The Urban Hometown
|• Type||Council-manager government|
|• Mayor||Mary Supple|
|• City||6.91 sq mi (17.91 km2)|
|• Land||6.78 sq mi (17.55 km2)|
|• Water||0.14 sq mi (0.35 km2) 2.00%|
|Elevation||840 ft (256 m)|
| • Estimate |
|• Density||5,457.95/sq mi (2,107.40/km2)|
|• Metro||3,693,927 (US: 16th)|
|Time zone||UTC-6 (Central)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC-5 (CDT)|
|GNIS feature ID||0650061|
Richfield is a city in Hennepin County, Minnesota. An inner-ring suburb of Minneapolis, Richfield is bordered by Minneapolis to the north, Minneapolis–Saint Paul International Airport and Fort Snelling to the east, Bloomington to the south, and Edina to the west. The population was 36,994 at the 2020 census.
Best Buy, the U.S.'s largest electronics retailer, is headquartered in Richfield.
In the 1820s, some small settlements developed around Fort Snelling. By the late 1830s, the fortress served as a destination for newcomers—lumbermen, missionaries, farmers, traders and travelers—migrating to the borderlands people were now calling "Minisota". Minnesotan Franklin Steele reached the area in 1837 and worked as a sutler, selling goods to soldiers.
Fort Snelling's garrison made up the bulk of the area's population, along with Henry Sibley and Alexander Faribault's 75-person American Fur Company operation. Other small settlements of traders, farmers, missionaries and refugees began to develop outside the fort, some with permission, some without. These residents built communities on land that became known as Richfield.
- Minnesota's oldest suburb claim
Richfield was one of the earliest postwar suburbs in the Twin Cities to be populated by veterans returning from World War II, but its claim to be Minnesota's oldest suburb date to the land's connection to Fort Snelling in the 1820s. The term "suburb" is from the Latin suburbium, "the land outside a walled city". Much of the land that comprised the Township of Richfield and today's City of Richfield included the Fort Snelling military reservation, which included Camp Coldwater.
Richfield Township is established
One of the first settlers to the area was Riley Bartholomew, a former general in the Ohio Militia. He later became a Richfield justice of the peace and a Minnesota state senator. Bartholomew built a house on Wood Lake's eastern shore in 1852, and the restored Riley Lucas Bartholomew House is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Today, the Richfield Historical Society maintains the house and the site.
The Harmony post office, south of the Richland Mill on Lyndale Avenue, opened in 1854. Postmaster James Dunsmoor named the mail center after his hometown in Maine. Richfield farmers looked on the metropolis to its north as their marketing target. They helped supply its restaurants, hotels, grocers and citizens with fresh produce, with enough left over to ship by railroad to other cities.
On May 11, 1858, Congress approved the Territory of Minnesota as the 32nd state to join the union. That day, local citizens met in a schoolhouse at present-day 53rd and Lyndale to form a municipal government. At that meeting, those who previously said they lived in Harmony or Richland Mills chose the name Richfield for their community.
Settlers from Maine made up 35% of U.S.-born adults 18 or older in 1860 Richfield. New York immigrants were 21%. Immigrants from Ireland, numbering 58, represented half of the 119 adults from other nations. Just three of Richfield's citizens had been born in Minnesota.
Richfield's fields proved bountiful for the settlers. Early crops included corn, wheat and oats. Wheat immediately became the cash crop, sold in the area's first major market, St. Paul. Those in southern Hennepin County found it more profitable to haul their wheat crop to St. Paul than to the St. Anthony Falls district. This was before "King Wheat" and Minneapolis's evolution into a milling center.
- Market gardening
Minneapolis became a favorite trading point for market gardeners in 1897 with the building of the modern, covered Second Street Market just two blocks west of Hennepin Avenue and Bridge Square. The market featured a massive platform for gardeners, including Richfield's sizable contingent, to unload and display produce. The new system freed streets from traffic snarls by allowing each person to unhitch and put up their horses, while their wagon was backed into an assigned space. Wholesale customers could then bring their teams to the platform and negotiate prices when the starting bell sounded.
