Woodbury history snapshots
In 2017, we celebrate the 50th year of the city of Woodbury.
With advertisers’ support, this series is called Making History in Woodbury. The Woodbury Bulletin is attempting to get a grip on some pieces of our town’s history — a series of stories about the history of Woodbury through the eyes of the businesses and nonprofit organizations that help make it great. This series is better because of our advertisers’ support. For more information about being featured in Making History in Woodbury, contact Laurie Levine at firstname.lastname@example.org or 651-319-4513.
A few facts about the past:
- 1844 — White settlers first came to Woodbury.
- 1855 — The first school in Woodbury held sessions in the Middleton family home.
- 1858 — Red Rock Township was formed.
- 1859 — Red Rock Township's name was changed to Woodbury Township, named after Levi Woodbury, a New Hampshire judge and friend of the first town board chairman.
- 1876 — O’Halloran and Murphy started as a church goods store and soon after expanded into funeral services for Irish immigrants in St. Paul.
- 1890s — The telephone was introduced to Woodbury residents.
- Aug. 19, 1919 — The Woodbury Light Co. first turned on electricity in Woodbury, metered from Tower Drive and 65th Street.
- 1920s — Living by the motto "We are laborers together," the ladies of Woodbury Community Club were a driving force behind activities that helped people in Woodbury.
- 1922 — Miss Stella Lietzau, a teacher at Middleton School in Woodbury, organized Woodbury 4-H Club, the first 4-H club in Washington County.
- 1932 — Woodbury purchased its first stop sign for $1.
- 1947 — Men were allowed to join the Woodbury Community Club.
- Mid-1950s — Development of the Woodbury Heights neighborhood occurred.
- 1957 — Woodbury Women’s Club formed to provide an opportunity to cultivate neighborhood friendships and acquaintances, as well as the advancement of civic, recreational and social interests, and the promotion of better community relations and higher standards for Woodbury.
- June 9, 1961 — Woodbury Fire Department incorporated as a nonprofit corporation.
- Jan. 1, 1965 — Howard Radke was hired as Woodbury Township's first full-time employee.
- April 1, 1965 — William Krueger became the first full-time town clerk in Woodbury.
- 1965 — A joint incorporation with Cottage Grove was denied by a vote of Woodbury Township residents. If the proposal had been ratified, the village of Washington would’ve been formed.
- Mid-1960s — The neighborhoods of Royal Oaks and Park Hills developed.
- December 1965 — Woodbury Jaycees established as a group of active young men interested in community service and personal development, supporting programs in government, international relations and youth involvement.
- Feb. 14, 1967 — A petition to incorporate the township as a village was ratified by election.
- April 4, 1967 — Woodbury's first Village Council was elected: Orville Bielenberg, mayor; Stanley Olander, councilman at large; Francis Sheppard, Fred Strong and Robert Wolterstorff, councilmen from their respective precincts.
- April 10, 1967 — The Woodbury City Council met for the first time.
- April 20, 1967 — The Council held its first public meeting, at which residents complained about property taxes.
- April 24, 1969 — The Provisional League of Women Voters of Woodbury held its first meeting, with a membership of 41.
- 1970s — The first shopping malls came to Woodbury.
- August 1972 — Woodbury Wanderers, a snowmobile club seeking approved trails, was organized.
- June 4, 1974 — Voters approved a bond that provided $395,000, making it possible for the city to partially develop Ojibway Park and build a park activity building there.
- 1983 — Developers proposed a pari-mutuel horseracing track on 350 acres near the intersection of County Road 19 and Interstate 94.
- Sept. 5, 1983 — Woodlane Flowers, the city’s only flower shop at the time, opened at Woodlane Shopping Center.
- 1986 — Travel By Nelson opened in Seasons Market, near the intersection of Radio Drive and Tamarack Road.
- Nov. 5, 1987 — The Woodbury Bulletin published its first edition of the weekly newspaper.
- Nov. 11, 1987 — Radio station KDWB, which inspired the naming of Radio Drive, announced its impending move to Minneapolis.
- 1989 — Voters pass a District 833 bond issue that will pay for two new elementary schools in Woodbury, as well as land for three other future school sites.
- 1991 — One of the new elementaries is named after Gordon Bailey, the other is named after the Middletons.
- Aug. 12, 1992 — The city approved the construction of the interchange at Lake Road and Interstate 494.
- Sept. 22, 1993 — Bill Hargis is named Woodbury mayor.
- 1998 — Salon Ultimo opened in Seasons Market shopping center, with John Mingo and Rebecca Erickson as proprietors.
- 1999 — Sheree Powers bought Travel By Nelson from Gary and Sandra Schmidt, who mentored her before the transaction.
- 2002 and 2003 — Central Park was built.
- 2003 — Seven concerned citizens started the Friends of Woodbury, raising money for a the purchase of a grand piano for Central Park the following year.
- 2005 — Friends of Woodbury officially became Woodbury Community Foundation.
- 2006 — Another husband-wife team, Shannon and Chris Schultz, bought Salon Ultimo outright after a 1-1/2-year partnership with Mingo and Erickson.
- Oct. 22, 2007 — Primrose School opened at 10350 City Walk Drive.
- 2013 — O’Halloran and Murphy opened its funeral home in Woodbury.
- March 13, 2016 — Three hundred fifty people attended the first annual Chili Hubbub at Guardian Angels Catholic Church in Oakdale.
Sources: Salon Ultimo, Christian Cupboard Emergency Food Shelf, Primrose School of Woodbury, O’Halloran and Murphy, Woodlane Flowers, Travel By Nelson, Woodbury Community Foundation, Woodbury Bulletin, and the Woodbury Heritage Commission's "Woodbury: A Past To Remember," City of Woodbury, Woodbury Heritage Society