BROWNTON & NEW AUBURN DAY — History
– The City of Brownton was founded in the year 1857 by Alonzo Brown.
– The City of Brownton was originally called “Grimshaw’s Settlement” when the first settlers arrived in 1856.
– Brownton is in McLeod County, right off of Highway 212. Highway 15 runs past it as well.
– New Auburn is a city in Sibley County. The community was named for Auburn, New York. It was originally named High Island.
– New Auburn once served as a hub of the fur trade business.
– Buffalo Creek runs through Brownton, and Lake Addy is right outside of town. Lake Marion is only 4 miles north of town on Highway 15.
– The founder of Brownton, Alonzo Brown, was involved with the railroad. A fort was built on the north edge of town as a stop-over for soldiers. The town even had a cheese factory once.
– Thomas Scantlebury, the son of Samuel and Sarah Scantlebury, was born in Albany, New York around 1835. The family later lived in Rochester and New York City. The family moved to Minnesota and were among the founders of New Auburn in April, 1856. Samuel built the first sawmill in the village and Thomas was appointed its postmaster in 1857.
– The settlers of New Auburn had originally petitioned to have the village be a part of McLeod County, but it was made a part of Sibley County.
– Lake Addy in Brownton is now actually 3 lakes. It started out as only 1, but then the railroad was built over it, and later a road.
–52% of New Auburn residents report German ancestry, and 4% report Irish.
– Some well-known Old-Tyme Music band leaders have Brownton ties. Jerry Schuft lived in Brownton, Lester Schuft graduated from Brownton High School, and Bruce Mielke, founder of the Bruce Bradley Band, is also from Brownton.
– Archer Nelson, a former Congressman who died in 1992, went to High School in Brownton.
– Lyle Katzenmeyer, who was inducted into the Amateur Baseball Hall of Fame in 1996, is from Brownton.
– The Brownton Bulletin retired in 2008 after serving the area for over 115 years. The Bulletin’s news and advertising was incorporated into the pages of the McLeod County Chronicle.
BROWNTON & NEW AUBURN DAY — Businesses
– The Brownton Ag Co-Op is just outside of town on Highway 15. Along with serving farmers from around the area, they also provide LP gas to the residents of Brownton. A major expansion project was completed in 2012 as well.
– The City Meat Market in Brownton is well-known across the state for their fine cuts of fresh meat.
– A popular hangout in the City of New Auburn is Dicky Bob’s.
– Among the biggest companies in New Auburn are Dicky Bobs, and High Island Hide Away. One of the biggest schools is at the Immanuel Lutheran Church.
BROWNTON & NEW AUBURN DAY — Festivals & Events
– The 2nd Thursday of August is the traditional date for the annual Brownton Day, usually called the Brownton Corn Feed Day. It features all the sweet corn you could ever possibly eat.
– The High Island Conservation Club holds a big Fish Fry every year to raise funds to keep the New Auburn lake clean and stocked with fish. The Fish Fry typically takes place in February.
BROWNTON & NEW AUBURN DAY — People
– The Mayor of Brownton is Doug Munsch and the population is around 800.
– The Mayor of New Auburn is Roger Becker and the population is around 500.
– In 2010 Voters in the City of Brownton approved an $850,000 bond to demolish the 1922 portion of the former McLeod West High School building, and to repair the newer west wing. It became the Brownton Area Civic Center. Work was completed in early 2012. The building is home to the Brownton Public Library and City Offices, and there I also a public gym for various functions.
– Beginning at the end of 2012, the City of Brownton hired a part-time police chief and a full-time police officer. That came after the resignation of Chief Ron Kelm Jr. Following his departure the Brownton City Council began discussing the city’s options, and it was decided to hire Ken Bauer as the city’s police chief part-time and Jake Binnebose as a full-time officer. Bauer had been acting as temporary chief following Kelm’s resignation, and is also a part-time McLeod County Deputy. Binnebose had previously resigned from the Brownton Police Department to work for the Sibley Medical Center, but was hired back.