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Sartell, Minnesota straddles both sides of the Mississippi River, as well as Stearns County and Benton County.

Sartell is mostly separated from Sauk Rapids by the Mississippi River, although the portion of Sartell crosses the river abuts Sauk Rapids. Sartell abuts Saint Cloud to the south and Watab Township to the northeast. Sartell's borders are ragged, with several small unincorporated areas within its limits, and surrounded by large areas of undeveloped property, with the exception of Sauk Rapids and Saint Cloud.

The main routes through the city are US Highway 10, Minnesota State Highway 15, and County Highway 1. Saint Stephen is about eight miles to the northwest. A rail line runs through town but it offers only freight transportation, largely serving the Verso Sartell Paper Mill, which is no longer in operation.

Before white settlers came in the late 19th century, the area was an inter-tribal no man's land, separating the Dakota and the Anishinaabe people.

In 1825, the United States government acknowledged the border in its treaty with the tribes. In 1846, the US government moved the Ho-Chunk people into the Sartell area, but they were uncomfortable living between two warring tribes, so they moved again in 1853, selling their grist and saw mills to white settlers.

Some of the first white explorers to come to the region were Jean-Baptiste Perrault, David Thompson, Zebulon Pike, Lewis Cass, Henry Schoolcraft, and Joseph Nicollet.

Sartell was founded along the west banks of the Mississippi River, largely as a lumber and paper company town. The settlement was initially known as The Third Rapids, numbering the rough waters encountered by fur traders as they traveled north from Saint Anthony Falls in Minneapolis.

Joseph B. Sartell was one of the first white people to settle the area. He was employed as a millwright at a local sawmill in 1854. He opened a flour mill on the Watab River in 1877, then co-founded the Sartell Brothers Lumber Company in 1884.

In 1905, construction began on the Sartell Dam, and the Sartell Pulp and Paper Company, which later became Watab Pulp and Paper Company, then St. Regis Paper Company, and is now known as Verso Paper Company's Sartell mill.

Sartell was incorporated in 1907. Although Wengert was proposed as a name for the new village, for a local businessman, it was decided to name the village Sartell, as Joseph Sartell had several relatives in the area and had made generous contributions to the community. Between 1907 and 1973, nearly every city council included a Sartell.

The village grew rapidly, particularly within its downtown area along US Highway 10, on the east banks of the Mississippi River. When the highway was rerouted further east in the 1960s, Sartell's business district began to deteriorate. However, the construction of the Sartell Bridge over the Mississippi in the early 1980s brought businesses back, although Sartell is still without a traditional downtown.

Sartell's population grew slowly, remaining under 1,000 until 1960, but has been growing rapidly since, and is more than 15,000 today.

Although Sartell is Saint Cloud's most populous suburb, it remained a paper company town until 2012 when the Verso Paper Mill was badly damaged by fire. Due to decreasing demand for paper, it was closed and later sold for parts. In recent years, the city's development efforts have concentrated on urbanization, adding larger chain businesses to a newly developed area that may serve as a new downtown district.

The focus of this category is on Sartell, Minnesota. Websites representing the municipal government and its departments, as well as those of Sartell industries, businesses, churches, schools, organizations, or individuals are appropriate topics for this category.


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