Originally called Sherman and later named after the Maple River, Mapleton has endured many iconic periods in history. It has survived the Dakota Conflict, the Civil War and the Great Depression and these hardships and advancements have made Mapleton the spirited place it is today.
In the spring of 1856, Uriah Payne became the first to settle Mapleton. Slowly, others arrived for the remaining land, including a colony of settlers from New York that has been named the “Mapleton Colony.” These men and women sought farmland that was similar to the homeland they left behind. The first government system of Mapleton appears odd to the public today but was common during those times. The government was run by a director, trustees, recorder, justice of the peace and constable; each of whom was elected each year. Today, we know some of these positions as mayor and city council who serve for a set term rather than annual elections.
After battling through the Great Depression, the area began to gradually improve in condition and population and soon the council could focus on new projects to better the community.
One tradition Mapleton continues to celebrate is the birthday of Robert Burns, the famous Scottish poet. What began as small celebrations on local farms, eventually fostered the creation of a new club, The Maple River Burns Club. Another interest shared by many in the area was curling and so the Heather Curling Club was created – the oldest curling club in Minnesota. Even today, curling is enjoyed as a sport and hobby by many of Mapleton’s residence.
Mapleton is defined by many of its illustrious clubs and organizations. Before long, the Maple River Burns Club and Heather Curling Club were joined by the dance group Kilties, followed by the American Legion, Boy Scouts, Chamber of Commerce, Farmers Union, Mapleton Farm Bureau, Mapleton Independent Order of Odd Fellows, Mapleton Seroma Club, Order of the Eastern Star, Over 60 Club, Rebekah Lodge, Royal Neighbors of America, and Saddle Club.
Today Mapleton remains an active and historically rich township. Citizens continue to honor past traditions while still looking optimistically towards the future.