Growing up in Minneapolis, Minnesota, I often wondered *why am I here?* and more importantly *why did my family choose this place?* All that I really remember about Minneapolis, which I left as soon as I graduated high school and figured out where Arizona and California were, was that it was miserably cold. And if it wasn't snowing, it was raining. And in the summer the mosquitos were about the size of Volkswagens. I remember reading one explanation, that most of the people there had come from Scandinavian countries, and that was the climate that they were most familiar with, and knew how to farm. But that wasn't my family.
Robert Hall came to southern Minnesota in 1864, specifically Pleasant Prairie, which is near Mankato. He was 48, in case you're wondering why he wasn't serving in the military during The Civil War. And there, around the Mankato area, my family stayed for generations. There are still plenty of my relatives that live around there, specially Fairmont. And if you look from the point of view of the time after the civil war to the turn of the next century, you will see that there was a lot of wonderful farmland to be had there, cheap. The Federal Government had removed the Sioux Indians (Lakota) to reservations to the southwest. And after the *Souix Uprising* was over, southern Minnesota was a quiet, peaceful place for my family, generation after generation. By the way, if you look at the Seal of Minnesota, it portrays exactly what Minnesota did - they chased the Indians away and started farming. The history of southern Minnesota is some of the bloodiest and cruelest stories of atrocities in the history of the United States. Google *Sioux Uprising* and you will see what I mean. Yes, Mankato is the site of the largest mass-execution in the history of The United States. When I was a kid, there was a sign that still bragged about it, but people don't talk about it now, or know much about it.
Anyway, there was my answer - cheap farmland. And the reason that my family moved from Mankato to Minneapolis is because there were more opportunities for my father, who had received his Business Degree as part of the GI bill. Mankato was too small, and The Twin Cities beckoned.