Sleepy Eye, Minnesota

According to fun-wiki, Sleepy Eye is a small city in Brown County, Minnesota, located about 50 miles southwest of Mankato and an hour and a half drive from the Twin Cities. It has a population of just over 3,000 people and is home to the Sleepy Eye Public School District.

The city was founded in 1856 by settlers from Germany and Austria who were seeking a better life for their families. The first settlers chose the name Sleepy Eye for their new town because of its resemblance to the eye of a slumbering Indian chief on a nearby hill.

Sleepy Eye was built around its main industries: agriculture and manufacturing. Agriculture has always been an important part of life here, with many local farms growing corn, soybeans, wheat, and livestock. Manufacturing has been an important industry since the early 1900s when factories such as Sleepy Eye Manufacturing Company began producing agricultural equipment like threshers, cultivators, plows, wagons and more. Today there are several factories in Sleepy Eye that produce food products like cheese curds and snack foods like popcorn.

The city’s downtown area is full of historic buildings that are listed on the National Register of Historic Places including several churches such as St Mary’s Catholic Church (built in 1881) which is one of the oldest churches in Minnesota still standing today! There is also an old courthouse building (built in 1873) which now houses the Brown County Historical Society Museum where visitors can learn more about local history.

According to growtheology, Sleepy Eye offers plenty of recreational activities for visitors including golfing at both public courses as well as private ones; fishing at nearby lakes such as Lake Washington; camping at one of five local campgrounds; visiting museums; taking part in annual festivals like Oktoberfest or Summerfest; or enjoying some outdoor activities such as hiking or biking on one of many trails around town.

Overall, Sleepy Eye is a great place to live or visit for those looking for small-town charm with plenty to do! With its rich history, friendly people and beautiful landscapes it’s no wonder why so many people choose to call this place home.

Sleepy Eye, Minnesota

Population: 3,515. Estimated population in July 2020: 3,478 (-1.1% change)
Males: 1,689 (48.1%), Females: 1,826 (51.9%)

Brown County

Zip code: 56085

Median resident age: 38.3 years
Median household income: $37,123
Median house value: $78,300

Races in Sleepy Eye:

  • White Non-Hispanic (91.2%)
  • Hispanic (7.8%)
  • Other race (3.9%)
  • Two or more races (1.5%)

(Total can be greater than 100% because Hispanics could be counted in other races)

Ancestries: German (60.3%), Norwegian (8.3%), Irish (6.5%), United States (5.3%), Danish (4.0%), French (2.9%).

Elevation: 1030 feet

Land area: 1.7 square miles


For population 25 years and over in Sleepy Eye

  • High school or higher: 75.3%
  • Bachelor’s degree or higher: 12.4%
  • Graduate or professional degree: 2.8%
  • Unemployed: 4.9%
  • Mean travel time to work: 14.0 minutes

For population 15 years and over in Sleepy Eye city

  • Never married: 20.8%
  • Now married: 58.1%
  • Separated: 0.4%
  • Widowed: 12.3%
  • Divorced: 8.5%

3.2% Foreign born (2.6% Latin America, 0.6% Asia).

Population change in the 1990s: -163 (-4.4%).


Hospital/medical center in Sleepy Eye:


Other hospitals/medical centers near Sleepy Eye:

  • NEW ULM MEDICAL CENTER (about 19 miles; NEW ULM, MN)


Airports certified for carrier operations nearest to Sleepy Eye:

  • ST CLOUD REGIONAL (about 97 miles; ST CLOUD, MN; Abbreviation: STC)
  • MASON CITY MUNI (about 126 miles; MASON CITY, IA; Abbreviation: MCW)

Other public-use airports nearest to Sleepy Eye:

  • SLEEPY EYE MUNI (about 5 miles; SLEEPY EYE, MN; Abbreviation: Y58)
  • NEW ULM MUNI (about 16 miles; NEW ULM, MN; Abbreviation: ULM)
  • SPRINGFIELD MUNI (about 19 miles; SPRINGFIELD, MN; Abbreviation: D42)

Colleges and Universities

Colleges/universities with over 2000 students nearest to Sleepy Eye:

  • SOUTH CENTRAL TECHNICAL COLLEGE-MANKATO (about 48 miles; NORTH MANKATO, MN; Full-time enrollment: 2,186)
  • GUSTAVUS ADOLPHUS COLLEGE (about 51 miles; ST PETER, MN; Full-time enrollment: 2,355)
  • MINNESOTA STATE UNVERSITY-MANKATO (about 52 miles; MANKATO, MN; Full-time enrollment: 11,210)
  • RIDGEWATER COLLEGE (about 61 miles; WILLMAR, MN; Full-time enrollment: 2,711)
  • SOUTHWEST STATE UNIVERSITY (about 74 miles; MARSHALL, MN; Full-time enrollment: 3,405)
  • SAINT CLOUD STATE UNIVERSITY (about 92 miles; ST CLOUD, MN; Full-time enrollment: 12,913)
  • SAINT CLOUD TECHNICAL COLLEGE (about 95 miles; ST CLOUD, MN; Full-time enrollment: 2,183)


Public high school in Sleepy Eye:

  • SLEEPY EYE SEC. (Students: 321; Location: 400 4TH AVE. S.W.; Grades: 07 – 12)

Private high school in Sleepy Eye:

  • ST MARYS JR SR HIGH SCHOOL (Students: 290; Location: 104 ST MARYS STREET; Grades: 7 – 12)

Public primary/middle school in Sleepy Eye:

  • SLEEPY EYE EL. (Students: 338; Location: 400 4TH AVE. S.W.; Grades: PK – 06)

Private primary/middle schools in Sleepy Eye:

  • ST MARY ELEMENTARY SCHOOL (Students: 357; Location: 104 ST MARYS; Grades: PK – 6)
  • ST JOHNS LUTHERAN SCHOOL (Students: 59; Location: 216 THIRD AVE SE; Grades: PK – 8)


Library in Sleepy Eye:

  • SLEEPY EYE: DYCKMAN FREE LIBRARY (Operating income: $85,186; Location: 345 WEST MAIN STREET; 22,385 books; 573 audio materials; 931 video materials; 33 serial subscriptions)