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|Description||The first residents of the Eagan area were the Dakota or Sioux Indians Around 1740, a small settlement known as Black Dog Village was formed along the Minnesota River, near the present Burnsville/Eagan border The Sioux had been driven from their traditional homeland near the Mille Lacs Lake in North Central Minnesota and were attracted to the Eagan location by nearby trading posts. |
Chief Black Do
European interest in this region began with the French explorers and fur traders during the 1600's Eagan remained under French domain (and for a time under Spanish domain) until the area was obtained by the United States in 1803 as part of the Louisiana Purchase
A United States' expedition, led by Zebulon Pike, explored the Upper Mississippi area in 1805, at which time possible sites for use by th military were designated However, it was not until after the War of 1812 that a series of frontier forts were constructed, including one at the confluence of the Minnesota and Mississippi Rivers Completed in 1824, Fort Snelling served as a stabilizing influence and focal point for development of the entire region The original area of the fort included a parcel of land approximately one mile wide extending through Eagan, adjacent to the Minnesota River
It was not until 1851, when treaties were signed which moved the Sioux further west, that Eagan and the rest of Southern Minnesota west of the Mississippi River were opened to westward expansion for settlers Those who first moved to Eagan were generally from either Ireland, Germany, French Canada, or from the eastern part of the United States These settlers established farms in the area and agriculture became, and would remain, the predominant activity of Eagan residents for the next 100 years
Sell Family sorting Onions on Eagan Farm
The political organization of Eagan began with the admission of Minnesota as a state in 1858 The area was first included as a part of Mendota Township It was not until 1860, with a special act of the state legislature, that the Township of Eagan was established within its current boundaries
Members of Eagan's first board of supervisors were Patrick Eagan, James Callan and Robert O'Neill Patrick Eagan, from whom the City of Eagan takes its name, was a native of Ireland and had come to this area with his family in about 1854 He served as the boards' first chairman The elected officers of the township included three supervisors, who served three year terms, and a treasurer, a clerk, an assessor, two justices of the peace and two constables, all of whom were elected for two year terms
At the time of its formation in 1860, Eagan's population was 567 Most of the residents were farmers Besides what was needed for their own use, many local families engaged in crop farming, particularly wheat and garden produce Around 1885, the growing of onions began in parts of Eagan The onions were shipped to various parts of the country and the volume was such that, at one time, the area was called "The Onion Capital of the United States However, with a few years of poor harvest combined with competition from southern growers, the production of onions ended in approximately 1930
Meetings of the Town Board during the early township days were usually held in a schoolhouse which was located near the present Northview School on County Road 30 In 1893, the first Eagan Town Hall was built near the intersection of Pilot Knob and Lone Oak Roads When the original building burned, the town board decided to place the new town hall as close to the center of the township as possible. Built in 1914, this new building served as the meeting hall for Eagan until 1965 This original surviving town hall building has been restored and will serve as a museum of the City of Eagan, exhibiting memorabilia from Eagan's past
The newer, larger town hall was constructed next to the original building on the west side of Pilot Knob Road in 1965When a new Municipal Center was built on the east side of Pilot Knob Road in 1983, this building became the Fire Administration Building
First Eagan City Hall/Police Station
The Police Facility was built as an attachment to the current Municipal Center and the Municipal Center was remodeled to its current form in 1995In i996 the small City Hall/Fire Administration Building was raised for the construction of the new Fire Administration Building which now stands on the northwest corner of Pilot Knob and Wescott Roads.
During the early years, the population of Eagan grew at a relatively slow rate, rising from 642 in 1880 to 1,185 in 1950 During the 1950's however, with the initiation of the interstate highway system and the growth of the entire metropolitan area, Eagan slowly began to change from farmland into a developing suburban community
The initiation of construction of the Cedar Grove Housing Development in 1959 had a major impact on the city's population The number of Eagan residents increased from 3,382 in 1960 to 10,398 in 1970, to 20,700 in 1980, to 47,409 in 1990 to 63,557 in 2000 and to a current 2004 estimated population of 66,504.
The township days in Eagan ended in 1972 when authorization was given for Eagan to incorporate as a village A year later, the legislature passed a law which allowed Eagan to be officially designated a city as of January 1, 1974 As a city, Eagan is governed by a five member city council, including the Mayor and four councilmembers, all of whom serve four year terms City elections are held in November of even numbered years
The City of Eagan is a young, dynamic, growing community and a place where careful land use planning is resulting in lovely residential areas, extensive outdoor recreation opportunities and quality commercial and industrial development.
2004 Eagan Presidential Election Results:
Bush: 18,010, 49%
Kerry: 18,588, 50%