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Morris, Minnesota is the county seat of Stevens County. Lake Crystal is in the southwestern part of the city, and the Pomme de Terre River flows through its eastern end. US Highway 59 and Minnesota Highways 9 and 28 are the chief routes through the city. Nearby communities include Alberta, Cyrus, Donnelly, and Hancock. Fergus Falls is about fifty miles north of Morris. Morris was founded in 1871 as a railroad town, and named for Charles F. Morris, the St. Paul and Pacific Railroad’s chief engineer. The village was incorporated as a city in 1902. The first buildings in Morris were made of wood, and the city experienced two major fires, one in 1882 and another in 1890, which destroyed nearly half of its business district. The sidewalks were also made of wood, and the streets were made of dirt. Atlantic Avenue was the first to be paved, and that wasn’t until 1919. The land surrounding Morris is among the richest agricultural lands in the country, and agriculture continues to be an important part of the city’s economy, although manufacturing, health care and education are also important. Riverview LLP is the largest dairy operation in the state, and Superior Industries is the city’s largest employer, with two manufacturing plants in Morris. The University of Minnesota Morris was built as the Morris Industrial School for Indians in 1887, becoming part of the University of Minnesota system in 1960. Morris is also home to the West Central Research and Outreach Center, a division of the U of M system’s College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences, which also hosts a horticultural gardens.


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