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Situated along the Redwood River, near where it joins the Minnesota River, the City of Redwood Falls is the county seat of Redwood County. Prior to its settlement by European-Americans and new immigrants, the land had been inhabited by the Ojibwa and the Dakota people. By the 1860s, the site of the future town was within the Dakota reservation. However, the Dakota War of 1862 resulted in an attempt to expel the Dakota from Minnesota altogether, but the Lower Sioux Indian Reservation in Redwood County was maintained for a time. However, in 1864, Sam McPhail, a colonel who had commanded US troops during the war, claimed the land where Redwood Falls was to be developed, hiring men to use lumber from the Dakota reservation to build a house and stockade. He became a newspaper publisher, probate judge, and the first Redwood County attorney. In 1872, he donated land for the county courthouse, which led to Redwood Falls being designated the county seat. Another prominent early resident was John St. George Honner, who claimed land north of Redwood Falls, building a house in 1869 that still stands, and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Honner became the first postmaster, and served as a county official, and later a state senator. After World War II, Redwood Falls hosted the Minnesota Inventors Congress, which was established to encourage innovation and entrepreneurship, holding a juried exhibition each year, and sponsoring a contest for student inventors. After fifty-eight years, the MIC ended in 2014. In 1958, Alexander Ramsey Park, which had been one of the least developed and used state parks, was taken over by the city, and is now the largest municipal park in Minnesota. Redwood Falls and North Redwood merged in 1996, and are now known as the single entity of Redwood Falls. Today, the Native American population of Redwood Fall is less than ten percent, although the Lower Sioux Indian Reservation is just east of the city.


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