A Brief History of Sterling Township

Sterling Township School, 1890s

Sterling Township is a close knit township located approximately 25 miles South of Mankato. Residents are proud of its historically set values and high regard for education. The township encompass’ a strong sense of community and an avid passion for the arts. Today Sterling is recognized for its lovely surroundings and the historic Sterling Congregational Church.

In 1855 a man named Robert Taylor, along with a large group of similarly opportunistic people, ventured into Blue Earth County in search of new land and prospects. The expedition of 239 members ultimately ended at the future site of Sterling. Two lakes lapped softly nearby, Lura and Jackson Lakes, making the site fertile and pliable. Many of the eager crowd received claims of the land but many more were sent elsewhere to start a home.  The group that stayed established a community and soon agreed on a name on April, 3rd 1860.  Because many of the residents were of Scottish descent, historians speculate it was likely named after King Stirling of Scotland. Another theory is that the township is named after the unit of currency- the Pound Sterling. However the name came to be, residents of Sterling were quick to adopt the unique title.

Being a township of close community members, Sterling was bound to have numerous celebrations and events. The only problem with this was there was no nearby band to entertain the events. On one occasion a few community members stepped forward and performed a few songs. They were an immediate hit and on that day the Sterling Drum Corps was formed. After numerous local events, outsiders took notice to the player’s musical talent. Soon they were travelling and sharing their music far and wide. The Minnesota State Fair even featured them for three consecutive years. After performing almost a lifetime some of the members fell ill or passed away. The Sterling Drum Corps will always be remembered for the character and enthusiasm it brought to the Sterling community. The community of Sterling currently consists of a town hall where elections and meetings take place and the church. The church is opened each year on Memorial Day for a service where people gather to celebrate the communities proud history.

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