Today's boundaries differ markedly from those the Hennepin County Board of Commissioners set forth on April 10, 1858, when it established the towns of Richfield, Minneapolis, Bloomington and Eden Prairie. Richfield's boundaries included about 63 square miles. Richfield originally ranged to Minneapolis's Lake Street on the north, to what is now Highway 169 on the west, to Bloomington on the south, and to Fort Snelling and the Minnesota and Mississippi rivers on the east.
Parts of Richfield were later lost to neighboring towns or villages through annexation. An 1886 partition of Richfield created the village of St. Louis Park, and a division in 1889 produced the village of Edina. Minneapolis absorbed sizeable portions of Richfield through legislative action or annexations in 1867, 1883, 1887 and 1927. The growth of Minneapolis-Saint Paul International Airport during the last half of the 20th century and additions of land to the Fort Snelling compound meant further reductions.
In 1908, Richfield became a village. From 1908 until 1950, Richfield's local government consisted of a president, three trustees, and a city clerk. On November 7, 1950, residents voted for a city-manager form of government, meaning the city had a mayor, four council members, and a city manager. This is still Richfield's form of government. The first mayor was Clarence Christian, who began serving in 1951, but served as president under the old format dating back to 1948. By the late 1940s, the city's population started increasing rapidly as farmland was sold to developers building homes for veterans returning from World War II. The Richfield Chamber of Commerce was formed in 1955 and has been deeply involved in the community's development and redevelopment.
Over the years, populations of all nearby communities increased and after World War II, Richfield flourished with commuters to Twin Cities jobs. As of 2019, Richfield has a population of about 35,000, who live within seven square miles of neighborhoods, parks, and shops.
The majority of the 10,000 single-family homes were constructed in the 1950s, and the 5,000 apartments date from the 1960s and early 1970s. The Richfield Rediscovered Housing Program has established an environment of change in the community as it encourages home remodeling, expansion, and reconstruction. The program is gradually changing the face of Richfield's residential neighborhoods, upgrading them from small, post-WWII styles to larger homes.
|Richfield Land Use Areas (2005)|
|Total City Area||4569.4||100|
|Streets and Highways||1249.6||27.3|
|Net Land Use Area||3319.8||72.7|
|Total Residential||Total Residential Area||2396.9||52.4|
|Total Non-Residential||Total Non-Residential Area||922.3||20.2|
From the first quarter of 2001 to the first quarter of 2003, net job growth equaled 2,444 – the second highest in the metropolitan area. Additionally, total employment in Richfield jumped from 10,090 to nearly 15,000 between 1995 and 2005.
According to the city's 2014 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report, the top employers in the city are:
|#||Employer||# of Employees|
|1||Best Buy (HQ)||4,500|
|3||Richfield Public Schools||682|
|5||Metro Sales Inc. (HQ)||294|
|9||City of Richfield||191|
The local school district, Richfield Public Schools (officially Independent School District #280), serves about 4,200 students in Richfield and part of Edina in grades K-12. Richfield schools are divided into elementary schools, middle schools, and high schools.
Four elementary schools serve primary students in grades K-5: Centennial Elementary; Sheridan Elementary; R-STEM Elementary, which focuses its curriculum on science, technology, engineering, and math; and RDLS Elementary, a dual language school that teaches students in both English and Spanish.
- Academy of Holy Angels, a Catholic, co-educational high school that serves over 800 students in grades 9-12
- Blessed Trinity Catholic School
Richfield has more than 450 acres (1.8 km2) of parkland, 23 neighborhood parks, and a nature preserve. Wood Lake Nature Center is a 150-acre (0.6 km2) park operated by the city that features wetlands, walking paths and an interpretive center. When the Nature Center opened in 1971, it was one of the nation's first urban nature centers. It is home to more than 200 different kinds of birds and 30 mammals.
