In light of renewed calls to remove statues and change names of places that honor white supremacists, Sibley County officials are desperately scouring the internet for another person named “Sibley” to claim they were named after.
As it stands, the county is named after Minnesota’s first governor and later colonel of the state militia, Henry Hastings Sibley, a man who’s dark legacy includes presiding over the internment of nearly 2,000 Dakota people at Fort Snelling, the unjust execution of thirty-eight men in Mankato, and a genocidal revenge campaign following the Dakota Uprising of 1862.
“We could change the name but that’d be a ton of paperwork,” said County Commissioner Sam Thompson, “it’s much easier to just google ‘Sibley’, pick one that wasn’t a monster, and pretend that’s who we’ve had in mind the whole time.”
The search, however, hasn’t turned out to be as simple as it might seem.
“Every ‘Sibley’ of note from the 1800s was either a Confederate general or owner of a sketchy diamond mine,” said Treasurer’s Office assistant Jay Soren while hard at work scrolling through Wikipedia, “you think anyone would believe we were named after a British cricketer born in 1993?”
At press time, a county official wondered aloud how hard it would be to name an adorable piglet ‘Sibley’, dress it in cowboy boots, take a black and white photo, and claim it was taken in 1853.