Foley

The City of Foley traces its roots back to the 19th century lumber barons and the four Foley brothers who settled in Benton County in the late 1800s. The brothers originally came from Lanark in eastern Ontario, Canada. Their Irish immigrant family made Lanark their home during the second administration of President Andrew Jackson during the turbulent 1830s.

Michael Foley was the first brother to come to Minnesota. He arrived in 1870 and immediately saw the huge economic opportunities Minnesota had to offer. He was catapulted into the lumber industry through his business contacts with James J. Hill, “the empire builder.”

Michael later returned to Lanark to persuade his brothers, Thomas, Timothy, and John to join him in seeking their fortune in the Land of Sky-Tinted Water. They agreed and the four brothers formed a partnership that would last a lifetime.

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