BUFFALO LAKE/HECTOR/STEWART–History

— The City of Buffalo Lake was founded in the year 1876 by John Riebe, who worked for the railroad.

— The City of Hector was founded two years after Buffalo Lake, in the year 1878.

–Hector, founded in 1878 and organized in 1881, is a Minnesota Statutory City with a Standard Plan A form of government. It has a mayor elected at large for a two-year term, and four council members also elected at large for four-year terms. The professional staff is appointed and consists of a City Administrator and Deputy Clerk, Water and Sewer Department, Parks and Streets Department, Airport Manager, Chief of Police (Interim) and fulltime Police Department, Volunteer Fire Department, Volunteer Ambulance Service (ALS), Library Manager, Pool Manager and seasonal Staff, consulting attorney, and project engineers.

–Hector was founded in 1878 when the Hastings and Dakota Railway Company constructed the railroad on the north side of the original town site. The ten block town site survey was completed September 14, 1878, on land owned by the Hastings and Dakota Railway Company, but some enterprising businessmen were already “squatting” on the site by then. The site of Hector was one of the most unlikely spots that could be imagined for the location of a thriving, active village. Marshes and mud holes furnished home for muskrats and refuge for waterfowl. In the firm places, just north and west of the site wound the desolate track of the old Cedar Mill, Hutchinson, Hector, Plainfield, Beaver Falls stage route. The Hector post state stop was kept by John Baker in the northeast corner of the southwest quarter of Section 2, about 4 miles northeast of the village site. The Plainfield post office was kept by J.B. Parkins in the northeast corner of the northwest quarter of the southeast quarter of Section 30, about one and one-fourth miles southwest of the village site.

–The first building built on the town site was a warehouse constructed by Charles Lang on the site that later became the site of the V.H. Smith Elevator which was between the present Fullerton Lumber yard office and the railroad track.

–In July 1878, Marion Abbott moved his stock of goods (general merchandise) to Hector from Preston Lake Township where he had a store south of Preston Lake. His was the first business in Hector.

–The village was named after the township of Hector, which had been organized in June of 1874. It had originally been named Milford but found it necessary to change its name when it was learned there was already another Milford in Minnesota. After a hotly contested debate between those who favored the name Plainfield (after the stage stop and post office) and those who favored the name Hector, a township in New York on the east shore of Seneca Lake where many of the early settlers came from. Hector, New York was named after the bravest of the ancient Trojan warriors whose story is an important part of Homer’s get epic, “The Iliad.” So by succession, Hector was named after the brave Trojan warrior, and it has always shown fighting spirit befitting its name.

— The City of Stewart was founded in the year 1878 by Dr. DA Stewart.

— Highway 212 runs through Buffalo Lake and Hector. Highway 4 also runs through Hector.

— Buffalo Lake is near Lake Allie.

–Stewart is in McLeod County, right off Highway 212

— Buffalo Lake was named after a lake of the same name in town. Before it was drained, Buffalo Lake was a popular watering hole for herds of buffalo. It was also reputed to contain a lot of buffalo fish.

— Much of the City of Buffalo Lake was devastated by a tornado in 2003. The town has since rebuilt itself, and is better than ever before.

–In 1996, Hector native Gloria Slocum was selected as 1 out of 75 women from around the world whose faces were melded together to create the new look of Betty Crocker. The updated face was in honor of Betty Crocker’s 75th anniversary.

— Stewart has a lake just a little ways out of town called Round Grove Lake.

— Stewart was named after Dr. DA Stewart, who came from Winona to help found the town.

— Stewart had a major fire in the middle of town in the 1930’s.

BUFFALO LAKE/HECTOR/STEWART–People

— The City of Buffalo Lake has a population of about 800 people and the Mayor is Wayne Carrigan.

— The City of Hector has a population of about 1,200 people and the Mayor is Steve Squib.

— The Cities of Buffalo Lake and Hector are both located in Renville County.

— The City of Stewart’s Mayor is Jason Peirce, and the population is about 550. The Mayor of Buffalo Lake is Wayne Carrigan. The Mayor of Hector is Janis Weikle.

— The Buffalo Lake-Hector School District added Stewart to its name in 2010. They are now the Mustangs of Buffalo Lake-Hector-Stewart. The name change gave the new students, as well as the town, an identity in the new School District since the closure of the McLeod West District.

–Dorothy Peterson a film actress was born in Hector and so was Hector ‘Macho’ Camacho, a professional boxer.

–Buffalo Lake residents have always come together to work for the betterment of the community. From our founding father’s and mother’s who settled and organized our churches and started our local businesses to the present day citizens to worked hard to rebuild main street after our tornado on June 24, 2003, everyone pitches in. Their grocery store, bakery and post office were destroyed in that tornado. Because of citizen’s they now have a new grocery store, bakery and post office. There is a beautiful county campground 7 miles north of Buffalo Lake, located on Lake Allie.

–Buffalo Lake Hector Stewart KNUJ Farm Families of the Year include Richard and Jeune Nicolai (Hector 1986), Lea and Marizee Dobberstein (Buffalo Lake 1988), Larry and Marilyn Rath (Buffalo Lake 1990) Roger and Linda Kurth (Buffalo Lake 1999), Robert and Susan Richards (Buffalo Lake 2008), Deanville Farmers (Hector 2017), and Johnson Farms (Hector 2018).

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