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It is the county seat of Brown County. Sleepy Eye was platted in 1879, and named for a nearby lake where wild turkeys roosted. A post office has been in operation at Sleepy Eye since 1880. The city was incorporated as a village in 1881 and as a city on April 1, 1907. It is home to Minnesota's oldest continuous high school football rivalry between the Sleepy Eye Indians (Redmen) and the New Ulm Cathedral Crusaders (Crimsons). The town once had two movie theaters: The Ritz Theater which opened on August 27, 1928 by Mr & Mrs Frank J Schmitt Sr., who also owned several other theaters throughout Minnesota including one located across from City Hall that still stands today; it closed its doors after only three years of business due to poor management decisions made by Mr Schmitt Jr.