Murray County Fair

The first Murray County Fair was held in 1880. From 1884 through 1898 there were rival fairs, one in Currie and one in Slayton. Each claimed to be the official county fair, but both were discontinued at the turn of the century. In 1912 the Murray County Fair returned and has been held annually (with two exceptions) since that year.

Black and white photograph of a man operating electric fanning mill, W. A. Benitt farm, Dakota County, 1939.

Man operating electric fanning mill

Man operating electric fanning mill, W. A. Benitt farm, Dakota County, 1939.

Black and white photograph of a farmer adjusting a milking machine on a Dakota County dairy farm, 1939. Photographed by Arthur Rothstein, Farm Security Administration.

Adjusting a milking machine on a Dakota County dairy farm

Adjusting a milking machine on a Dakota County dairy farm, 1939. Photographed by Arthur Rothstein, Farm Security Administration.

Black and white photograph of the Rural Cooperative Power Association Generating Plant, Maple Lake, ca. 1950.

Rural Cooperative Power Association Generating Plant, Maple Lake

Rural Cooperative Power Association Generating Plant, Maple Lake, ca. 1950.

Black and white photograph of the Rural Cooperative Power Association, Maple Lake, ca. 1950.

Rural Cooperative Power Association, Maple Lake

Rural Cooperative Power Association, Maple Lake, ca. 1950.

Black and white photograph of the Rural Cooperative Power Association at Elk River, 1960.

Rural Cooperative Power Association at Elk River

Rural Cooperative Power Association at Elk River, 1960.

Rural Electrification Administration in Minnesota

On May 11, 1935, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed Executive Order 7037 to create the Rural Electrification Administration (REA), a New Deal public relief program. The program provided $1 million for federal loans to bring electric service to rural areas. It revolutionized life in rural Minnesota and across the country.

Black and white photograph of a Minnesota exhibit of farm product in railway car, Great Northern Railway, Western Governors Special, ca. 1911.

Minnesota exhibit of farm product in railway car

Minnesota exhibit of farm product in railway car, Great Northern Railway, Western Governors Special, ca. 1911.

Civilian Conservation Corps in Minnesota, 1933–1942

The U.S. Congress paved the way for the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) when it passed the Emergency Conservation Work (ECW) Act in March 1933, at the height of the Great Depression. This New Deal program offered meaningful work to young men with few employment prospects. It resulted in a lasting legacy of forestry, soil, and water conservation, as well as enhancements to Minnesota's state and national parks.

Postwar Progress: Oliver Kelley and the Grange

The American Civil War was a pivotal period for Oliver Kelley, his family, and his farm. Kelley had an appetite for innovation just as armies of the era had an enormous appetite for vast quantities of food. When the war came to an end, Kelley was called upon by President Johnson to assess the dire condition of farms in the South.

Kelley Farm staff Bob Quist and Ann Bercher explain how this work informed Kelley's thinking and sparked his idea for a national network of farmers.

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