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Birds-eye Map of Shakopee drawn by A. Ruger & Stoner in 1869
An Article from the Shakopee Independent newspaper Sept 3, 1856
(All grammar, punctuation, etc. maintained as closely as possible to original text)
SHAKOPEE CITY is situated in the county of Scott and Territory of Minnesota twenty five miles south-west of Saint Paul by land, and thirty miles by water; twenty miles west of Fort Snelling and 150 miles from Fort Ridgley. The Minnesota, a River, is navigable from its mouth to this place during all seasons of navigation for small steamers and very frequently during a high stage of water boats up the river to Fort Ridgley. The natural advantages of Shakopee, places it first on the list of towns on the Minnesota River. A regular line of steamers is plying between this city and St. Paul.
Shakopee City is situated on an elevated plateau, which gradually sloping backward two miles distant to a forest of tall heavy trees. Three hundred and twenty acres are divided oft in lot's 80 feet wide by 120 feet long The street's run parallel east and' west, north and south.
"God made the country, but man made the town'' is poetically true, but it is equally true that his beautiful prairie with its natural advantages was intended as a commercial focus for an extensive scope of country where the agricultural and manufacturing classes would demand the erection of a city.
The population of this city at the present time is about 800. They are an industrious and frugal people and every inhabitant has "visible means of support." The trades and professions are kept busy. Our advertising columns Is a reliable index to the business relations of our city. They speak volumes in our favor. To strangers the amount of goods would appear incredible. Although our merchants received early in the spring three fold the amount of goods received at any previous season, yet they disappear very fast in a mysterious manner. Many of our merchants have already recruited their stock the second time this spring.
The landing at this place is easy of access for steamboats; our levees are large and commodious; our warehouses are convenient for teams; and our commission merchants are prompt in any business entrusted to their care.
We have Divine service every Sunday,- one church -Episcopal;- and another -Presbyterian- in the course of erection. Our schools are kept through the entire year--summer and winter. Ample means are furnished by the taxpayer for the education of youth. The city is the capitol or Scott County. A District court is held here twice a year.
Lumber is easily obtained at this place. A steam saw mill is in operation within the city limits. An other one will be erected during the summer. Brick are manufactured in large quantities. Lime is an article of export and we supply many of the towns below us with that commodity.
We have an abundant supply of fresh, spring water. There are a number of springs within the city limits- Wells have been dug and water found a few feet below the surface of the ground.
Shakopee derives its name from an Indian, a Sioux Chief, who at one time headed a powerful and warlike band at this place,! He was known by the name of Shok.pay, which signifies 'Little Six.' He was proverbial for his ferocity, and the outrages he has committed on his enemies, the Chippeways, are recounted with horror and disgust even by his own people.
The surrounding country is well adapted for agriculture purposes. It is becoming thickly settled with farmers from the Eastern States, who are rapidly converting this wilderness into splendid farms and blooming fields. The landscape is here and there dotted with beautiful lakes and murmuring streams. For beauty of the country and fertility of the soil, Scott and the surrounding county will compare favorably with any other portion of the Territory.
June 4~ 1856
kindly submitted by Don Wagner, Shakopee Heritage Society