The City of Jordan has a long history starting back in the early 1850’s. On November 27, 1853, Thomas A. Holmes sent a crew of men from Shakopee to build a sawmill. His brother, William Holmes, together with his wife and oldest son Orin Thomas Holmes, lived in a log house built in what was later to become the town of Jordan.
This area of Minnesota was opened up for settlement when the Indians were forced to move to reservations. By the late 1850’s Jordan had a hotel, churches, school, tavern, post office, two mills, and a number of new homes. The village remained without a name for several years. It was later said to have been named “Jordan” by William Holmes, after the biblical River Jordan.
In 1872, Jordan City and Brentwood (land owned and surveyed in the southeast corner of section 18 and on the line of the Minnesota Valley railroad) were incorporated together under the name of the village of Jordan. Soon, general stores, breweries, hardware stores and more churches sprung up. The only item missing, according to some locals was the county courthouse.
From 1872 to 1929, Jordan tried to move the county seat to the city unsuccessfully. The County seat established in 1853 would remain in Shakopee.By 1880 the village which consisted of about 640 acres and 915 residents had the advantage of two railways.
Businesses consisted of two flouring mills, two breweries, a stone quarry, a lumber shop, a harness shop, a blacksmith, a gunsmith, a baker, a boot and shoe store, three general merchandise stores, two hardware stores, two grocery stores, two millinery, two meat markets, two jewelers, two hotels, and eight saloons.Later, in 1891, Jordan was incorporated as a city.
That same year phone service was installed from the doctor’s office to the drug store and from the RR Deport to the Hotel.Breweries thrived until 1921 when 100 gallons of beer and whiskey was seized in a raid by the Prohibition Enforcement agent. Brewing started up again in the 1930’s after it became legal, but later production was limited when the government rationed grain in the 1940’s.
Today, the City of Jordan is a flourishing city with the growth of the Metropolitan area. Scott County is the most rapid growing county in the state of Minnesota. The City has a full range of urban land use services and is the cultural and economic center of the immediate region.
To learn more click here to find the Jordan Area Historical Society Facebook Page.