The City of Arlington is located in eastern Sibley County and was laid out in 1856. Records show that the name was officially approved at a town meeting held on May 11, 1858, which is the same date that Minnesota became a state. At that time, both the village and the township received the name Arlington. German settlement of the area began with the immigration of homesteaders in the 1860’s and 1870’s. The population of Arlington continues to be of predominately German descent.
In 1948, Arlington was incorporated as a “Home Rule Charter” city. Revision of the charter occurred in 1982. Arlington was designated as a Minnesota Star City in 1990.
A commonly-used trail to the Dakota Territory passed through the future site of Gaylord in the 1850s. A roadhouse existed on the shore of Titloe Lake. Farms were established at the townsite in 1881, as land was surveyed along a planned railroad route. The surveyors named the site after E.W. Gaylord after determining that the name Maasville, after Alfred Maas was too long. Elections were held and the village was incorporated in 1883. There had also been a feud between Henderson, MN, and Gaylord to determine what town would be the county seat of Sibley County. Henderson's thought was that it was right on the river, but Gaylord had more people and won the popular vote on the disagreement
Gibbon is a railroad town, incorporated in 1887. It was named after General John Gibbon, of Civil War fame. First settlers to this area arrived around 1865. By 1900, our city had grown to a population of 545. We now number 810 very respectable citizens and one or two people who are not quite as respectable.
At one time there were as many as seven saloons in Gibbon, four car dealerships, and three grocery stores. The old Gibbon City Hall, which is on the National Historic Register, was constructed in 1895. It is currently undergoing a lengthy process of restoration.
Like many Minnesota cities, Gibbon is largely composed of the descendents of German and Scandinavian immigrants. Not surprisingly, they liked to dance. For decades Gibbon has been the sight of one of the most renowned Polka Festivals in the entire country. When Garrison Keillor held his “Prairie Home Companion Show” here, in the late 90's he announced that the city of Gibboin had more hard maple flooring per capita than any place in the world, and he was likely correct. Susan Sarandon, the actress, narrated a public television special about the ballroom.
Green Isle city was settled in 1857 and platted in August 1881. It received its name by suggestion of Christopher Dolan, an Irish immigrant, referring to Ireland as the "Emerald Isle." Lake Erin, next eastward from the city, testifies similarly to the loyal spirit of its settlers from Ireland.
Henderson was the first town to be incorporated in Sibley County. It was founded and named by Joseph R. Brown, who is commemorated by Brown County. The town was named in honor of his mother and her father, Andrew Henderson of Frederick, PA. During several years this village was Brown's home, and he founded and edited its first newspaper, the Henderson Democrat, 1857-1861. Henderson was the county seat until 1959, when the county offices were moved to Gaylord. It was incorporated as a town in 1855, as a borough in 1866, and as a city in 1891.
New Auburn is located on the west shoreline of High Island Lake and has become a community interested in improving recreational opportunities for the lake. The village was first incorporated on June 6, 1895 and named for Auburn, NY. Today you will find a public access area for High Island Lake, new community water system and numerous rain gardens being built to improve High Island Lake's water quality.
Any history of the Winthrop community must begin with the early settlement around what was known as Eagle City. The Eagle City post office was established in 1858, the same year Minnesota became a state. Records of those early years are few, however, there are records to substantiate the location approximately one-half mile south of the present location of Winthrop.
The year 1881 marked the end of Eagle City and the beginning of the settlement of what was now renamed Winthrop. Winthrop was named by E.A. Campbell for Governor John Winthrop of Massachusetts Bay Colony. Campbell played a prominent roll in the building of the new town. He was postmaster at the Eagle City post office and when he moved to the town site in 1881 the post office came with him.