The Dakota Sioux were the region’s sole residents when French explorers arrived in 1680. Gradually, more European-American settlers arrived, competing for game and other resources with the Native Americans. By the Treaty of Paris following the Revolutionary War, British land east of the Mississippi River became part of the United States. The Minnesota Territorial Legislature authorized Minneapolis as a town in 1856, on the Mississippi’s west bank. Minneapolis incorporated as a city in 1867 and later joined with the east-bank city of St. Anthony in 1872. More can be found here.
Minneapolis developed around Saint Anthony Falls, the highest waterfall on the Mississippi River and a source of power for its new industry. Forests in northern Minnesota were a valuable resource for the lumber industry, which operated seventeen sawmills on power from the waterfall. See also about Minneapolis Infrastructure and Public Utilities.