Minneapolis was founded by John H. Stevens, who built the first house there on the west side of the Mississippi River. The State Legislature authorized a town government with a council on March 1, 1856, but it was not incorporated as a city until March 2, 1866. Notes of the Treasurer
of Minneapolis had the handwritten signature of the town clerk, and the printed signature of the president, on the front of the notes. The treasurer himself was R. J. Mendenhall, who hand signed the backs of the notes. Mendenhall was also actively engaged in banking in Minneapolis, and acquired the State Bank of Minnesota about the same time he was Treasurer of Minneapolis.