Established in 1872, the City of Sleepy Eye was named after the lake bordering its northwest side that held the name of a peaceful, friendly Dakota Indian Chief—Ish Tak Ha Ba (Sleepy Eyes).
The Chief was one of four Sioux Indians chosen to meet President James Monroe in 1824 in the nation’s capital. Later, Sleepy Eye was an integral player in the 1851 signing of the Treaty of Traverse des Sioux, which gave all of the land but a 10-mile swath on each side of the upper Minnesota River to the U.S. government. His recommendations to traders led to the successful settlement of Mankato, away from flood areas, and the Chief eventually settled his people near the lake now known as Sleepy Eye Lake.
Sleepy Eye is located in the rich agricultural heartland of our country and supports numerous agribusinesses and other industries including the nation’s largest manufacturer of specialty advertising calendars. The service and retail businesses that serve the community offer a wide variety of shopping experiences. Interestingly, Peanuts’ creator, Charles Schulz, named his character “Linus” after Sleepy Eye native Linus Maurer, and a statue commemorating the character is located at the Dyckman Free Library on Highway 14.