History of Ada, MN
In 1823, the United States Government sent out an expedition under the command of Major Stephan R. Long to investigate the Red River Valley for possible value. The account of their explorations tell of the buffalo hunts and the herds of elk. However, due to the grasshopper ravages, fear of the Indian people, and long distance to market, few people came into Ada and its vicinity until after 1876. In May of that year, William Shields of Bremer County, Iowa, made a tour of the region.
He liked the area and persuaded six other settlers to move here with him that year. Shields erected a grain warehouse and began buying grain from the farmers in the vicinity. Soon, others followed, and when the post office moved to the settlement in 1876, people began calling it Ada. The name was chosen in memory of Ada Nelson Fisher, the daughter of prominent local resident and farmer,H. W. Fisher. She died at the age of six in 1880.
Starting with William Shields' lead in 1876 until around 1900, people came in large numbers, rapidly settling all available land. The 1875 census showed only 22 people in the township. Ten years later there were 720 people in Ada.
In 1884, Ada was incorporated as a village under the then existing state law; in 1890 it received a new charter and became a town. This charter existed until 1908 at which time Ada became a city.