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About Morris, Minnesota:
Morris is located in Stevens County in West Central Minnesota, about 175 miles northwest of Minneapolis-St. Paul, and 100 miles southeast of Fargo, North Dakota.
The Dakota place name for Morris, the county seat, is Siyo Okahiya or “the place where the prairie chickens are hanging.” Stevens County, after the 1862 U.S. Dakota war, became an important stop on the Wadsworth Trail. The Wadsworth Trail began in St. Cloud, Minnesota on the Mississippi River and meandered across Minnesota and into Dakota Territory to end at Fort Wadsworth, now known as Fort Sisseton. The first Europeans to settle in the county were traders at Gager Station and Norwegian immigrants who settled in Scandia, which later became Framnas and Swan Lake Townships bordering the Lower Pomme de Terre Lake, today known as Perkins Lake. The Pomme de Terre (known as the Tipsinah or prairie turnip river to the Dakota) and the Chippewa River both flow through the eastern part of Stevens County.
Morris, with a population of 5300, is an important historical, artistic and cultural hub for the region’s current residents, and home to the Stevens County Historical Museum, the Prairie Renaissance Cultural Alliance and the University of Minnesota, Morris.
The University of Minnesota, Morris campus makes its home on a 125-year-old campus. The earliest buildings housed an American Indian boarding school, first administered by the Sisters of Mercy order of the Catholic Church and later by the United States Government. The school closed in 1909, and the campus was transferred to the State of Minnesota with the stipulation that American Indian students “shall at all times be admitted to such school free of charge for tuition.” It then became the West Central School of Agriculture in 1910 until 1960 when it became a 4-year Liberal Arts campus of the University of Minnesota. The University embraces a culture of a sustainable education and community members enjoy many cultural and educational activities, not usually afforded a rural outstate region.