Red Jacket Name Origin

Origin of the Name Red Jacket

Originally, the name of a Seneca Indian chief (who lived from about 1758 to 1830), "Red Jacket," came to be applied to towns and to several products, such as brands of stomach bitters and farm pumps.

Building of a Flour Mill

When a flour mill was built in 1866 on the Le Sueur River, near where it joins the Blue Earth, it took the name Red Jacket. The mill survived repeated floods and changes in milling technology until it was completely destroyed by fire in 1880.

Sharing the Name

Although the mill was never rebuilt, the name persisted. It had been applied to various areas including:
  • The ravine through which the railroad climbed from the Le Sueur River to the prairie
  • Railroad and highway bridges over that river
  • The road itself
  • The railroad and highway bridges over that river
  • The railroad station at the mill
  • A rural school
  • A hall over the Mankato store where the flour was sold
Finally, more than a century after the burning of the mill, the name was attached to the Red Jacket Trail.