Return to Tenney: A Town No More

Return to Tenney: A Town No More

Tenney was featured in several regional newspapers in summer of 2011, when the town’s residents voted to dissolve and shed their status as an incorporated town.  Although the sign at the edge of town read “Population 6,” by the time the vote was taken, there were only three residents left, and they voted 2 to 1 to dissolve.  We visited the town to take photographs shortly thereafter.

We returned to Tenney exactly 364 days later and it was immediately apparent that Tenney had not only dissolved its legal status as a town, it was quickly losing its physical status as a town.

Tenney, Minnesota

Tenney, Minnesota

The former school and church, which both stood onsite in 2011, were both gone, leaving only one large building onsite (above), and several vacant houses and trailer homes. There appeared to be perhaps one or two inhabited homes, and the grain business in Tenney was still quite active.

Tenney, Minnesota

Even the sign declaring Tenney a town with a population of 6 had been removed from the roadside.

Tenney, Minnesota

A story like Tenney’s happens on occasion. A shrinking town votes to dissolve for any number of reasons… taxes, practical matters and whatnot. Fifty years from now, who will remember the town called Tenney, Minnesota?

Tenney, Minnesota



Tenney, Minnesota

Tenney, Minnesota

Photos by Troy Larson and Terry Hinnenkamp, copyright © 2012 Sonic Tremor Media

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8 thoughts on “Return to Tenney: A Town No More

  1. My mother was raised three miles down the road from Tenney…It was fun to walk around when I was little..It was a bit of a ghost town 30 years ago..

      1. Mike, your commenting behavior over the last twenty minutes is dangerously close to spamming. If you intend to comment on every article on this site in one sitting, your IP will be banned. These comment sections are for discussing these places, not trolling for tokens or other antiques. — the moderator

  2. The tan house shown in third, fourth and sixth picture above was the home of A.O. Wittman, who was a blacksmith, farmer, and general contractor in Tenney, MN. Louie and Minnie Wittman, and their children, Orville, Norman, Dale and Lois, lived there. All are gone now, but the memories of the church, the town hall, fire hall, the school, Cliff’s bar and Stargel’s store remain.

    1. My grandparents were Sam and Sylvia Stargel. They lived in Tenney for many years and lived next door to Donnan’s, I believe. I would visit them in the summer and while staying there, I would need to fetch water from the town well and have to use the “outdoor facilities “. Grandma would give us some change in her coin purse to purchase some candy at the store. My older sister was able to roller skate in the hall with the skates that took keys.

  3. Remember Tenney well. My grandparents Newton and Avis Kegley lived there for about 40 yrs. My grandma cooked at the school and grandpa cleaned Cliff’s and maybe out of beer. We spent our family vacation there during the 50’s,60’s 70’s & 80’s.

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