburb of the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and Saint Paul. The main highway routes serving the city are US Highway 10, US Highway 169, and Minnesota Highway 47. Situated at the confluence of the Rum River and Mississippi River, the community was first settled by immigrants who came in 1844, and by the mid-1850s it included a school, store and flour mill. The first settler was Joseph Belanger, who built a log cabin on the east side of the Rum River, from which he traded with the Indians. Logging operations began in the area in the 1840s, and a dam was built along the Rum River in 1853. The city was incorporated in 1878. According to a historical plaque at the corner of West Main Street and Park street, Anoka provided the first volunteers to the Union Army during the American Civil War. Aaron Greenwald, who was the first to sign, died at Gettysburg on July 2, 1863. Nearby communities include Andover, Champlin, Coon Rapids, and Dayton. Garrison Keillor, the radio host of A Prairie Home Companion, was born in Anoka and was a graduate of Anoka High School. It is believed that Anoka was the first city in the United States to hold a Halloween celebration, an event that began in the early 1820s as a means of halting Halloween pranks, and which has been held each year since.


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