History of Elko New Market

View of New Market Minn
View at New Market Minnesota

Former City of New Market

It was during the early years of Scott County settlement that the former City of New Market began to develop into a community. German and Prussian emigrants first established the area known as Jackson whose social and civic activities were centered around the German Catholic Church. The Village of New Market was incorporated in 1895. The incorporated area of the City initially included 320 acres, with only 6 blocks (approximately 17 acres) being developed before 1898. By the late 1870s, the City included a post office, general stores, and several other businesses. A hotel was built in the 1890s. The City also had its own public school, which was closed in 1916, when the private parish school was opened. New Market was booming by the turn of the century, due in some part to the grain elevator and train station located in nearby Elko, which brought business activities into the area.

By 1944, the City of New Market had grown to include approximately 50 acres of developed land; an area which included only 15% of the City’s incorporated limits. Interstate 35 was constructed in the late 1960s, which provided an entirely different mode of transportation into and out of the community. While a general store remained in operation until 1970, the advent of better transportation corresponded with the dwindling of business activity in New Market. Automobiles provided an easy method of transportation to larger shopping centers to the north. Even with the decline of businesses, construction of residential dwellings began to grow in the 1960s and 1970s. A moratorium on building due to lack of sewer capacity in the early 1980s halted virtually any new construction for a period of approximately five years. After cooperatively building a sewer system at the headwaters of the Vermillion River located in New Market Township with the neighboring City of Elko in 1987, construction of housing again began to rise by the end of the 1990s. Between 1990 and 2002, 330 single-family homes were built. Of this construction, 98% occurred after 1998. As new housing construction boomed, the 320 acres of land initially incorporated as the City of New Market filled. Between 1997 and 2003, a period of only 6 years, the developed area of the City of New Market expanded by nearly 50% to include approximately 790 acres. This is compared to a rate of growth (developed area) of 66% for the first 46 years of the City’s existence.
Fred Meinke Saloon and Lunch Room
Fred Meinke Saloon & Lunch Room (around 1905)

Former City of Elko

Even with its proximity, development of the former City of Elko was quite dissimilar to that of New Market. In 1902, the Chicago-St. Paul Railroad platted the community which would later become the City of Elko. While the community grew around the railroad and other businesses in the village, it was not incorporated until 1949 when there was a dispute over the issuance of liquor licenses with the Township Board. While neighboring New Market was predominately a German Catholic community, the population of Elko included a large number of Scandinavian Lutherans. Elko had its own public school, perhaps due to the fact the New Market public school regularly included Catholic religious education in its coursework, and was primarily taught in German. The Elko public school merged with Lakeville in the 1950s, leaving the Elko/New Market community without a public school (the New Market public school had already closed in 1916).

The Elko Speedway opened in 1964 and continues to attract people into the area. With the departure of the railroad from the city in 1977 and the construction of Interstate 35 in the 1960’s, business activity slowly dwindled as it did in neighboring New Market. Elko also experienced a growth in housing construction between 1960 and 2000 (with the exception of the 1980’s during the moratorium). Until the later part of the 1990’s, housing construction in Elko surpassed that in New Market. From 1990 to 2002, 183 single-family homes have been built, with 82% of the growth occurring since 1998.

City of Elko New Market

In October of 2005, City officials from Elko and New Market first met to discuss a possible merger. Recognizing potential financial benefits from such action, the City Councils of the two cities commissioned a study to examine potential impacts. Following a series of public meetings, a referendum was held on March 21, 2006 to consider the potential merger. The residents of the two cities voted overwhelmingly (84 percent) to approve the merger which formally became effective on January 1, 2007.

In 2007, the City of Elko New Market received two prestigious awards for its consolidation accomplishment in combining the City of Elko and the City of New Market together: ·

  • League of Minnesota Cities – Excellence Award Winner – Municipal Consolidation
  • Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs – Innovation Award Winner