Nowthen, here's our story:

The City of Nowthen used to be called Burns Township, was formerly a part of St. Francis, and is situated in the northwest part of Anoka County. Bordering cities are St. Francis on the north, Oak Grove on the east, Elk River on the west, and Ramsey on the south.

Burns Township

Burns Township was established in 1869 and had 11 lakes within its boundaries. East Twin Lake is the largest and attains a depth of 90 feet. Bass Lake contained quantities of fish, but during the severe winter of 1864-65 nearly all perished. In 1865 the town was visited by a severe drought and a fire passed over it, burning the marshes in various places down to the hard-pan bottom and doing immense damage to the swamp.  Burns Township consisted of 23,000 acres of which 9,548 was under cultivation in the year 1881.  Population was 340 in 1870, 552 in 1880, 650 in 1890, 920 in 1900 and in 1976 the population was 1,834.  The U.S. Census Bureau, Census 2000, put Burns population at 3,557.  The first birth in Burns Township was in August 1857, with the first death recorded in 1859.  The first marriage was in 1857, and the first religious service was held in 1858.  The first church was built in 1878, German Lutheran, visited by a clergyman twice a month.  The first school house was in section 26 in district #7, and in 1863 Clara Wakefield of St. Anthony was the teacher.  In 1869 the first election was held with the following officers elected:  Supervisors were John Keen, Chairman-John A. Muzzey, Treasurer-James Kelsey,  Clerk-William D. Cheever and Justice of the Peace was H. White.


The first post office of Burns Township started June 5, 1876. The first Postmaster, Jim Hare, was credited in naming the Nowthen Post Office.  History says that Hare wrote to Washington requesting a Post Office in Burns Township.  The Post Office Department indicated that they could not approve the Burns Post Office because there was already Burnstown Township Post Office in Southern Minnesota.  The department asked Hare for suggestions for a new name.  Jim Hare sent a letter to the department with several suggested names.  At the end of his letter he stated "nowthen" and signed it.  Not knowing the Hare often started and ended his sentences with "nowthen", the department thought it was a pretty good name and named Burns Township's Post Office the Nowthen Post Office.

Even after the Nowthen Post Office closed in July 31, 1894 the residents still referred to the area around the Post Office as Nowthen. 

Incorporation as the City of Nowthen

On December 12, 2007, Burns Township filed a Petition with the Office of Administrative Hearings, Municipal Boundary Adjustments (OAH-MBA) requesting the incorporation of Burns Township to the City of Nowthen. Chief Administrative Law Judge Raymond R. Krause issued the Administrative Order granting Incorporation into the City of Nowthen, effective May 16, 2008.