NORTHFIELD, a city of Rice county, Minnesota, U.S.A., on the Cannon river, about 35 m. S. of St Paul. Pop. (1905, state census) 3438. It is served by the Chicago Great-Western, the Chicago, Milwaukee & St Paul, and the Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific railways. It is a shipping centre for the products of the farming and dairying region in which it lies, but it is most widely known for its educational institutions. It is the seat of the Baker School for Nervous and Backward Children, a private institution; of St Olaf College (Norwegian Lutheran), founded in 1874; and of Carleton College (founded in 1866 by Congregationalists but now non-sectarian, opened in 1870), one of the highest grade small colleges in the West, and the first in the North-west to abolish its preparatory academy. Carleton College has the Goodsell Observatory, which gives the time to the railways of the North-west, and publishes a magazine, Popular Astronomy. The Scoville Memorial Library (1896) of the College had 23,000 volumes in 1909. Northfield has a public library and the Minnesota Odd Fellows' Widows and Orphans Asylum. Named in honour of John W. North, who laid out Northfield and several other western towns, it was settled about 1851, incorporated as a village in 1868, and chartered as a city in 1875.
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