Our District
Welcome to Sleepy Eye High School
Welcome to Sleepy Eye Elementary School
Community Ed
Parent Info
Student Info
Quick Links
District Office
Finance Director
District Administrative Assistant
Payroll Clerk/Accounts Payable Clerk
Sleepy Eye Schools History
Sleepy Eye Schools Location Map
How Sleepy Eye Got Its Name
Sleepy Eye Health and Safety Annual Notification
High School Office Administrative Assistant
Extra Curricular Activities
High School Activity Fees
Special Services
Assembly and Concert Expectations
Bathroom Expectations
Bus Expectations
Cafeteria Expectations
Classroom Expectations
Elementary Matrix
Features of Sleepy Eye Pride
Hallway Expectations
High School Matrix
Library and Computer Lab Expectations
Morning Gym PBIS Lesson
Playground PBIS Lesson
Safe and Supportive Schools Information
High School Daily Bulletin
Sports Schedules
School Hours
Sign-Up Here to Receive Info from School via Email
Multiple Measurement System Summary Reports
Summer Food Service for Kids in Sleepy Eye
High School Teacher Websites
Flipped Classroom Information
12th Grade Timeline
11th Grade Timeline
Graduation Requirements
Local Scholarship Applications
State Scholarship Applications
4 Year College Links
2 Year College Links
Community Ed Registration Form
Kindergarten Round-Up
Information for All Parents
Recycle and Save
Elementary Parent Information
High School Parent Info
Food Service Fees
School Lunch Policy
Food Service Info
Elementary News Team
Extended Day Program
Safety Patrol Program
Elementary Programs
Elem Cheerleading Camp Info
Elementary Basketball Tournament Schedule
Elementary Athletic Program
Specialist On Staff
Learning Disabilities (LD)
Title One Director
Kindergarten - 6th Grade Classrooms
Words-2-Know (3rd Grade Word Wall Words)
3rd Grade Weekly Spelling Words
Smart Room Video 1
Dashir Management Services
Safety & Facilities Meeting Minutes
Maintenance Staff
School Board
School Board Meeting Minutes
Discovery Time Classes
School Readiness
School Board Meeting Calendar
School Board Agendas
15-16 Elem Supply List
WeatherHawk Data
Elementary Weekly Announcements
High School Homecoming Pictures
Homecoming Pictures
Blue Ribbon
Editing Help
Help: Images Video
Linking to a document (PDF, Word Doc, etc)
Employment Opportunities
Snow Day
Elementary Digital Day
Technology Coordinator
Sleepy Eye Pride Fundraiser
Standards Based Learning and Grading Presentation by Garnet Hillman

You are here

Home » Our District

How Sleepy Eye Got Its Name

The name "Sleepy Eye" comes from Chief Ish-Tak-Ha-Ba who settled near Sleepy Eye Lake with his band.

This little town was created after white settlers moved into the area. A railroad was then built. This allowed the development of Industries, which began trade with other areas of Minnesota. Soon after, more and more Industries were developed which increased the number of jobs available. This helped the town grow and flourish. Schools were then needed, as was a church. This led to the construction of St. Mary's Catholic Church. All of this dating back to the 1850's.

History of Chief ISH-TAK-HA-BA
Born in 1780 at Swan Lake in Nicollet County, Chief Sleepy Eyes (Ish-Tak-Ha-Ba) has been described as large, muscular, six feet two inches tall, quite good looking with a dignified presence, narrow forehead and drooping eyelids, this called 'Sleepy Eyes". He was said to be kind and friendly. Known as the most important Chief at the signing of the Treaty of Traverse Des Sioux in 1851, Chief Sleepy Eyes was one of four Ojibway leaders to visit president James Monroe in Washington DC in 1824. While in Washington DC, President Monroe Commissioned him a Chief. After 1857, Chief Sleepy Eyes and his band moved away from his birthplace Swan Lake and set up permanent homes beside Sleepy Eye lake. 'Be lake was originally called "Pretty water by the big trees" but is now known as Sleepy Eye Lake. He was also friend to the white man. It was said that if he had not died in 1859, the uprising or "Times of Trouble" would never have happened. Red Eagle, (Chief Sleepy Eyes friend) buried him on an island in Bullhead lake in the presence of Red Eagles son, who was a little over 12 years old. Placed under the monument now located near the railroad in Sleepy Eye are the testimony of these men recording the burial of Sleepy Eyes. Also, historical facts involving the moving of his remains to Sleepy Eye. The first person to suggest moving his remains back to Sleepy Eye was Reverend George Pax. The person who took the necessary steps to accomplish this was A.C. von Hagen, head of the Sleepy Eye Flour Mill. Published in the Sleepy Eye Herald Dispatch was a signed letter by von Hagen in 1934, which gave a full account of the search, return, remains, and construction of a suitable monument. Reliable information revealed that the burial had taken place somewhere on the Sisseton Reservation near Wilmot, SD. Chief Red Eagle, in whose teepee Sleepy Eyes died in, agreed to take them to the place of burial as long as he returned home and was buried with high honors. Red Eagle revealed the details before the grave was opened. Red Eagle had buried Sleepy Eyes in one of his own new buckskin suits;, protected the body with boards which included his pipestone pipe, a small mirror, his tobacco pouch of raccoon skin, beads, and other small articles. Six inches below the ground Sleepy Eyes head would be found. He was buried in a sitting position under a certain spot under a large tree. Now over 90 years old, Red Eagle, along with his son, placed his hand on a spot under a large tree no marker of any kind and told Fairbault to sink his spade there. Red Eagle, disappointed at not being successful, had him move his spade six inches to the west and going down they hit Sleepy Eyes skull right in the middle. Everything was found as represented. The parcel remains coincided with a picture painted of Sleepy Eyes by a hall in 1824 in Washington. At that time, the railroad had arrived in Sleepy Eye. The President of the C & NW Railroad, Marvin Hughitt, enthusiastically agreed to give von Hagen a 50 foot square plot with a perpetual easement next to the new brick depot being built at that time, so that all railroad passengers would view the monument and motorists passing by would be in close proximity. The monument was constructed of hard granite about 50 feet high, all joints and the foundation being laid in Italian cement. It was dedicated on October 17, 1902. Placed - under the monument were bones and records, which were put into a copper box. (From the city of Sleepy Eye's booklet)"