The Proctor Area Historical Society was founded in 1994 to collect, preserve and disseminate knowledge about history of the Proctor area. As a part of this mission, volunteers of the Proctor Area Historical Society manage and maintain a historical museum located in Proctor, Minnesota, throughout the year.
Originally developed as a car-sorting and maintenance yard for the Duluth, Missabe and Northern Railroad in 1892, the village of Proctorknott was founded in 1894 by Kentucky aristocrat Beriah Magoffin III. A family friend of Kentucky Governor J. Proctor Knott, who ushered the City of Duluth into early fame with his satirical speech The Untold Delights of Duluth, Magoffin borrowed his friend’s surname in his honor and bring attention to his community venture. Without contention, the United States Postal Service shortened the Village’s name to “Proctor” in 1904 (which was made official in 1939). Soon benefiting from a boom in the iron ore industry, Proctor’s population nearly tripled from 784 in 1900 to 2,243 in 1910. This growth inspired the creation of infrastructure and local government in 1911, as well as a school in the same period. High demand for iron ore from northern Minnesota further enhanced the community during World War II. During this time, Proctor became the location of the largest ore sorting railroad yard in the world, enabling the Railroad to supply jobs to a majority of Proctor residents and to build a golf course, a community club house, and ball fields at the existing Proctor Regional Recreation Area. In 1974, Proctor officially received city designation.