City of Bemidji

First City on the Mississippi!

City Charter

City of Bemidji Flag
City of Bemidji Flag
In 1895, Tams Bixby, A.C. Clausen, Harris A. Richardson and Dr. Harry Hutchinson of St. Paul and W.J. Hilligoss, Albert Kaiser, and Lewis John, of Fosston bought 93 acres of land on Lake Bemidji with the original idea of establishing a townsite.  In January 1896, the seven organized the Bemidji Townsite and Improvement Company and in March, Bixby and Clausen filed the plat of Village of Bemidji at the Ramsey County Courthouse. 
May 20, 1896, the Village of Bemidji was incorporated and had a population of a few hundred.  
By the end of 1897 rumors of diamonds found on the shore of Lake Bemidji had spread throughout the area and into southern Minnesota - today this location is known as Diamond Point Park.   By 1900, the population of the Bemidji had grown to 2,000.  Lots now sold for $1,000 in the Original Townsite.    By 1903, the Townsite Company had built a Village Hall, Fire Hall, Opera House, Water Works which stood at the corner of Minnesota and 4th Street.  In addition, the Company donated land for a County Court House, St. Anthony's Hospital, Warfield Electric Company, two schools and four churches.   The City of Bemidji was chartered November 4, 1905, as a Home Rule city with "strong mayor" government.  The first mayor was Alva A. Carter. 
Bemidji has a population of over 15,119 (as of April 1, 2016) and a growing surrounding community!   
Current Charter is below...


Charter Commission minutes and annual reports.