The house was built in 1849 beside the Falls of St. Anthony and served as the civic and social center for the new settlement and became the site of many historic events. Here, citizens gathered to name the City and organize Hennepin County. The first state agricultural society, the first school district and the first singing school were established in this house. Church services, baptisms and marriages were held here. Federal judges presided over territorial courts in this house and Indian Chiefs Little Crow, Good Road, Shakopee and Hole-in-the-Day met in council. Here, the city streets were platted, transportation was provided across the falls to St. Anthony and the development of water power was planned. The court and judicial system were established here, as was the school system, and the House served as the first courtroom and also as the first school room!
About John H. Stevens
John Harrington Stevens was considered the "Father of Minneapolis" by his peers. He was born on June 13, 1820. He served in the army during the Mexican War before coming to the Minnesota Territory in 1849. He was a farmer, merchant, editor, and historian; served as a state legislator; and was founder and first president of the state agricultural society. On May 10, 1850, he married Francis Helen Miller, whom he called the "Mother of Minneapolis", for her strong support of him and his goals. They had six children. He died in Minneapolis on May 28, 1900.