Richfield's Ice Arena has two full-size indoor skating rinks. Hockey games, figure skating, broom ball games, open skating, and community events all take place there. Near the ice arena is Richfield's outdoor pool. Renovated in 2003, it features a 50-meter competitive pool, wading pool, and a 28-foot (9 m) double waterslide.
2017-2019 brought a major overhaul of 66th street to improve the look of the city and increase recreation opportunities, with new, dedicated bike and walking lanes for pedestrians.
|U.S. Decennial Census[note 1]|
|Race / Ethnicity||Pop 2000||Pop 2010||Pop 2020||% 2000||% 2010||% 2020|
|White alone (NH)||27,125||22,260||21,838||78.76%||63.19%||59.03%|
|Black or African American alone (NH)||2,257||3,152||3,591||6.55%||8.95%||9.71%|
|Native American or Alaska Native alone (NH)||212||225||203||0.62%||0.64%||0.55%|
|Asian alone (NH)||1,812||2,159||2,446||5.26%||6.13%||6.61%|
|Pacific Islander alone (NH)||13||17||17||0.04%||0.05%||0.05%|
|Some Other Race alone (NH)||108||134||246||0.31%||0.38%||0.67%|
|Mixed Race/Multi-Racial (NH)||754||854||1,832||2.19%||2.42%||4.95%|
|Hispanic or Latino (any race)||2,158||6,436||6,821||6.27%||18.27%||18.44%|
Note: the US Census treats Hispanic/Latino as an ethnic category. This table excludes Latinos from the racial categories and assigns them to a separate category. Hispanics/Latinos can be of any race.
As of the census of 2010, there were 35,228 people, 14,818 households, and 8,420 families living in the city. The population density was 5,127.8 inhabitants per square mile (1,979.9/km2). There were 15,735 housing units at an average density of 2,290.4 per square mile (884.3/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 69.8% White, 9.2% African American, 0.8% Native American, 6.1% Asian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 10.4% from other races, and 3.5% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 18.3% of the population.
There were 14,818 households, of which 26.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 41.2% were married couples living together, 10.8% had a female householder with no husband present, 4.9% had a male householder with no wife present, and 43.2% were non-families. 34.3% of all households were made up of individuals, and 12.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.35 and the average family size was 3.05.
The median age in the city was 36.2 years. 21.3% of residents were under the age of 18; 8.5% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 31.4% were from 25 to 44; 24.7% were from 45 to 64; and 14.2% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 49.2% male and 50.8% female.
As of the census of 2000, there were 34,439 people, 15,073 households, and 8,727 families living in the city. The population density was 4,993.9 inhabitants per square mile (1,928.2/km2). There were 15,357 housing units at an average density of 2,226.9 per square mile (859.8/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 81.25% White, 6.65% African American, 0.72% Native American, 5.30% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 3.41% from other races, and 2.64% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race was 6.27% of the population.
There were 15,073 households, out of which 24.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 43.4% were married couples living together, 10.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 42.1% were non-families. 33.7% of all households were made up of individuals, and 12.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.25 and the average family size was 2.89.
In the city, the population was spread out, with 20.2% under the age of 18, 9.3% from 18 to 24, 33.4% from 25 to 44, 20.7% from 45 to 64, and 16.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females, there were 96.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 93.0 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $45,519, and the median income for a family was $56,434. Males had a median income of $38,417 versus $29,909 for females. The per capita income for the city was $24,709. About 3.9% of families and 6.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 8.3% of those under age 18 and 3.8% of those age 65 or over.
Richfield's mayor is Mary Supple, a retired Richfield Public School teacher.
Former Richfield Mayor Maria Regan Gonzalez was the first Latina mayor in Minnesota history. Regan Gonzalez was a councilwoman in Ward 3 before being elected in 2018.
