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The St. Peter State Hospital
began in March 1866 when the Minnesota State Legislature responded to the need for an asylum by passing "an act for the establishment and location of a hospital for the insane in the state of Minnesota, and to provide for the regulation of the same." The act also created a board of trustees and appointed six commissioners responsible for recommending a permanent location for the state's hospital. A number of Minnesota communities vied for the facility and each claimed to be the most attractive village. However, on 1 July 1866, the commissioners made their recommendation.