Main Births etc
Faribault, Minnesota
—  City  —
City of Faribault
Buildings in downtown Faribault

Nickname(s): "Faribo" "Athens of the West"
Motto: "Small Town Pride, Big City Opportunities[1]"
Location of the city of Faribault
within Rice County
in the state of Minnesota
Coordinates: 44°17′26.12″N 93°16′5.95″W / 44.2905889, -93.2683194Coordinates: 44°17′26.12″N 93°16′5.95″W / 44.2905889, -93.2683194
Country United States
State Minnesota
County Rice
 • Mayor John Jasinski
 • Total 15.67 sq mi (40.59 km2)
 • Land 15.32 sq mi (39.68 km2)
 • Water 0.35 sq mi (0.91 km2)
Elevation 994 ft (303 m)
Population (2010)[3]
 • Total 23,352
 • Estimate (2013[4]) 23,414
 • Density 1,524.3/sq mi (588.5/km2)
Time zone CST (UTC-6)
 • Summer (DST) CDT (UTC-5)
ZIP code 55021
Area code(s) 507
FIPS code 27-20546
GNIS feature ID 0643560[5]

Residential areas in Faribault

Faribault ( /ˈfɛərb/ FAIR-boh) is a city in Rice County, Minnesota, United States. It is the county seat. The population was 23,352 at the 2010 census.[6] Faribault is approximately 50 miles (80 km) south of Minneapolis and St. Paul.

Interstate 35 and Minnesota State Highways 3, 21, and 60 are four of the main routes in the community.

Faribault is situated at the confluence of the Cannon and Straight Rivers in southern Minnesota.


Faribault is regarded as one of the most historic communities in Minnesota, with settlement and commercial activity predating Minnesota’s establishment as a U.S. Territory. Prior to 1745, the area was primarily occupied by the Wahpekute band of Dakotah. Shortly thereafter, the tribe was driven south after several clashes with the Ojibwe over territory.

The city's namesake, Alexander Faribault, was the son of Jean-Baptiste Faribault, a French-Canadian fur trader and Elizabeth Pelagie Kinzie Haines, a woman of the Dakotah tribe.[7] Another source maintains the city is named for Jean-Baptiste Faribault.[8] He is credited with fueling most of the early settlement activity in the area beginning in 1826, when he established a fur trading post on the banks of the Cannon River. By 1834, the trading post had grown in popularity and was relocated to the Straight River, one mile (1.6 km) upstream of its junction with the Cannon River, the site of modern-day Faribault. The young Alexander Faribault used his knowledge of Dakotah language and culture to improve relations with the displaced Wahpekute and even helped the tribe to resettle in the area. This relationship was instrumental in ensuring the success of the trading post and allowing safe travel to the area for settlers.

The aptly named Alexander Faribault House was built in 1853 by Alexander Faribault at a cost of $4,000. The house is considered the oldest framed structure in the area, and still stands in its original location near the southeastern edge of Faribault's historic downtown district.

The years following the construction of this first building brought unprecedented growth, development, and economic prosperity for the young settlement. Spurred by the completion of the area's first steam-powered sawmill in early 1854, the next year would bring Faribault from a sleepy settlement of 20 buildings to a bustling town with more than 250 buildings. Historians attribute Faribault's impressive growth during this period to a number of important milestones which were passed in 1855 and 1856, including the creation of roads connecting to other settlements and trading posts in Iowa and Minnesota Territory, the availability of mail service, and the construction of schools and churches.

The City of Faribault was platted in 1855 and granted a home-rule charter in 1872.

Additional historical resources[]


According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 15.67 square miles (40.59 km2); 15.32 square miles (39.68 km2) is land and 0.35 square miles (0.91 km2) is water.[2] The confluence of the Straight River and the Cannon River is located within city limits.[9] Sakatah Lake State Park and Nerstrand-Big Woods State Park are nearby.

Faribault County, Minnesota, roughly 100 miles (160 km) to the southwest, is unrelated to the city of Faribault.

