Marshall, Minnesota

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Marshall is a city in Lyon County, Minnesota in the United States. The population was 12,735 at the 2000 census. Marshall is a regional center in southwest Minnesota, and the county seat of Lyon County.[3] It is the headquarters of the Schwan Food Company and the home of Southwest Minnesota State University.



Marshall was founded in 1872 by the Winona & St. Peter Railroad. Lake Marshall Township had been established in the area two years earlier, and included a post office and several farms. Before that, the site was occasionally used as a campground for groups of Dakota, who hunted and traveled throughout the region. After much discussion, James J. Manton decided on Marshall in honor of Governor William R. Marshall.

The town grew rapidly. In 1873, the first newspaper was published, the Prairie Schooner by Samuel Biglari. Mr. Biglari noted in the October 25, 1873 newspaper, "Nine months ago the first house was erected. Now there are 79 permanent buildings already constructed, and this number will be increased by others already planned." Marshall became an incorporated village in 1876, and a city on February 20, 1901. In April, 1874, the local paper estimated the population of Marshall at 300, by 1900 the population was 2,088. Holy Redeemer Catholic Church was built in 1884. The Weiner Memorial Hospital was built in 1950. Also during the 1950s, Marvin Schwan transformed his dairy into an ice cream home delivery service, which eventually grew into the Schwan Food Company.[4]

The flooding of the Redwood River historically had been a problem in Marshall. The city experienced a series of floods in the 1940s and 1950s. Diversion canals were constructed between 1961 and 1963, though occasional flooding still occurs, notably in 1993. Another project in 1997 removed 140,000 cubic yards of sediment from the diversion channel. Most recently the diversion channel and Redwood River underwent major upstream and downstream improvements which were completed in December 2000. During both the spring and fall of 2010, the Marshall area experienced unseasonably high amounts of moisture, yet the Redwood River remained within its banks through town.

Southwest Minnesota State University was founded in 1963 and opened its doors in 1967. Most of the campus was constructed between 1967 and 1973.


Marshall is at latitude 44.47N and longitude -95.78W, with an elevation of 1161 ft above sea level. The city is 90 miles northeast of Sioux Falls, South Dakota and 148 miles southwest of Minneapolis. It is in the Central Standard time zone and has been assigned the ZIP code of 56258. According to the United States Census Bureau, Marshall has a total area of 8.3 square miles (21.5 kmĀ²), entirely on land. It is located in a predominantly rural and agricultural area that was originally an expanse of northern tallgrass prairie. The flood plain of the Redwood River begins in Marshall.

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