History at a Glance

Summer 1855

Forest City site was located by lumber men John Huy and Ben Brown who poled up the Crow River in search of pine timber. D.M. Hanson, Thomas Skinner, Dr. F.N. Ripley and Rudolph Schultz arrived about the same time from Glencoe. Skinner and Huy spent the winter in the area.

February 23, 1856

Meeker County was organized and named in honor of H.H. Meeker with Forest City as the county seat. First commissioners: Thomas Skinner, F.N. Ripley and John Huy.

March 1856

Forest City was secured, surveyed and platted.

July 4, 1856

The first Independence Day celebration in Meeker County. A U.S. flag was made from T.C. Jewett's white shirt, Matt Standish's red flannel drawers and John Huy's blue denims.

July 15, 1856

Sarah Jane Dougherty, the first white girl born in Meeker County, was born in Forest City.

May 11, 1858

Minnesota was the 32nd state admitted to the Union.

1860 to 1865

U.S. Civil War. 126 Meeker County men on the roles.

August 17, 1862

The Acton massacre and the beginning of the Sioux Indian Uprising. Six Sioux, embittered by late annuity payments and trading practices, killed five settlers after a friendly shooting match at the Robinson Jones public house and the Howard Baker home.

59-year-old Jesse Branham, Sr. volunteered to ride 100 miles in 24 hours to deliver a letter requesting guns from Governor Ramsey.

August 21, 1862

Little Crow rallied the Sioux. Approximately 900 Minnesotans are killed in the fall of 1862.

August 23, 1862

Meeker County treasurer George Whitcomb arrived with 44 guns and 2,000 rounds of ammunition from Governor Ramsey. Only 13 men and three women were left in Forest City; the majority have fled east for safety.

August 24, 1862

Whitcomb is commissioned captain and organized the "Home Guard" which politely required anyone left in the county to report for military duty. Sixty men sign the compact - they were the Minnesota Volunteer "Irregulars".

September 2, 1862

Captain Strout and company arrived, and then left Forest City for Glencoe when they heard that the Sioux were grouping at Swede Grove only 10 miles away. Three Forest City men rode to warn Strout, who was camped in the Jones yard in Acton, that 200 Sioux were only two miles away.

September 3, 1862

The Battle of Acton. At first daylight, Strout marched two miles South and engaged the Sioux. The company broke through the Sioux line, attempting to reach the safety of Hutchinson. Six soldiers were killed and 15-23 were wounded.

The Forest City Stockade was constructed within 24 hours by the Home Guard and citizens. Timbers cut for building a church were used in the construction. The Stockade provided protection for hundreds of settlers during the Sioux Indian Uprising.

September 4, 1862

At approximately 3 a.m., 200 Sioux warriors were seen at the Stockade. Surprised by the fortress the Stockade provided, the Sioux gave mild fire and left by 5 a.m. They burned six homes, one barn and stole livestock. Three or more Sioux were killed and only one settler was wounded. The Sioux left in three groups by the Manannah Road, the Greenleaf Road and the Rice City "Darwin" Road.

September 15, 1862

Captain Petit with Company B of the 8th Minnesota Volunteer Regiment arrived in Forest City. No further attacks occurred after September 4.

October 1862

The Home Guard was disbanded.

December 26, 1862

38 Sioux were hanged in Mankato. 268 were granted reprieves from President Abraham Lincoln.

Winter 1862

Lieutenant O'Brien's detachment from Kingston was the last military organization stationed at Forest City.

July 3, 1863

Little Crow was eating raspberries with his son Wowinape in a patch six miles Northwest of Hutchinson. Nathan Lamson wounded Wowinape and killed Little Crow. The wounded Lamson sent his own son back to town for help and saw Wowinape put new moccasins on his father's feet, cover him with a blanket and leave.

History of Meeker County 1877 by A.C. Smith; Belfoy & Jubert publishers; Litchfield, MN.
A.C. Smith Pres. of the Bar; Old Settlers Assn Pres.; Judge of Probate; County attorney; First land office register and resident of Forest City during the Sioux Uprising.
Little Crow: The Last Great Chief by Brad Mariska; LeSueur Co. Genealogy Center, History On A Hill.