Richfield has five city council members: Sharon Christensen (Council At-Large), Simon Trautmann (Council Ward One), Sean Hayford Oleary (Council Ward Two), Ben Whalen (Council Ward Three), and Supple. At the state level, Richfield is represented State Senator Melissa Halvorson Wiklund and State Representative Michael Howard. The city is in Minnesota's 5th congressional district, represented by Ilhan Omar.
|2020||24.9% 5,128||72.4% 14,931||2.7% 555|
|2016||26.2% 4,839||64.6% 11,924||9.2% 1,697|
|2012||31.6% 5,919||65.9% 12,364||2.9% 472|
|2008||33.5% 6,271||64.7% 12,112||1.8% 325|
|2004||38.0% 7,144||60.9% 11,442||1.1% 216|
|2000||37.9% 6,744||55.8% 9,924||6.3% 1,124|
|1996||33.8% 5,774||56.5% 9,657||9.7% 1,675|
|1992||31.7% 6,566||47.3% 9,790||27.0% 4,328|
|1988||45.3% 9,167||54.7% 11,049||0.0% 0|
|1984||49.7% 10,496||50.3% 10,616||0.0% 0|
|1980||40.6% 8,370||47.9% 8,370||11.5% 2,388|
|1976||47.2% 10,375||51.2% 11,239||1.6% 353|
|1972||57.0% 12,592||41.4% 9,140||1.6% 349|
|1968||43.9% 9,643||52.9% 11,615||3.2% 715|
|1964||40.1% 8,300||59.0% 11,950||0.9% 15|
|1960||55.8% 10,613||44.0% 8,375||0.2% 30|
- Steve Christoff – member of the 1980 USA men's hockey team that won the gold medal in the Miracle on Ice
- Larry Fitzgerald – football player
- Donald F. Gleason – American physician and pathologist
- Jason Heinrichs – musician also known as Anomaly
- Darby Hendrickson – former NHL player
- Shirley A. Hokanson – Minnesota state legislator and social worker
- William G. Kirchner – Minnesota state legislator and banker
- Richard Kruger – CEO of Imperial Oil, former vice president of ExxonMobil
- Charles W. Lindberg – U.S. Marine
- Bill Mack – sculptor, artist
- Damian Rhodes – hockey player
- Chad Smith – Red Hot Chili Peppers drummer
- Will Steger – Arctic explorer and environmentalist
- Christopher Tjornhom – Minnesota state legislator
- Population figures for 1930 and 1940 were corrected in the 1950 census by excluding the Fort Snelling count.
- "About Richfield". City of Richfield, MN. Retrieved December 19, 2019.
- "2020 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved July 24, 2022.
- "Explore Census Data". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved November 11, 2022.
- "City and Town Population Totals: 2020-2022". United States Census Bureau. June 25, 2023. Retrieved June 25, 2023.
- "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. October 25, 2007. Retrieved January 31, 2008.
- William Watts Folwell, A History of Minnesota 1:455-57,(St. Paul: Minnesota Historical Society). 1921 reprint 1956
- Rodney C. Loehr. "Franklin Steele, Frontier Businessman." Minnesota History 27 (December 1946): 312-314.
- Holcombe. Minnesota as a Territory, (Mankato: Publishing Society of Minnesota) 2:96. Folwell, A History of Minnesota, 1:503-515
- Johnson, Fred, Richfield, Minnesota's Oldest Suburb 1, (Richfield: Richfield Historical Society Press).
- Smetanka, Mary Jane (February 11, 2008). "Richfield, the state's 'oldest suburb'". StarTribune. Retrieved January 5, 2020.
- Johnson, Fred, Richfield, Minnesota's Oldest Suburb 14, (Richfield: Richfield Historical Society Press). Balcom, Early Richfield History 16-17.
- Johnson, Fred, Richfield, Minnesota's Oldest Suburb 37, (Richfield: Richfield Historical Society Press).
- History of Richfield Archived December 1, 2005, at the Wayback Machine, City of Richfield Website
- On April 10, 1858, the Hennepin County Board of Commissioners established a number of towns including "Richland." Folwell History of Minnesota. II: 10-11. Records of the Town of Richfield, County of Hennepin, State of Minnesota, See minutes of the May 11, 1858, meeting.