Interstate Highway 35 runs along the western edge of the city. The city is served by two full interchanges and one partial interchange. Prior to completion of Interstate 35, traffic was routed directly through town; generating significant sales revenue to many retailers which literally had a major highway running directly past their doors. In approximately 1975, the last portions of Interstate 35 were completed and all traffic finally started to move around (and not through) Faribault. On that same corridor through town, the White Sands Swimming Pool ("Minnesota's Largest Outdoor Swimming Pool") operated from 1964 to 1977. This swimming area is now the White Sands Dog Park, as well as the trailhead for the Sakatah Singing Hills Trail which runs to Mankato and the future Mill Towns Trail is planned to run to Northfield. The site includes parking, restrooms and a shelter.


Historical populations
Census Pop.
1870 3,045
1880 5,415 77.8%
1890 6,520 20.4%
1900 7,868 20.7%
1910 9,001 14.4%
1920 11,089 23.2%
1930 12,767 15.1%
1940 14,527 13.8%
1950 16,028 10.3%
1960 16,926 5.6%
1970 16,595 −2.0%
1980 16,241 −2.1%
1990 17,085 5.2%
2000 20,818 21.8%
2010 23,352 12.2%
Est. 2013 23,414 12.5%
U.S. Decennial Census[10]
2013 Estimate[4]

2010 census[]

As of the census[3] of 2010, there were 23,352 people, 8,317 households, and 5,208 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,524.3 inhabitants per square mile (588.5 /km2). There were 8,946 housing units at an average density of 583.9 per square mile (225.4 /km2). The racial makeup of the city was 82.6% White, 7.6% African American, 0.9% Native American, 2.1% Asian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 4.4% from other races, and 2.3% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 13.0% of the population.

There were 8,317 households of which 36.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 44.5% were married couples living together, 12.4% had a female householder with no husband present, 5.7% had a male householder with no wife present, and 37.4% were non-families. 31.0% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.50 and the average family size was 3.12.

The median age in the city was 35.4 years. 25.2% of residents were under the age of 18; 9.3% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 28.5% were from 25 to 44; 23.8% were from 45 to 64; and 13.1% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 54.1% male and 45.9% female.

2000 census[]

As of the census of 2000, there were 20,818 people, 7,472 households, and 4,946 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,644.8 people per square mile (634.9/km²). There were 7,668 housing units at an average density of 605.8 per square mile (233.9/km²). The ethnic/racial makeup of the city was 89.87% White, 2.69% African American, 0.67% Native American, 1.83% Asian, 0.06% Pacific Islander, 3.33% from other races, and 1.53% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 8.90% of the population.

There were 7,472 households out of which 34.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 50.3% were married couples living together, 11.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 33.8% were non-families. 28.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.53 and the average family size was 3.10.

In the city the population was spread out with 26.2% under the age of 18, 9.9% from 18 to 24, 30.7% from 25 to 44, 19.7% from 45 to 64, and 13.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 34 years. For every 100 females there were 106.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 106.6 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $40,865, and the median income for a family was $49,662. Males had a median income of $32,404 versus $24,046 for females. The per capita income for the city was $18,610. About 5.8% of families and 9.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 7.9% of those under age 18 and 13.1% of those age 65 or over.


Faribault has the usual gamut of small-town retail and service shops. Employers also include an assortment of light manufacturing offerings.

The main street, Central Avenue, is seeing a renaissance of re-development with most of the historic commercial block listed on the national register of historic places. Many buildings are being restored to their original appearance. Among them is the Paradise Center for the Arts, a multipurpose art center which is the result of a merger between the Faribault Art Center and the Faribault Area Community Theatre. Two long-time Faribault retailing/shopping institutions closed: the oldest and a long-time Central Avenue fixture, Jim & Joe's Clothiers, closed after 125+ years of service due to a number of related factors, primarily centering around the standard issues facing most small-town, family-owned retailers.[11] The second, Minnick's Food Market, was Faribault's last mom-and-pop grocery store and was closed after 60+ years of operation in late 2006.

Herbert Sellner, a woodworker and maker of water slides, invented the Tilt-A-Whirl in 1926, at his Faribault, Minnesota, home. Over the next year, the first 14 Tilt-A-Whirls were built in Sellner's basement and yard. In 1927, Sellner Manufacturing opened its factory in Faribault, and the ride debuted that year at the Minnesota State Fair.


