Owatonna - Encyclopedia

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OWATONNA, a city and the county-seat of Steele county, Minnesota, U.S.A., on the Straight river, in the S.E. part of the state, about 67 m. S. of Minneapolis and St Paul. Pop. (1900) 55 61, of whom 1160 were foreign-born; (1905, state census) 5651. It is served by the Chicago, Milwaukee & St Paul, the Chicago & North-Western, the Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific and the Minneapolis, Rochester & Dubuque (electric) railways. Four fine steel bridges span the river at or near the city. Among the public buildings are a handsome county court-house, a city hall, an armoury, a city hospital and a public library. Owatonna is the seat of the Pillsbury Academy (Baptist), the Sacred Heart Academy (Roman Catholic) and the Canfield Commercial School, and immediately west of the city is the State Public School for Dependent and Neglected Children (1886). The city's commercial importance is largely due to its situation in a rich dairying and farming district, for which it is the shipping centre. It has also various manufactures. There are valuable mineral springs in the vicinity. The municipality owns and operates the water-works. Owatonna was settled about 1855, was incorporated as a village in 1865, was chartered as a city in 1875 and received a new charter in 1909. Its name is a Sioux word meaning "straight," the river having been previously named Straight river.

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