The settlement of Jenkins began when a supply depot was built on land which had been granted by the government on August 21, 1883 to Mrs. Isabella Jenkins and her husband.  Teams and wagons would haul supplies into Jenkins from Brainerd and then “tote” loads would take these supplies to logging camps.

The first railroad line came into Jenkins in 1895.  The railroad was used for hauling logs on freight trains.  Passenger trains were also frequent, two daily and two nightly, carrying passengers, baggage, and mail.  With the arrival of automobile and bus service for transportation the passenger trains were discontinued in 1963.  Freight trains continued on the line into the 1980s.  Currently the former railroad line is used as a multi-purpose recreational trail (the Paul Bunyan Trail).

The first term of school was held in 1904, the same year Jenkins was incorporated.  School was held in a small building until 1920 when a two-story brick building was built in the west end of town.  The school was closed down in 1964 when the Jenkins school district consolidated with Pequot Lakes.

Early Sunday School classes were held in the Town Hall, which was at the time the second story of the Saloon.  Later classes were held in the school building.  In 1908 the first church was built in town.  It was originally named “Evangelical” but was later changed to “Union”.  This church was served by ministers of many religious denominations.

Throughout the history of Jenkins all types of businesses have located to the city, some stayed and some did not.  Some types of businesses that were in Jenkins at one time include hotels, restaurants, grocery stores, boat works, auto repair shop, blacksmith, barber shop, antique shops, filling station, lumber yard, saloons and liquor stores, bank, band and bandstand, Grange building, cemetery, railroad depot, telegraph, post office, passenger trains, telephone exchange, candy and confection store, millinery department, pool hall, ironing board factory and a livery stable.

-This history was taken from a historical writing put together by the ladies of the Jenkins Booster Club and compiled by Mrs. Mary Dropping during the 1970s.

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