Minneapolis began as the site of Fort Snelling in 1819 and soon blossomed into a flour milling center due to falls (St. Anthony Falls) on the Mississippi River. Minneapolis is now the largest city in Minnesota.
While Minneapolis is known as the "Mill City" due to its waterfalls and waterpower, St. Paul, only 11 miles distant, came to be because of its lack of navigation obstruction and became the head of navigation on the Mississippi River. St. Paul was named capital of the Minnesota Territory in 1849, and is the state capitol and second-largest city in the state today.
Minneapolis and St. Paul have always been railroad centers. James J. Hill who constructed the Great Northern Railway, had his home in St. Paul. Today's "Empire Builder" passenger train is named after Mr. Hill to commemorate how his railroads settled the Upper Midwest and Pacific Northwest.