The Panic of 1857 and the decision of the steamboats to use Hastings instead of Nininger as a river port doom Nininger City, the dream town of Ignatius Donnelly.
Nininger declines steadily after the financial panic of 1857 that causes banks across the country to call in loans. Donnelly tries to put a positive spin on the eastern bank failures by issuing a handbill entitled “Cure for the Panic. Emigrate to Minnesota! Where no Banks exist.”
People move away anyway. By the 8th U.S. census in 1860, only 469 remain. Buildings disappear and by 1869 no other buildings remain besides Ignatius Donnelly’s house. The town eventually disappears from the map.*
Have mercy on us! We make our dreams into idols, and are heartbroken and bitter when they fail us! Thank you for Donnelly and bless Your heart within his dreams! There is much good in wanting to provide a shelter for others in volatile times. How bitter for him it must have been to see Hastings thrive?!
Lord, will You forgive any judgments that Donnelly had against Hastings, and vice versa? Will you make us free in the present from this bitter root? Will You bless the river and the lands involved? Will You preserve Nininger and Hastings in the season of flooding? Will You cause us to bless the town next door as much as our own?
*P.T.H. cites timeline formerly at this URL: mnhs.org/about/dipity_timeline.htm
The Minnesota Historical Society Web site, http://www.mnhs.org , is fantastic! Check it out! Images are from https://images.google.com/?gws_rd=ssl; again, an amazing resource!