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     In 1900 the Burlington, Cedar Rapids & Northern Railroad came through our area on its way north to Minneapolis. Mr. Thomas H. Brown, the townsite agent for the railroad, had chosen the Elling Ellingson farm as the location for a new town because it was half way between Albert Lea and Owatonna and had good farm land that could benefit from supplies brought in and produce shipped out on the railroad. The new town was to be named Ellendale in honor of the railroad president’s wife, Ellen Dale Ives, for the many humanitarian works she had done, especially among the railroad employees.


The first business in the new town was the depot and Security State Bank.


Many others quickly followed: Lerberg’s Grocery & Dry Goods, E. M.


Thompson Furniture & Mortuary


     Followed by the U.S. Post Office and Mercantile, livery stables, meat market, two elevators, lumberyard and more, the village was incorporated in August of 1901 and in September the stockyard was built south of the depot.

     By the end of 1901 the population was 200 and by 1910 it was 400.

     The school was moved into town from a location a ½ mile east of town, where the settlement of Cooleyville had been, and a new building was added to accommodate the students; grades one to four in one building and grades five to eight in the other. In 1910 a two story, brick school was built. After consolidation with some of the surrounding country schools in 1922, a much larger addition was built and in 1923 there were three in the first graduating class. In 1961, Ellendale and Geneva schools merged and in 1993, Ellendale-Geneva merged with New Richland-Hartland to become NRHEG District #2168. At the time of the merger, a new, larger addition replaced the 1910 and 1922 building which better served the combined district.

     From the beginning, our churches have played an important part in the growth and stability of our community. The Norwegian Lutheran Church and it’s cemetery was located south of town, about ½ mile, until 1916 when it was moved into town. In 1949 a new stone church was built on Fifth Street, now known as The First Lutheran Church. The United Methodist Church has been here since 1901 and in 2006 they moved into a brand new building in the Country View Estates on the west edge of town. St. Aidan’s Catholic Church moved from it’s Bath location into Ellendale on Fifth Avenue in 1955 and added a fellowship hall in 2006. It however is no longer located in the City of Ellendale. The Assembly of God arrived in town in 1935 and built their church located on Third Street in 1979.

Ellendale, The Early Years


Ellendale High School
Water Slide


     There was a water slide at Beaver Lake in the 1920's. This was a very popular site for families to gather for picnics, holidays, ballgames, etc. Often bands played, or political speakers appeared. There was a concession stand in the park, and also a pavilion suitable for roller skating or dancing. Down by the lake shore, there was a boat and bait shop. You could even rent a bathing suit for a small fee.

Beaver Lake
History of the Ambulance
  • April 2, 1956 on a recommendation of Mrs. Art Campbell the Ellendale Fire Department started discussion about the possibility of buying an ambulance for the City and surrounding area. 

  • The Firefighters completed 20 hours of First Aid and CPR training and on June 4, 1956 the Department of Health issued an ambulance license to the City of Ellendale.

  • A used 1953 Chevrolet station wagon ambulance was purchased for $200.00 and the Ellendale Ambulance Service was in business.  

  • The 1953 was eventually traded off for a used 1962 Cadillac ambulance and then the 1962 was traded on a used 1969 Cadillac.

  • In 1976 engine problems with the 1969 Cadillac prompted the City Council to look into buying a new vehical. A brand new Dodge Type II (van) ambulance was chosen at a cost of $16, 500.00.

  • In 1977 the Ambulance Service seperated from the Fire Department due to the number of runs and the increased demands for training.

  • In 1981 a new Ford Type III was purchased and the 1976 Dodge was sold by sealed bid.

  • In 1994 a new Ford diesel E350 was purchased and the 1981 was kept as a back-up rig. 

  • January 1, 2004 the ambulance service moved from City owned to a Joint Powers Board ownership. This gave the service the needed funding to hire a full time EMT to cover daytime schedules. The City of Ellendale along with the City of Geneva and the Townships of Berlin, Summit, Lemond, Bath and Geneva own and operate the service.

  • In November of 2004 an agreement with the Geneva Fire Department and the City of Geneva was reached to base one of the ambulances in their City. Geneva is about 4 miles from Ellendale and several crew members live in this area so this was a logical move. We also gained access to the Geneva First Responder squad which has been a great asset for helping those in need.

  • In November of 2005 a 1995 Ford diesel was purchased from the City of Blooming Prairie to replace the 1981.  


  • In May of 2010 a new 2007 Ford Med Tec was put into service. This unit was purchased at a much discounted rate as it was a demonstrator unit used for shows and conventions. This replaced the 1994.

  • Today the Service operates with 2 ambulances and one unit designated as an Emergency Shelter. 130 and Emergency Shelter 132 are based in Ellendale while 131 is in Geneva. 130 is the primary responding unit for calls in the Ellendale area while 131 covers calls in Geneva and the surrounding area.

  • The Mobile Emergency Shelter is utilized as a command center, warming shelter, personnel transport or in cases such as car accidents on the interstate where there are numerous uninjured persons that need to be protected from the elements and injury. It is equipped with water, blankets, extra radios, radio chargers and spare batteries, note pads, white boards and other items that may be needed to communicate, protect, log and document incidents.

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