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which they were then able to sell in 1899, together with their railroad, to J. Hill for $4,000,000.

Apparently the first time that anyone became aware of this buried wealth occurred many years before the birth of Hibbing. An article in the St. Paul Dispatch (20 May 1918) tells of the incident, when a lumber baron, John Day by name, was camping in what was to him unfamiliar territory. Trying to find his bearings, Day took out his compass, which suddenly seemed to go mad, with the needle pointing in every direction. Day guessed the reason, but he was a lumberman, and of what use were these buried treasures to him? surely they would have no significance in his lifetime, located as they were in this distant wilderness? He and his men went to sleep - at the place where later the Mahoning open pit mine was started.

Increasing forestry operations brought a growth in population, and at the place that was later to become Hibbing there was set up a big camping area, a tent city. Actual prospecting in the immediate area was begun in 1888-1890 by Frank Hibbing, but he concentrated on a stretch of land too far to the east, bypassing the lode. Before him, LeDuc had found isolated outcroppings of ore, but he had concentrated on land too far to the west. Many other early prospectors had failed for one reason or another. Then, in 1891-92, Frank Hibbing's luck changed, and he found what he was searching for, and after some hesitation, named the place after himself.

As soon as trial borings were underway and several mines getting ready for production, there was a real influx to Hibbing, in spite of the difficulties involved in getting there. To assure the flow of material and food supplies, for example, there was a round-the-clock traffic of horse wagons between the Mesabi railroad station and Hibbing, over a primitive road. Indeed, the road was not finished until 1902, although the railroad itself had been extended to the mines by the end of 1893. The first post office, for example, was a big tent on Pine Street, and all the mail was brought in by horse from Mt. Iron, which also had a railroad. With more people moving in, transportation gradually improved, and Hibbing even served as the birthplace of the Greyhound Bus Company, which has grown to a nationwide network.

The summer of 1893 saw the beginning of organized local government. The population was already 326, and a few of them were Finns, the first of whom, according to Ilmonen, arrived that year, while other sources say 1892. Among the names of early arrivals appear those of John and Maria Sallila and Kalle Laine,


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