Eden Prairie, Minnesota, was once covered by the water of Lake Agassiz, which was formed from the melted glaciers during the Laurentide ice sheet. As the waters began to evaporate and drain, Eden Prairie became home to the Iowa and Oneota Native Americans, who lived in the area until the 1600s. The area was next populated by the Dakota Native Americans, who signed a Peace treaty with the United States government. The area was also home to Sioux and Chippewa Native Americans. The first settler to the area was Hiram Abbott, who arrived with his wife and grown children John and Samuel Mitchell, who also had children. Other early settlers included John McKenzie, David Livingston, and R. Neill. John McKenzie purchased land south of present day Eden Prairie and started a community named Hennepin. Hennepin was named after Father Louis Hennepin, who wrote some of the earliest records of the area. These men grew crops and Hennepin, being located on the Minnesota River, was a port for the early steamers who carried the crops to market.
1854 was a very important year in the history of Eden Prairie, Minnesota. The first school, an 18 by 24 foot building of tamarack logs and basswood lumber, was started and taught by Miss Sarah Clark. Also in 1854, the first store was opened by Howe and Dunn. A. I. Angar also opened a hotel and a store in 1854. The store did not last long, but the hotel remained for several years. The post office also opened in 1854, with the first post master being J. Staring, who served for fourteen years. Mr. Staring's son made weekly trips to meet the stage at Bloomington, Minnesota, for eighteen months, which was where the mail was delivered to the stage stop. For the entire eighteen months his salary was twelve dollars. Those looking for jobs today should consult the Eden Prairie, MN business directory.In 1861, a grist mill was opened by Dr. Nathan Stanton. The railroad did not arrive in Eden Prairie, Minnesota, until November, 1871, with R.O. Reed serving as the first station master. Nine years later, the Hastings and Dakota Cut Off Railroad arrived in town. Travelers today should consult the Eden Prairie, MN yellow pages for assistance.
Written by Lyndsey Morgan