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Wyoming (See: Forest Lake Area)
Wyoming‘s (pop. 7,791) name came from the Wyoming Valley region of Pennsylvania, from which early settlers to the area arrived. The town was settled in 1855.
North Branch Area (incl. Stacy and Harris)
North Branch (pop. 10,787) was named for the north branch of the Sunrise River, which flows through the city. North Branch became a township in 1861 and incorporated in 1881. In 1901, however, North Branch split into a village covering the more densely populated downtown area and a township covering the rest of the former village. The township later incorporated as the village of Branch in 1961. The two cities talked about a potential merger for years, beginning in the late 1970s. The first public referendum on the issue was held in 1984, and it failed. A second referendum was held on September 13, 1994 and passed. The two cities officially merged on November 14, 1994. American jurist and legislator William J. Duffy was born in North Branch. And Socialist Party USA Chair Stephanie Cholensky and comic book writer Doug Mahnke hailed from North Branch as well.
Stacy (pop. 1,456) is the hometown of Jessica Dereschuk, a beauty queen who competed in the Miss USA pageant and was winner of the Miss Minnesota USA 2004 pageant.
Harris (pop. 1,132) was originally part of Sunrise Township, dating back to 1858, but a charter organized the village of Harris in 1882 and the town organized in 1884. The Harris starch factory was built in 1904 and it wasn’t until 1950 that a volunteer fire department was established to fight the town’s fires. In 1969 I-35 bypassed Harris. Still, today a number of businesses and the town’s post office remain within site of Old Highway 61.
Rush City Area
Rush City (pop. 3,079) is home to the World’s Largest Walleye caught by the fictitious lumberjack Paul Bunyan. It was also the birthplace of Ruth Duccini, a munchkin from the Wizard of Oz; and Clayton Tonnemaker, a former Minnesota Golden Gopher and Green Bay Packer (1950-1954). Tonnemaker lettered in football at Rush City High School as an eighth grader.