Winthrop Day, 2/20/14 27 Jan 14


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– Winthrop is paired with Fairfax and Gibbon to make the GFW School District. Their mascot is the Thunderbird, and the high school is located in Winthrop. The 3 schools paired up in 1987, and prior to that Winthrop teams were known as the Warriors. The students of GFW have their own TV show on a public access channel: KGFW TV.

– Some of Winthrop’s major industries include: Mid-America Dairy, a maker of butter and dried milk which receives over 90,000 pounds of milk daily from area farmers. Heartland Corn Products is an ethanol plant; and the company formerly called Richcraft was split into 2 different companies. They are called Guidecraft and Kathelyn Manufacturing.

– The Heartland Corn Products ethanol plant recently undertook a major expansion project. The company increased output of 36-million gallons of ethanol per year up to 100-million. The company is now able to ship its product up to 1,500 miles by truck, unit train, or single car. 


Festivals & Events

– The big summer celebration in Winthrop is the “Farm City Funfest.” Winthrop has hosted the festival, which was previously called Town and Country Days, for over 50 years. It takes place in July.

– Winthrop celebrates the return of the grackle every year with “Grackle Days.” The idea for the celebration is based on the annual return of the swallows to Capistrano, Spain. Grackle Days festivities take place in April.

– During the Christmas season, Winthrop celebrates “Santa Claus Day.” The day features Santa and Mrs. Claus, of course, and lots of special deals at retailers throughout town.



– The City of Winthrop has a population of approximately 1,300 people. The Mayor is David Trebelhorn.

– Winthrop’s wind turbine was completed in 2010. The 120-foot tall turbine on the south end of Winthrop is part of a project through the Minnesota Municipal Power Association. All of the electricity produced by the turbine will be used in Winthrop.

– The Winthrop Public Library expanded in 2010 and the Winthrop City Council chambers were moved to the second floor of the Winthrop City Hall to accommodate the expansion.

– The City of Winthrop opened a skateboarding park in 2010. The skate park features several ramps and some rails. Skaters wishing to enjoy the park must first obtain a registration card and sign a liability waiver. They are available at Winthrop City Hall or online at

– The 29th annual Grackle Days festivities took place in April of 2013 in Winthrop. The theme of the celebration was the “Wide World Of Sports.” Highlights included the Family Fun Movie Night, the Grackle Days “Breakfast of Champions” at the Trebelhorn Farm, a “Grackle Egg Hunt” throughout the celebrations, an alumni basketball tournament, the annual Grackle Days Variety Show Saturday night, late-night dances and karaoke, the crowning of new Winthrop Royalty, lots of activities centered around food, and much more.

– New royalty was crowned in Winthrop as part of the annual Grackle Days festivities in April of 2013. Named Miss Winthrop was Cassidy Adams, the daughter of Sarah and Brian Schak. Crowned First Princess and Miss Congeniality was Leah Zacate, the daughter of Luis and Shelley Zacate, and named Second Princess was Lexi Jensen, the daughter of William and Larussa Jensen. A total of 8 young ladies took part in the competition, which involved a question-and-answer session and talent contest.

–  The McLeod County Dairy Association’s Dairy Farm Woman of the Year Award went to Mary Nelson of Winthrop during the group’s 60th annual Spring Banquet in April of 2013.

– US News & World Report released a list of the Best High Schools in Minnesota in October of 2013, and GFW High School in Winthrop was ranked 28th out of the 772 public high schools in the state.

– The Winthrop Area Chamber of Commerce held its annual banquet in October of 2013, and several awards were handed out. Two Winthrop residents were presented the chamber’s “Good Citizen Award” amongst the other awards given out. Sue and Bob Rickheim were honored for their many contributions to the community over the years. New leadership for the Winthrop Chamber was named during the banquet as well, with outgoing President Jenny Hazelton passing the gavel to new Winthrop Chamber President Charlie Collins.

– Winthrop Mayor Dave Trebelhorn was re-elected to a 4th term in November of 2012. The terms run for 2 years. He is a Winthrop native who also served 10 years on the Winthrop City Council, and has been a Sibley Soil and Water Conservation District commissioner for more than 20 years.



– Winthrop was established in 1858 as a stagecoach stop between Henderson and Fort Ridgely, and was originally known as “Eagle City.” The town was officially incorporated in 1881, and was named after Massachusetts Bay Colony Governor John Winthrop. It became an important railroad center for many years.

– Winthrop is located in Sibley County. Major highways in the town include 19 and 15.

– The 1st settlers in Winthrop were Erick and Brita Olson. They arrived in 1869, and what is currently the town site was their farmland until 1881. It was then that Erick platted the town site, and with the arrival of the railroad in 1881 as well, growth of the town was assured.

– Winthrop was named by EA Campbell, who played a prominent role in the building of the new town. He was the Postmaster at the Eagle City Post Office, and when he moved to the town site in 1881, the post office came with him. Campbell at one time owned all the buildings on the east side of Carver Street, north from 2nd to 3rd.

– In its early days, Winthrop was the principal business town in Sibley County. It was the largest wheat market on the Pacific Division of the Minneapolis and St. Louis Railways. Within a month after the town site was platted in 1881, a half-dozen or more establishments had set up shop.

– In 1929 the annual business meeting for Winthrop Cooperative Creamery Association was held at the new modern creamery. The volume of business at the new creamery for the fiscal year 1928 was over 313,000 pounds of butter. The average price for butter sold then was 45.8-cents, and for butterfat was 53.2-cents.

– Winthrop native Doug Lindstrom is a renowned Alaskan artist. Another famous Winthropian is WCCO Radio’s Roger Erickson.