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Gibbon Community Hall, Gibbon, 1973

Gibbon Community Hall, Gibbon, 1973
Sibley Census Information
Estab:  March 5, 1853
Parent County:  Dakota
Sibley county with county seat

Southeast region of Minnesota Southwest region of Minnesota Northwest region of Minnesota Northeast region of Minnesota Central region of Minnesota

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Sibley County

Established March 5, 1853, this county was named in honor of Gen. Henry Hastings Sibley, pioneer, governor, and military defender of Minnesota. He was born in Detroit, Mich., February 20, 1811; went to Mackinaw, entering the service of the American Fur Company, in 1829; came to what is now Minnesota in 1834, as general agent in the Northwest for that company, with headquarters at Mendota (then called St. Peter's), where he lived 28 years; removed to St. Paul in 1862 and resided there through the remainder of his life. He was delegate in Congress, representing Minnesota Territory, 1849-53; was first governor of the state, 1858-60; and during the Dakota War of 1862 led the army against the Indians and in the next year commanded an expedition against these Indians in Dakota Territory. He was during more than 20 years a regent of the University of Minnesota; was a charter member of the Minnesota Historical Society and was its president in 1867 and from 1876 until his death, at his home in St. Paul, February 18, 1891.

In 1835-36 Sibley built at Mendota the oldest surviving stone dwelling house in Minnesota, in which he and his family lived until their removal to St. Paul. The house is managed by the Sibley House Association.

His biography (596 pp.) by Nathaniel West, D. D., was published in 1889; an excellent memoir of him, by J. Fletcher Williams, is in the MHS Collections (6: 257-310); and a shorter biography, by Gen. James H. Baker, is in his "Lives of the Governors of Minnesota" (MHS Collections 13: 75-105).

Among the Dakota, with whom Sibley had a very intimate and wide acquaintance, he was called "Wah-ze-o-man-ee, Walker in the Pines, a name that had a potent influence among them far and near, as long as the Dakota race dwelt in the state" (Williams, p. 167).