A veteran of the Mexican-American War, William Finn was the first person to settle in Highland Park permanently in 1848. He was granted a large portion of land along the Mississippi River and built a house on the land that the University of St. Thomas now occupies. During this time, much of the Highland Park area was encompassed by the Fort Snelling reservation but by the mid 1850s the government opened up most of that land for sale. Growth in the area had pressured the government into making this move and in 1854, approximately 5,000 acres (20 km²) were sold at about $1.25 per acre. This sale opened up the area for settlement, and the area in Ramsey County that was first settled became the last in Saint Paul to be densely populated.
Following World War II Highland Park experienced another population boom, a large number of new houses were built, the Highland Village Shopping Center was expanded and the Sibley Plaza Shopping Center was finished.
Highland Park Properties
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