Anoka was incorporated March 2, 1878.  Its first election being March 12, 1878, with the following election results:  Mayor, Geo. W. Church; Clerk, John S. McLeod; Treasurer, H.E. Lepper; Justices of the Peace, W.W. Fitch and E.S. Teller, Aldermen, L.G. Browning, J.H. Pierce, D.H. Lane, D.C. Dunham, A. Davis and H.N. Seelye; Constables, Norman McLean and Geo. Geddes.

In 1853-54, a post office was established at Anoka. G.W. Branch was the first postmaster.

Along with farming, Anoka had a lot of industries such as: saw mills, flour mills, starch factory, and a shoe factory which provided employment to the people and a reason for growth.  Anoka was very well located between the Mississippi River and the Rum River, providing saw mills with lumber, transportation and power.

The Fire Department was organized in 1857 and several years later incorporated as the “Protection Hook and Ladder Co. No. I.”  In 1878, a steam fire engine was acquired.  After the 1884 fire, a chemical engine was bought.  The first officers of the dept. were Chief, O.L. Cutter; 1st Assistant, R.M. Lowell;  2nd Assistant, L.H. Burns.

April 1, 1874, the first bank was organized by W.H. Merriam, C.E. Blake and Walter Mann.  It was called the Bank of Anoka.  In 1881, it was reorganized as the National Bank and called the 1st National Bank.  It was discontinued in 1889.  In 1883, the Anoka National Bank was organized.  Principal stockholders were: W.D. Washburn; Officers, President, John Coleman, Vice President, A.D. Howard, Cashier, L.J. Greenwald.

February, 1892 the State Bank of Anoka was organized with the following officers:  President, John Goss;  Vice President, Henry Lee;  Cashier, R.W. Akin.

The first newspaper in Anoka was run by A.C. and E.A. Squire in 1860.  It was sold in September, 1863 to A.G. Spaulding, who changed the name to the Anoka Star.  In 1865, the Star’s name was changed to Anoka Sentinel and continued until June 23, 1865.

In August of 1865, the Anoka Union was started by Geo. Gray.  In June of 1866, Granville Pease purchased the paper, and today, it is still owned by the family.

The churches in Anoka are as follows:  Methodist Episcopal, organized 1854;  Congregational,  organized 1855;  The First Baptist, organized 1856; St. Stephens Catholic, first mass 1856;  Universalist, organized 1867;  Swedish Evangelical Lutheran organized 1870.

Anoka had, and still has, many clubs and organizations such as;  The Philolectian Society, organized 1890, Free Masons, organized 1859; Knights of Pythias, organized 1872; GAR, organized 1880; and AOUW organized 1877 are a few of the more older organized clubs and organizations within Anoka.

Further Resources

ACHS Publications:
Colonial Hall & The Doctors Aldrich
Sentinel on the River: Anoka’s Woodbury House

Ghosts of Anoka Walking Tours (May-October)
Anoka State Hospital

Manuscript Files:
All Around the County Collection – Anoka Box

Newspapers on Microfilm:
Anoka County Press, Sept. 7, 1866-Jun. 21, 1873
Anoka County Suburban Life, Oct. 7, 1958-May 26, 1959
Anoka Democrat, Sept. 10, 1887-Dec. 22, 1888
Anoka Free Press, Aug. 15, 1901-Nov. 10, 1910
Anoka Headlight, Feb. 26, 1885-Aug. 14, 1885
Anoka Herald, Jan. 1885-Aug. 30, 1960
Anoka Minnesota Farmer, Feb. 7, 1867-May 30, 1867
Anoka Republican, Aug. 25, 1860; Jul. 5, 1873-Dec. 31, 1874; Oct. 1, 1874-May 17, 1877
Anoka Sentinel, Apr. 8, 1865-Jun. 30, 1865
Anoka Star, Oct. 3, 1863-Apr. 1, 1865
Anoka Sun, Oct. 14, 1876-Mar. 1, 1877
Anoka Sun and Republican, Mar. 8, 1877-May 17, 1877; Oct. 18, 1878; Nov. 2, 1878
Anoka Union, Nov. 16, 1865-Dec. 27, 2002

City of Anoka website