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Named for its location in the valley where Mashaug Creek connects with the Wild Rice River, the city of Twin Valley, Minnesota is in Norman County.

The settlement began in the mid-1870s when the site was chosen for a flour mill. As the creek was about ten feet below the river bottom, a canal was cut through the river bank to create a waterfall that would power the mill.

The mill was in operation for a few years before a settlement grew up around it. J.F. Heiberg came in 1881 to work in the mill, which was owned by S.B. Olson. Later, he bought him out and rebuilt the mill in 1883. Farms sprung up around the region, and the Stortroen and Leath Store opened in the late 1870s, and Mr. Stortroen became the first postmaster in 1881. Dr. John Fropshaug, a Norwegian veterinary surgeon, homesteaded there in 1878 and served as a doctor for people and animals until his death in 1899.

Nine wagons of settlers came together in 1880, bringing the families of Nils Wold, P.O. Herreid, and Peter B. Olson, as well as Hans Hanson, Christ Hanson, Christ Olson, and the Neresons, most of whom settled in the area that was to become Twin Valley. Another group of settlers, including the Karl Stenseth family, came in 1882. Mr. Stenseth bought the Halvorson Store and was appointed postmaster of Heiberg until it was discontinued in 1916.

Other early businesses include the Thorp Brothers Store, Johnson's Boarding House, Olaf Trandum's blacksmith shop, and the Charles Hanson Store. John A. Jorgenson set up shop making harnesses, Iver Grimsrud was a wagon maker, and Bernard Hanson was a carpenter.

The Bethany Norwegian Lutheran Church, also known as the Hauge Church, was the first church in the community. Beginning in 1885, members met in homes or in the schoolhouse for several years before constructing a church building. The first school was School District #37. Until a schoolhouse was built in 1883, the school met at the Hans Urdahl farm.

When the railroad came through to the current site of Twin Valley, the town buildings were moved from the old site to the new. The original townsite was in the area now known as Heiberg Park, where the river and creek meet, north of the current town. The post office was moved to the new site in 1887, and Twin Valley was incorporated as a village in 1894.

Some of the businesses that were in place around that time included the Wilcox Lumber Company, Thorp Brothers General Store, Frazee Brothers Notions Store, Charles Hanson's restaurant and barber shop, the W.C. Howe Hotel and Boarding House, and a Cargill elevator. These were in place by 1886. New businesses included the Hanson Hardware Store, a hotel operated by Jacob Peterson, a restaurant opened by A.T. Lee, the Swenson General Store, and a wagon shop, livery barn, farm machinery house, and a blacksmith shop.

The Twin Valley Times, published weekly, was founded in 1895 by Lars Bjornson, and is currently still in publication.

The first banks in town were the First National Bank and the Citizens State Bank.

The population of Twin Valley has remained in the 800s since 1940, with the exception of its peak population of 907 in 1980.

The main routes through the city are Minnesota State Highway 32 and Norman County Highway 31. The unincorporated community of Heiberg, near the original townsite of Twin Valley, is about two miles north of the city. Fossum Township and the unincorporated community of Fossum is about four miles southeast of Twin Valley. Fargo, North Dakota is about fifty miles southwest.

The focus of this guide is on the small city of Twin Valley, Minnesota. The municipal government website, or that of any of its departments or services, are on-topic here, as are those of local businesses, churches, schools, organizations, or individuals.

 

 

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