- Richfield History, Community Profile
- Attwater and Stevens, History of Minneapolis and Hennepin County, Minnesota 1413-1414. Richfield's George Odell wrote his town's history in the Atwater and Stevens book. Minnesota Farmer and Gardener, Lyman M. Ford and John H. Stevens, ed., No. 1. Nov. 18, 1860, 13. Letter from H. H. Hopkins in the December 1860 issue. pages 60-61.
- The new Second Street Market at 2nd Street and 2nd Avenue North is praised in the Minneapolis monthly magazine The Market garden: Journal for the Gardener and Trucker, 4 (Market 1897): 3.
- Johnson, Fred, Richfield, Minnesota's Oldest Suburb 14, (Richfield: Richfield Historical Society Press). David J. Butler. "Did the Town of Richfield ever extend as far north as Franklin Avenue?" Richfield Historical Society Bulletin, (Summer 2006):3-4. Balcom, Early Richfield History
- Richfield Historical Society's web site
- "US Gazetteer files 2010". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on January 12, 2012. Retrieved November 13, 2012.
- Best Buy Corporate Office Headquarters
- Richfield Community Profile
- Cedar Point Commons Archived June 24, 2009, at the Wayback Machine
- City of Richfield CAFR
- Richfield District
- Richfield Middle
- Richfield High School
- "South Education Center".
- Paul Walsh; Eder Campuzano (February 1, 2022). "2 arrested after shooting outside school in Richfield kills one student, injures another". Star Tribune. Retrieved February 7, 2022.
South Education Center, an alternative school in the Intermediate District 287 that serves students from pre-K to age 21. Police found the two students wounded outside the school, in the 7400 block of S. Penn Avenue
- cmhehre. "Richfield Campus". Seven Hills Preparatory Academy. Retrieved March 13, 2019.
- "Parks". City of Richfield, Minnesota. Archived from the original on May 14, 2013. Retrieved August 18, 2013.
- "Woodlake Nature Center". City of Richfield, Minnesota. Archived from the original on May 14, 2013. Retrieved August 18, 2013.
- "Ice Arena". City of Richfield, Minnesota. Archived from the original on March 21, 2014. Retrieved August 18, 2013.
- "Outdoor Pool". City of Richfield, Minnesota. Archived from the original on May 12, 2015. Retrieved August 18, 2013.
- "66th Reconstruction Process from Richfield.gov".
- United States Census Bureau. "Census of Population and Housing". Retrieved June 15, 2013.
- "Number of Inhabitants - Minnesota" (PDF). 1950 Census of Population. United States Census Bureau. Archived (PDF) from the original on August 24, 2017.
- "HISPANIC OR LATINO, AND NOT HISPANIC OR LATINO BY RACE - 2000-Minnesota". Google Books.
- "P2 HISPANIC OR LATINO, AND NOT HISPANIC OR LATINO BY RACE - 2010: DEC Redistricting Data (PL 94-171) - Richfield, Minnesota". United States Census Bureau.
- "P2 HISPANIC OR LATINO, AND NOT HISPANIC OR LATINO BY RACE - 2020: DEC Redistricting Data (PL 94-171) - Richfield, Minnesota". United States Census Bureau.
- "City of Richfield City Council".
- "Minnesota State Senate". www.senate.mn. Retrieved March 7, 2023.
- "Rep. Michael Howard (50A) - Minnesota House of Representatives". www.house.leg.state.mn.us. Retrieved March 7, 2023.
- "Election Results - Minnesota Legislative Reference Library".
- "Office of the Minnesota Secretary of State - Election Results".
- Johnson, Frederick L. (2008). Richfield: Minnesota's Oldest Suburb. Richfield Historical Society. ISBN 978-1-60585-636-0.
- Smetanka, Mary Jane (February 11, 2008). "Richfield, the state's 'oldest suburb'". Star Tribune.