Editor’s Note: Sunday, March 24, was the 130th anniversary of the signing of the articles of incorporation for the city of River Falls. The following are excerpts from a series of articles written in 1985 by Tim Ericson, formerly of UWRF, and now (1985) with the Wisconsin Historical Society, detailing the early history of River Falls. “The future had seldom looked brighter to River Falls residents than it did during the early months of 1885. There was a feeling of excitement in the air - a sense of imminent progress. A generation of settlers looked back with satisfaction - they had carved a civilization out of the wilderness. Some of the “old-timers” (not yet 50 years old) could recall the day when River Falls had not even had a post office, a newspaper, or a bridge across the Kinnickinnic River. But during the past 25 years the community had seen its population increase more than five times from 312 in 1860 to almost 1,750 inhabitants in 1885. The village had become a flourishing trade center with more than 70 different business concerns; its economy was firmly anchored by four prosperous grist mills which together were capable of grinding out some 150,000 barrels of flour annually. Within the past decade River Falls had been selected as the site for Wisconsin’s fourth State Normal School, and in 1878 the community had been linked to the nation’s mushrooming railroad network. Some prominent businessmen did not want River Falls to lose its “countrified” atmosphere, others resented taxation of farmland within city limits, but after years of debate for and against incorporating, the state assembly passed the necessary legislation and River Falls became a city.” --Pat Hunter, archivist

Editor’s Note: Sunday, March 24, was the 130th anniversary of the signing of the articles of incorporation for the city of River Falls.The following are excerpts from a series of articles written in 1985 by Tim Ericson, formerly of UWRF, and now (1985) with the Wisconsin Historical Society, detailing the early history of River Falls.“The future had seldom looked brighter to River Falls residents than it did during the early months of 1885. There was a feeling of excitement in the air - a sense of imminent progress.A generation of settlers looked back with satisfaction - they had carved a civilization out of the wilderness.Some of the “old-timers” (not yet 50 years old) could recall the day when River Falls had not even had a post office, a newspaper, or a bridge across the Kinnickinnic River.But during the past 25 years the community had seen its population increase more than five times from 312 in 1860 to almost 1,750 inhabitants in 1885.The village had become a flourishing trade center with more than 70 different business concerns; its economy was firmly anchored by four prosperous grist mills which together were capable of grinding out some 150,000 barrels of flour annually.Within the past decade River Falls had been selected as the site for Wisconsin’s fourth State Normal School, and in 1878 the community had been linked to the nation’s mushrooming railroad network.Some prominent businessmen did not want River Falls to lose its “countrified” atmosphere, others resented taxation of farmland within city limits, but after years of debate for and against incorporating, the state assembly passed the necessary legislation and River Falls became a city.”--Pat Hunter, archivist

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