History of Parkers Prairie

Parkers Prairie is located about 20 miles north of I-94 at the Alexandria exit in West Central Minnesota. Parkers Prairie was founded as early as 1868 with a General Store on the shores of Lake Adley and incorporated in 1903.

We are a friendly community where neighbors say “Hi!” to one another while strolling down tree-lined streets on a summer evening or attending the Fall Festival in City Park. City Park has two large accessible play structures and other activities. Accessible restrooms and sidewalks enhance the picnic shelters and outdoor swimming pool. Lake Adley Park provides a public access boat ramp for summer fishing and a popular ice fishing spot.

Parkers is a community of volunteers: Parkers Prairie Volunteer Fire Department, Parkers Prairie Ambulance Service, Lions, Pride of the Lions, Panther Boosters, Sportsmen's Club, Prairie Drifters, and American Legion Post 219. Active 4-H, Scout, Cub Scout, and Girl Scout troops provide unique learning opportunities for young people.

We are a community that remembers their heritage through worship at one of four churches. Our School District is as involved in the community as the community is in the School District, working together to solve problems. Most businesses are of the “Mom & Pop” variety, ready to serve. The medical clinic can usually provide same-day appointments while the chiropractic office provides service five days a week. The new ‘Build-to-Suit’ industrial park can provide young businesses with just the place they need to grow.


As the men finished the trail, settlers of Swedish, German, Irish, Scotch and English descent poured in and began to settle and work the virgin land. Parkers Prairie developed into a prominent farming community and within three years all open land was snatched up. Settlers moved out to the country where more of the prairie's beauty was discovered. A series of small lakes and rivers surrounded the community.

The area was plentiful with fish, wildlife, wild flowers and berries. Much of the beauty found then still flourishes in and around Parkers Prairie today as do the descendants of its first settlers.


Parkers Prairie became a reality in 1867 when two men, Parker and Adley, blazed a trail to Otter Tail County through dense timbers and marshes and arrived on a beautiful prairie. Legend has it that they climbed a tree and discovered a beautiful lake on the edge of the prairie. They decided to name the lake and prairie after themselves, thus.....Parkers Prairie and Lake Adley.

Hanson, Duane

(Jan. 17, 1925 - Jan. 6, 1996)
Renowned Sculptor

Duane Hanson
Duane Hanson

Though Alexandria is credited as his birthplace, his farm is in Rose City. He was raised in and graduated from Parkers Prairie High School.

Duane Hanson is well known for his hyper-realistic figures made of polyester and cast fiberglass enhanced by real clothing, accessories, and props.

The realism of his sculptures draws the viewer in for a closer look and links Hanson with the Photorealist painters who also explored methods of copying as a form of image-making. Hanson’s intent, however, was not merely to reproduce reality but also to comment on the human condition.

His subjects are ordinary people leading unremarkable lives—a cleaning lady, a woman shopping, a museum guard.

For more information about Duane Hanson and his sculpting visit the following sites:


Articles about Duane Hanson:


   In 1977, the Parkers Prairie Swimming Pool was built with private funds after the Parkers Prairie Commercial Club of business leaders made it a reality by approaching individuals and various organizations for pledges and donations.  After purchasing the pre-fab pool kit, local contractors donated materials and labor to construct the pool including electrical, plumbing, and carpentry. There were no tax monies used for the construction of the pool or it’s maintenance the first ten years. Before turning the pool over to the city, a committee of Commercial Club members managed the pool, which included hiring staff, management and maintenance. During those ten years, the pool made a profit according to recorded secretary minutes of the Commercial Club. At that time, the Commercial Club ran a very profitable Bingo night which covered the expense of running the pool from the first of June until Labor Day each summer.

   The pre-fab pool a junior Olympic size pool was constructed on the North edge of the City park. 82-1/2 feet in length by 45 feet in width, it was constructed of stainless steel panel sides edged with tiles. The bottom of the pool was poured concrete as was the apron or deck surrounding the pool. A pump house was built on the South side of the pool. 

   A separate round wading pool was added later as was a bathhouse. Various individuals and the Lions Club built the bathhouse as well as the lifeguard chairs.