The business district of Randall, Minnesota, is a surprisingly active place considering the fact that the town has a population of approximately 700. Randall is no sleepy, rural community. Its people, who are primarily of German, Polish, French, English, and Irish descent, are industrious and have retained a pioneering spirit.
Founded in 1890 as a stop along the Northern Pacific Railroad’s Staples/Motley cut-off, Randall had a depot that was important to the community’s agriculturally-based commerce. The cut-off was created so that trains did not have to travel through Brainerd to get to Motley and Staples. This saved the railroad time and money.
Randall was named for Northern Pacific official, John H. Randall. It was the fashion of the day to name new railroad stops after major company employees. While the town site was platted on March 10, 1890 by H. S. Clyde, at the direction of Daniel and Alice K. Merrill, it was not officially incorporated until 1900.
The Randall Depot, and later the Randall Cooperative Creamery, served as community gathering places. Over time, the depot and the creamery were closed. The residents of Randall, eager to maintain their connection to each other, developed Bingo Memorial Park. The park, with its playground, sand volleyball court, and community building, straddles the Little Elk River, which runs through Randall to the east of the business district.
Bingo Memorial Park is not the only place in town where residents and visitors socialize. The streets of Randall serve the town well in this respect. With just a few visits to Randall, residents welcome guests as though they are family.
By Mary Warner
Copyright 2002, Morrison County Historical Society