Nestled away in a small county of Minnesota is the community of Madelia. Madelia is a community with a long and rich history, founded in 1857 by Philander Hartshorn. The name Madelia is that of his daughter who died at the young age of 13. Madelia was the first city in Watonwan County and at one time was the county seat. The city originally was built along the banks of the Watonwan River and due to significant flooding the business district was moved to its current location on higher ground. Madelia’s downtown area includes the Pioneer Bank which is on the National Register of Historic Buildings and has a number of unique structures.
The famous capture of the Younger Brothers took place west of Madelia by a posse of volunteer citizens in 1876. This capture was after a failed attempt at bank robbery in Northfield, Minnesota. Madelia holds an event every September called Younger Brothers Capture to commemorate this historic event.
Madelia is proud to have a Veterans Memorial Park dedicated to those who have honorably served in the military from the Civil War to the present time.
The Watonwan County Historical Society is headquartered in Madelia.
Fires have impacted Madelia several times. The Main Street fire on February 3rd, 2016 and the St. Mary’s Church, Feder Lumber Company, Tatro Bowling Alley are among other fires we have survived. It does seem we rise from the ashes each time.
Our park system is one of the finest in the area. The golf course has its own uniqueness. The school is still an independent school system with buildings and staff that are certainly equipped to house and educate our students.