In July 1852, Father Francis Xavier Pierz arrived in Crow Wing, a village at the confluence of the Crow Wing River with the Mississippi. He was a missionary sent to serve the upper Mississippi region. When he came upon an area of fertile land, which he called Rich Prairie, he wrote to Europe encouraging people to emigrate. The result was that the area was settled almost exclusively by German Catholics. In honor of this prominent and faithful priest, the village was named Pierz. Even today, the population of Pierz is primarily of German Catholic descent.
The broad expanses of rich soil were ideal for the farming enterprise that became the foundation of the area's economy. It spawned the growth of an agriculture-based community of implement dealers, feed businesses, blacksmiths, creameries and stores catering to farmers' needs. The growing community also needed lumberyards, crafts people and hardware stores. Merchants of all kinds found customers in this prosperous community. Though other industries have grown in Pierz, it has always been primarily based on agriculture and the richness of the prairie soil. Pierz is famous for being the home of Thielen's Meat Market, a popular stop for weekenders going to their cabins.
When Pierz and two other surrounding communities, Genola and Buckman, needed new sewer and water infrastructure, they combined their resources and formed a sewer and water district to provide services for all three communities.
Pierz Industrial Park
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The downtown district of Little Falls is fast becoming a haven for new, startup technology companies. Little Falls is home to Atomic Learning, an international software company; Waypoint Technologies, a lake mapping software company; and AmeriTrak Fleet Solutions, a vehicle tracking company. The growth of Little Falls continues, thanks to the early entrepreneurs whose vision gave it impetus.