The City of Fridley is the second largest municipality in Anoka County. It started out as part of Manomin County (see below).
The original proprietor of Manomin was John Banfil, who was also the first State Auditor and first postmaster. He settled in Sec. 15 around 1848 and built a tavern known as Banfil Tavern. In 1853 Isaac Kimball purchased the tavern from Banfil and later Job Eastman settled there. In 1859 a ferry was used to cross the Mississippi River.
In 1879 by act of the State Legislature the township name of Manomin was changed to Fridley, which was suggested by A.M. Fridley, a member of the State Legislature.
The Protestant Episcopal Church was organized in 1858 and was erected by Rev. Mr. Chamberlain of St. Anthony. In 1873 there was two school districts, the first was kept in the Episcopal Church on Sec. 15. The schoolhouse was Dist. 23 and was built in 1873, the other school in Dist. 32 was built in 1875.
School officers in 1895, Dist. #23 were: Clerk, Wm. Hueston; Director, Mrs. Geo. Cunningham; Treasurer, Wm. McReady; Teacher, Harry B. Roe; Officers in Dist. #32 were: Clerk, C.J. Swanson; Director, James Mulcare; Treasurer, Ed Sullivan; Teacher, Tillie Dahlgren.
The first incorporation was a portion of Fridley Township (Village of Fridley Park) which was successful in 1893. In 1951 the township Fridley was incorporated. Carl Hartman was the first mayor serving in 1957.
One of the major businesses in Fridley was the Swanson Brick and Tile Company. Fridley continued to grow. In the early 50’s the Hayes School (named after William Hayes) was built. The first superintendent was William Hayes. it contained 12 rooms, a gymnasium and office. The cost was $90,000.
(The following is taken from History of Anoka County by Albert M. Goodrich, (c) 1976, originally published 1905)
John Banfil settled in what is now Fridley in 1847, and kept a stopping place for the accommodation of travelers. Two years later Henry M. Rice acquired considerable land and built a country residence at Cold Springs, giving his name to the creek which flows through town. In the spring of 1853 came Isaac Kimball, who purchased the hotel from Banfil, and a little later Job Eastman settled inthe place. A ferry across the Mississippi river was established about 1854. May 23, 1857, the county of Manomin was organized, with the same limits as the present town of Fridley (including Columbia Heights). A.M. Fridley was made chairman of the board of county commissioners. This miniature county of eighteen sections of land, continued to exist until 1870, when it became a part of Anoka county, as the town of Manomin. In 1879 the name was changed to Fridley. The first officers of the town of Manomin were: supervisors, John Sullivan, G. W. Thurber and Thomas Casey; cler, G.R. Weeks; treasurer, John Sullivan.
The following correspondence explains the circumstances connected with the formation and discontinuance of Manomin County:
State of Minnesota, District Court, Second District. Saint Paul, April 8, 1899
My dear Major: – In connection with my lectures at the University of Minnesota on “Taxation” I want to give a brief statement of the history of Manomin county. To that end will you be good enough to give me what knowledge you have on this subject and refer me to authorities where that knowledge can be supplemented. Hoping to see you soon in St. Paul, and with pleasantest recollections of our transactions while I was at the bar, I remain,
Very cordially yours,
Edwin A. Jaggard.
Fridley, Minn., Apr. 18, 1899
Judge Edwin A. Jaggard,
Court House, St. Paul, Minn.
Dear Sir: Your favor of 8th inst. was duly received, requesting information concerning Manomin county. It was organized by an act of the territorial legislature approved May 3, 1857, and abolished by constitutional amendment adopted Nov. 2, 1869.
The bill passed by both houses embraced, in addition to the territory comprising the present town of Fridley, the town of Mound View, both taken from Ramsey county; but by skullduggery, presumably by a Ramsey county politician, Mound View was omitted in the enrollment of the bill presented to the Governor (an uncle of mine), who approved it without discovering the emasculation. Of course, a county of so small an area and sparsely populated was unable to maintain an organization without embarrassment and liability of being subject to exorbitant taxation, should its political management fall into incompetent hands. It was “an elephant on our hands,” difficult to get rid of, because of the constitutional provision against reducing counties below four hundred square miles, hence the constitutional amendment was submitted and adopted as the only way out of the dilemma. With best wishes for your continued success and prosperity, I remain,
Very truly yours,
Newspapers on Microfilm:
Fridley Free Press, Feb. 4, 1966-Jan. 5, 1968
Fridley News, Nov. 2, 1956-Dec. 11, 1963
Fridley Record, Dec. 18, 1963-Dec. 27, 1967
Fridley Sun, Jan. 3, 1968-Dec. 26, 1973
Fridley Tab, Aug. 12, 1959-Mar. 31, 1960