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Situated in the center of Douglas County, the city of Garfield, Minnesota was named for the 20th president of the United States, James Garfield. The community began in 1868, when Alex Richardson and Andrew Sanstead received a land patent. In 1885, Sanstead bought Richardson’s holdings, had the town surveyed and began selling lots. Garfield was incorporated as a village in 1905. The town’s first mayor was Torgels Knutson, who ran the local butcher shop and hardware store, which remained in the Knutson family until 1954. Until a post office was established in 1880, mail was delivered to the store by stagecoach. Early transportation was by stage, wagon, horseback, or oxcart. A branch of the Old Red River Trail went through about two-thirds of a mile from town. The Great Northern Railroad extended its tracks to the town in 1879. The village was mostly destroyed by fire in 1928. The population of Garfield has remained fairly steady, fluctuating between a low of 160 in 1910 to a high of 354 in 2010. Organized in 1880, Garfield Township is a separate political entity, located just outside the city limits. Nearby communities include Alexandria, to the southeast, and Brandon, to the northwest. Fargo, North Dakota is about one hundred miles northwest, and Minneapolis is about one hundred and forty miles southeast of Garfield.



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