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Fairmont is the county seat of Martin County, in southern Minnesota. Its history goes back to before Minnesota became a state. In 1826, a fort was established there, on the site that now hosts the county courthouse. The fort served as an army post and center of trade. The first recorded white settlers in the area were E. Banks Hall and William H. Budd, who built homes on the lakes that now bear their names in 1857. The town was platted in October of 1857, and originally named Fair Mount, for the hills that surrounded the adjacent lakes. A post office was established in 1858, with William Budd named as the first postmaster. Fort Fairmont was established in 1862 after the Sioux Uprising, but abandoned soon afterwards. The Grasshopper Plague of 1873 through 1877 forced many local farmers and others to abandon their land and leave Martin County, many of whom never returned. The Southern Minnesota Railroad was constructed to Fairmont in 1878, ushering in an period of development. By 1890, Fairmont had telephones and electricity, although initially electric services was suspended at 10:00 pm each night. The early 1900s brought industries to the city, including Fairmont Railway Motors, which produced small farm engines. By the late 1900s, health and medical related industries were becoming an important part of the city's economy. Fairmont is situated at the intersection of Interstate Highway 90 and Minnesota Highway 15. Welcome, Fox Lake, and Sherburn are west of the city, while Imogene is east, and Northrop is north of Fairmont.


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