The area around Hastings was first settled by a military detachment sent from Fort Snelling to guard a blocked shipment of supplies in the winter of 1820. A Lieutenant William G. Oliver camped in an area that would come to be known as Oliver’s Grove, and in 1833 a trading post was opened there. After the Treaty of Mendota of 1851 opened the area for white settlement, Oliver’s Grove was surveyed and incorporated as a city in 1857, a year before Minnesota’s admission to the union. That same year Hastings was named the county seat of Dakota County. The name “Hastings” was drawn out of a hat from suggestions placed in it by several of the original founders.
In the mid-19th century Hastings, the nearby city of Prescott, Wisconsin, and the adjacent township of Nininger were areas of tremendous land speculation, billed by Ignatius L. Donnelly as a potential “New Chicago”. The Panic of 1857 put an end to this dream. The speculation and Panic caused the cities’ growth to be less than expected given their location at the confluence of two significant rivers; today, their combined population is approximately 25,000, and all that remains of Nininger is a few buildings.
Hastings is the site of the second-oldest surviving county courthouse in the state (after Stillwater), finished in 1871 at a cost of $63,000. The county administration began the process of moving to a new facility in 1974, and in 1989 the City of Hastings purchased the old building. It was rededicated in 1993 as City Hall.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 11.18 square miles (28.96 km2); 10.24 square miles (26.52 km2) is land and 0.94 square miles (2.43 km2) is water. The Mississippi River forms most of the northern border of Hastings, while the Vermillion River flows through the southern part of town, over a falls adjacent to a ConAgra grain elevator. Bluffs lie along the northern shore of the Mississippi River and there is a gorge surrounding the Vermillion River below the falls. Hastings is home to two small lakes, Lake Rebecca and Lake Isabel. Both drain into the Mississippi River. The northeast corner of town is known as “The Bottoms”; an area of soggy marshland and flood plain for the Mississippi and Vermillion Rivers.
Hastings is on the Mississippi side of the confluence with the St. Croix River, so that the St. Croix is “across” the Mississippi River. The city of Prescott, Wisconsin is located on the Wisconsin side of the confluence.
Jackie Biskupski − Mayor of Salt Lake City, former Utah state legislator
Taylor Chorney − professional hockey player for the Washington Capitals
George Conzemius – Minnesota state senator and educator
MaryJanice Davidson − author
Gil Dobie − college football coach
Thomas K. Gibson – Wisconsin State Senator
Mark Steven Johnson − film director and writer
Craig Kilborn − comedian and television personality
Larry LaCoursiere – professional boxer
Clara Mairs − painter and printmaker
Dan Peltier− baseball player for the Texas Rangers
Terry Redlin – painter
Harry Sieben – former Speaker of the Minnesota House of Representatives
Mike Sieben – former legislator in the Minnesota House of Representatives
Katie Sieben – former legislator in the Minnesota Senate
Derek Stepan – professional hockey player for the Arizona Coyotes
Jeff Taffe − professional hockey player
Dean Talafous − former NHL hockey player
W. D. Twichell − Texas surveyor born in Hastings in 1864
Ben Utecht − professional football player and singer·
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.