The city of Sauk Rapids, a part of Benton County, has quite the history of destruction and disaster. The first home was built in Sauk Rapids by William H. Wood, which later burned in 1855. It was rebuilt shortly afterward, and more settlers soon followed suit. In 1876 the first bridge was built across the Mississippi River, but was blown into the river in 1877. Sauk Rapids was on track to become one of the most important cities in Minnesota until a tornado ripped through the heart of the city in 1886. Much of the city’s main buildings were demolished, 44 people were killed and hundreds more were wounded, stunting Sauk Rapids’ growth and allowing nearby St. Cloud to surpass it.
Since then Sauk Rapids has been rebuilt, and is now a thriving community of more than 13,000 residents. It’s home to the Benton County Historical Society, and hosts the annual Benton County Fair in late summer. Rapids River Days is another annual event, which includes an ambassador pageant, a food festival and a parade.
Sauk Rapids’ government consists of an elected mayor and four elected city council members. The Benton County Court Administrator’s Office serves as Sauk Rapids’ municipal court, and is located at 615 Highway 23 in Foley.