The first successful commercial shipment of wheat from the Great Plains to Europe was made in 1871 from Minneapolis.
Renville County, located in southwestern Minnesota, has a rich history dating back thousands of years. The area was originally inhabited by various Native American tribes, including the Dakota Sioux, who relied on the region's vast prairies and fertile lands for sustenance and trade. However, in the mid-19th century, European settlers began to arrive, leading to significant changes in the area.

In 1851, the Treaty of Traverse des Sioux was signed, opening up the land to settlement by white settlers. This marked the beginning of a tumultuous period, as conflicts between the Dakota and the settlers erupted, culminating in the Dakota War of 1862. Following the war, many Dakota were forcibly removed from the area, further reshaping the county's demographics.

As white settlement continued to grow, Renville County developed into a major agricultural region, with a reliance on farming and livestock production. The arrival of the railroad in the late 19th century further facilitated agricultural development and boosted the local economy. The county's rich soil and favorable conditions made it a prime location for corn, soybeans, and wheat farming.

Throughout the 20th century, Renville County experienced both challenges and progress. It was heavily impacted by the Great Depression, but its agricultural sector remained resilient. Advances in technology and mechanization brought further changes to farming practices, leading to increased productivity. The county also played a significant role in the development of wind energy, with numerous wind farms established in recent years.

Today, Renville County continues to be an agricultural powerhouse, supporting a vibrant farming community. It also boasts natural beauty, with parks, lakes, and recreational opportunities that attract visitors and residents alike. The county's history is a testament to the resilience and adaptability of its people, who have consistently transformed challenges into opportunities for growth and progress.

This timeline provides a concise overview of the key events in the history of Renville County, Minnesota.

  • Renville County established on February 20, 1855
  • First settlers arrive in the late 1850s
  • Renville County becomes a popular area for fur trading in the 1860s
  • Dakota War of 1862 leads to the evacuation of white settlers and the county becomes deserted
  • Settlement begins again in the late 1860s
  • Renville County officially organized in 1866
  • Railroad construction reaches the county in the 1870s, improving transportation and allowing for agricultural growth
  • Agriculture becomes the main industry in the late 19th century
  • Growth of towns and communities leads to the establishment of schools, churches, and other institutions
  • Renville County sees population growth in the early 20th century
  • Great Depression and Dust Bowl cause economic struggles in the 1930s
  • Renville County experiences post-war growth and development in the mid-20th century
  • Modernization and diversification of industries in the late 20th century
  • Renville County celebrates its 150th anniversary in 2006