Apple Valley is a city in northwestern Dakota County in the State of Minnesota, and a suburb of the Twin Cities. As of the 2010 census, the city's population was 49,084,making it the 18th most populous city in Minnesota. In 2013, Money Magazine named Apple Valley the 17th best place to live in the United States, up from 20th in 2010, 24th in 2008 and 28th in 2007.
Apple Valley was founded in 1969, and was previously named Lebanon Township. Orin Thompson, a real estate developer, was responsible for the city's early development. He contracted a company to determine where the next growth in the Twin Cities would be. It was one-half of a mile from County Road 42 and Cedar Avenue. Thompson bought the first houses and streets from the Brobacks, who built the cities first four houses. The firm that selected this area was in Apple Valley, California, so Thompson took that name for the development. An alternate explanation for the name change exists however. According to local developer Henry Broback, Lebanon Township was renamed Apple Valley because "...when you drive east on (County Road) 42 and turn to enter Lebanon, it reminded them of Apple Valley, California, which was a nice community.
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