Buffalo Lake Hector Stewart
- The City of Buffalo Lake was founded in the year 1876 by John Riebe, who worked for the railroad.
- The City of Hector was founded two years after Buffalo Lake, in the year 1878.
- The City of Stewart was founded in the year 1878 by Dr. DA Stewart.
- Highway 212 runs through Buffalo Lake and Hector. Highway 4 also runs through Hector.
- Buffalo Lake is near Lake Allie.
- Stewart is in McLeod County, right off Highway 212
- Buffalo Lake was named after a lake of the same name in town. Before it was drained, Buffalo Lake was a popular watering hole for herds of buffalo. It was also reputed to contain a lot of buffalo fish.
- Much of the City of Buffalo Lake was devastated by a tornado in 2003. The town has since rebuilt itself, and is better than ever before.
- In 1996, Hector native Gloria Slocum was selected as 1 out of 75 women from around the world whose faces were melded together to create the new look of Betty Crocker. The updated face was in honor of Betty Crocker’s 75th anniversary.
- Stewart has a lake just a little ways out of town called Round Grove Lake.
- Stewart was named after Dr. DA Stewart, who came from Winona to help found the town.
- Stewart had a major fire in the middle of town in the 1930′s.
- Buffalo Lake, Hector and Stewart share a school district, ISD 2159. The mascot of BLHS is the Mustangs.
- Buffalo Lake is home to several ag-related industries. These include: the Farmer’s Co-Op, a branch of Form-A-Feed; and KNS Millwrights, which repairs grain bins and dryers. Other major employers in Buffalo Lake include: Kottke Trucking; the Buffalo Lake Nursery Home; and Minnesota Energy.
- Major employers in Hector include: CSI Communications; and South Central Grain and Energy, which was known as United Grain and Energy until merging with South Central Co-Op at the start of 2006.
- Stewart is the home of Form-A-Feed, a rendering plant which provides feed to area farmers.
- Right off Highway 212 in the middle of Stewart is Cactus Jack’s. This well-known bar and grill features special events throughout the year.
- The Stewart satellite of Feeding Children International was started in April of 2003 to enable everyone in the surrounding area and outstate Minnesota to participate in packaging food for starving children. With the leadership of Feeding Children International in New Hope they enhanced their Kids Against Hunger Campaign by adding a mobile packaging unit.
Festivals & Events
- Buffalo Lake’s summer festival is called “Buffalo Lake Days.” It is held the 3rd weekend of July and features plenty of fun for the entire family. A highlight of Buffalo Lake Days is the “Moveable Feast.” Fest-goers travel from place to place, partaking of different food-stuffs at every start.
- Hector’s summer festival is called “Corn Chaff Days.” It is held the 2nd weekend of July, and has numerous events throughout the weekend. There is corn as well.
- Stewartfest is held every July. It features softball games, live entertainment, good food, and fireworks. There is also a street dance for the fest held at Cactus Jack’s, with more live bands and good food.
- The City of Buffalo Lake has a population of about 800 people and the Mayor is Joyce Nyhus.
- The City of Hector has a population of about 1,200 people and the Mayor is Jeff Heerdt.
- The Cities of Buffalo Lake and Hector are both located in Renville County.
- The City of Stewart’s Mayor is Jason Peirce, and the population is about 550.
- The Buffalo Lake/Hector School District added Stewart to its name in 2010. They are now the Mustangs of Buffalo Lake/Hector/Stewart. The name change gave the new students, as well as the town, an identity in the new School District since the closure of the McLeod West District.
- The Stewart branch of Kids Against Hunger, Feeding Children International of Stewart, moved into a new facility in 2010. The organization bought the former McLeod West Elementary School building and the grounds for $36,500 from the City of Stewart. Remodeling was done, and the 60,000 square foot facility now provides for nearly unlimited expansion in the future.
- Students from the Buffalo Lake/Hector/Stewart School District spent 16 days in Europe in 2012. The kids travelled to 7 different countries with the Minnesota Ambassadors of Music, a group of nominated high school band and choir students who come together for a European concert tour every other summer. The students performed at venues in London, Italy, Paris, Switzerland, Austria, Germany and Liechtenstein in 2012.
- The former Minnesota Energy plant in Buffalo Lake saw new life in 2012 as trucks began carrying ethanol out of the gates again. Steve Walker and Patrick Riggs started production in July after purchasing the plant and making about $2-million in upgrades to the facility. Now called Purified Renewable Energy LLC, the co-owners anticipate that ethanol will remain primarily corn-based for the immediate future, but also expect to use other feedstock and agriculture waste to produce the alternative fuel.