Chatfield is a city in Fillmore and Olmsted counties in Minnesota. The city's area is split almost equally between the two counties. Chatfield is known as "The Gateway to Bluff Country" and "The Chosen Valley".
The land on which Chatfield sits was claimed by Thomas Twiford in 1853. Twiford paid a grand total of $195.60 for the town site. The town was named in honor of Judge Andrew G. Chatfield. It was the original Fillmore County seat.
In 1856 the Federal Land office was moved here, where it remained for several years. 1856 also marked the year that West Chatfield was laid out across the Root River. The first homes of the settlers were undoubtedly log cabins, with frame houses soon following. Most of the brick buildings on Main Street were built between 1870 and 1900. These buildings were mostly constructed of Chatfield brick and are a beautiful and historical addition to our community.
George A. Haven constructed the wall along side Old Territorial Road from 1927 to 1964. It includes stones from the early schoolhouse, stones from six continents, including exotic places like Antarctica, England, Hong Kong, Tasmania and most of the fifty states. It also includes the thighbone of a dinosaur from Montana and a baptismal font from the ruins of a church in Italy.
Some of the first enterprises included a sawmill, a brickyard, flour mills, a woolen mill, an iron foundry, a door sash and blind factory, a broom factory and a cheese factory. A major hotel called the Medary House was built in town and, during its time, it was considered one of the best hotels in the country. The town originally had two newspapers, The Chatfield Democrat and The Chatfield Republican. These newspapers merged in 1860 and, eventually evolved into The Chatfield News, which still prints today.
Soon after it was founded, the citizens of Chatfield created a militia group called The Chatfield Guards. They could often be seen drilling in the City Park. When the Civil War broke out and President Lincoln issued his call for troops the militia members immediately volunteered. They became Company A of the 2nd Minnesota Regiment. General Judson Wade Bishop was a Chatfield resident who served prominently in the war.