Baxter City Hall is located at 13190 Memorywood Drive, Baxter, MN 56425; phone: 218-454-5100.
The Baxter-Brainerd area was originally Ojibwe territory and was first noted by Zebulon Pike, an explorer searching for the headwaters of the Mississippi River in late 1805. Europeans didn't settle the area however until the mid-19th-century when a fur and logging community near Fort Ripley (about 15 miles south of Baxter) was established.
Accounts of settler-Native American interactions indicate a mixed relationship of trade and occasional fatal conflict. Both Brainerd and Baxter owe their existence to Northern Pacific Railroad. Brainerd was founded by Northern Pacific Railroad president John Gregory Smith in 1870 as the town to house a locomotive service shop; Baxter became home to a Northern Pacific tie-treating plant fifty years later (1920s).
Baxter was incorporated in 1939, and was named after Luther Baxter, a railroad attorney who served in the Minnesota Legislature and as colonel in the Civil War.