Faribault is located in Minnesota's 1st congressional district, represented by Tim Walz, a Democrat.

Notable institutions[]


The Minnesota State Academies for the Deaf and for the Blind, including the State Library for the Blind, are located in the southeast part of the city above the Straight River. Noyes Hall, a neoclassical building on the campus of Minnesota State Academy for the Deaf, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.[12][13] The building is named for Jonathon L. Noyes, long-time administrator of the school.[14]

Other institutions[]

The Thomas Scott Buckham Memorial Library is the city library.

The Faribault Correctional Facility is a state prison located on the campus of a former mental hospital (aka "The State Schools").

The River Bend Nature Center is a 750-acre (3.04 km2) non-profit nature center in the southeast corner of Faribault.

Notable natives and residents[]

  • George Ballis (1925–2010), photographer and activist whose photos documented the efforts of César Chávez and the formation of the United Farm Workers.[15]
  • Stephen Chatman, Canadian composer, born in Faribault in 1950 [1]
  • Richard Cross, operatic bass-baritone [2]
  • William Francis Melchert-Dinkel, an online predator who became internationally famous by successfully encouraging suicides by internet.
  • Patrick Eaves, a National Hockey League player for the Detroit Red Wings; born in Calgary, Alberta but grew up in Faribault
  • Bruce Smith, 1941 Heisman trophy winner. He played football for the University of Minnesota and starred in the movie Smith of Minnesota.
  • Henry Benjamin Whipple, the first Episcopal bishop of Minnesota
  • Raphael Louis Zengel, Faribault born winner of the Victoria Cross for actions performed with the Canadian Expeditionary Force during the First World War.

Shattuck-St. Mary's "Alumni" Hockey Players/Coaches[]

  • Sidney Crosby, center with the Pittsburgh Penguins of the NHL; attended and played hockey at Shattuck-Saint Mary's
  • Andy Murray, former head coach for the St. Louis Blues of NHL National Hockey League, previously head coach of boys 18U hockey program at Shattuck-Saint Mary's
  • Brady Murray, played for the Los Angeles Kings of the NHL, graduate of Shattuck-Saint Mary's
  • Zach Parise, left wing for the Minnesota Wild, attended and played hockey at Shattuck-Saint Mary's
  • Jonathan Toews, center with the Chicago Blackhawks of the NHL; attended and played hockey at Shattuck-Saint Mary's
  • Drew Stafford, right wing for the Buffalo Sabres, attended and played hockey at Shattuck-Saint Mary's

See also[]

  • Bethlehem Academy


  1. ^ Faribault web site
  2. ^ a b "US Gazetteer files 2010". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2012-11-13. 
  3. ^ a b "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2012-11-13. 
  4. ^ a b "Population Estimates". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2014-07-14. 
  5. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  6. ^ "2010 Census Redistricting Data (Public Law 94-171) Summary File". American FactFinder. United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 27 April 2011. 
  7. ^ Faribault Life and Times. "Alexander Faribault Before the Story: 1806-1855" <>
  8. ^ Gannett, Henry (1905). The Origin of Certain Place Names in the United States. Govt. Print. Off.. pp. 123. 
  9. ^ Minnesota Atlas & Gazetteer. Yarmouth, Me.: DeLorme. 1994. pp. 33. ISBN 0-89933-222-6. 
  10. ^ United States Census Bureau. "Census of Population and Housing". Retrieved February 25, 2014. 
  11. ^ Huppert, Boyd (2006-05-19). "Over a century of service with a smile comes to an end". KARE 11. Retrieved 2008-03-05. 
  12. ^ 2001 Minnesota capital budget request for restoration of Noyes Hall
  13. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2010-07-09. 
  14. ^ Faribault Heritage Preservation Commission, virtual tour, Noyes Hall
  15. ^ Brown, Emma. "George 'Elfie' Ballis, 85, who photographed struggle of Cesar Chávez and migrant farmworkers, dies", The Washington Post, September 27, 2010. Accessed September 29, 2010.

External links[]

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