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Minneapolis City Guide
Minneapolis is the largest city in Minnesota and the seat of Hennepin County. Spanning the Mississippi River, Minneapolis is situated next to the state capital, Saint Paul. Together, these two urban centers form the Twin Cities region. The city's name is an amalgam of the Dakota word minehaha ("water") and the Greek suffix polis ("city"), and refers to the more than twenty small lakes within the city limits.
In 1822, a lumber mill was built at Saint Anthony Falls (the only waterfall on the Mississippi River) to supply nearby Fort Snelling. At the time, the military had zero tolerance for squatters on the land under their control. However, the Saint Anthony Falls area was just outside the military's jurisdiction, so the community grew along the northeast side of the Mississippi River. When President Millard Fillmore reduced Fort Snelling's jurisdiction in the 1850s, the squatters on the southwest bank were suddenly legitimate settlers. As the new community grew, it went through a bevy of names - Albion, Winona, Brooklyn, and All Saints to name a few - but the settlers finally decided on "Minnehapolis" at the suggestion of schoolmaster Charles Hoag. Saint Anthony was incorporated in 1855, and Minneapolis in 1856. The two towns merged into the city of Minneapolis in 1872.