Hibbing, Minnesota

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Hibbing is a city in St. Louis County, Minnesota, USA. The population was 17,071 at the 2000 census. The city was built on the rich iron ore of the Mesabi Iron Range. In earlier times, this area was called "meebeega", which roughly is translated to Chippewa as "hard earth or ground". At the edge of town is the largest open-pit iron mine in the world.[3] U.S. Highway 169, State Highway 37, and State Highway 73 are three of the main arterial routes in the city.

Contents

History

Hibbing was founded in 1893 by the town's namesake, Frank Hibbing. Hibbing was born in Hannover, Germany on December 1, 1856 and was christened Frans Dietrich von Ahlen. His mother died when he was still in infancy and it was her name, Hibbing, which he assumed when he set out to seek his fortune in the New World. He first settled in Beaver Dam, Wisconsin where he worked on a farm and in a shingle mill. After deciding he was not familiar enough with the English language to make a legal career possible, he turned to timber cruising.

In 1887, Mr. Hibbing settled in Duluth where he established a real estate business and began explorations on the Vermilion Range. In 1892, he headed a party of thirty men at Mountain Iron and cut a road through the wilderness to Section 22, 58-20. An expert iron ore prospector, he soon discovered the surface indication which led him to believe in the existence of extensive ore deposits.

In July 1893, the townsite of Hibbing was laid out and named in honor of him. Feeling personally responsible as Hibbing's creator, he took deepest pride in its development and by his generous aid made its progress possible. He used his personal means to provide a water plant, electric light plant, the first roads, hotel, sawmill and bank building. For the last ten years of his life, Mr. Hibbing made his home in Duluth where many of his business interests were centered. He retained close contact with the community which bore his name, until he died of appendicitis on July 30, 1897 at age forty.

In 1914 two men, Carl Wickman and Andrew "Bus Andy" Anderson, started a bus line between Hibbing and Alice, Minnesota which would eventually become Greyhound Lines, the world's largest bus company.

The town is the home to the world's largest iron ore mine, which was discovered by Leonidas Merritt. Hibbing grew rapidly in its early years as the huge iron ore mines such as the Mahoning, Hull Rust, Sellers and Burt provided the raw material for America's industrial revolution. In fact, the mines encroached on the village from the east, north and south and it was determined that some of the ore body actually went under the town whose population had hit 20,000 by 1915.

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