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History of Yankton County

Yankton County played an early and important role in the history of Dakota Territory and the state of South Dakota.

Bordered on the south by the Missouri River, the county is named for the Yankton band of Sioux Indians who lived in the area since the early 1700s. Pierre Dorion was the first non-native person to reside here. Dorion married a Yankton Sioux woman 20 years before the arrival of Lewis and Clark in 1804.

The first known white woman to visit Yankton County was Pelagie LaBarge, traveling on the Missouri River in 1847 on a steamboat piloted by her husband. Major William Lyman was the first known white settler in Yankton County in 1857. Lyman established a ferry across the James River along with a small trading post.

In 1861, the territorial government was established with the City of Yankton designated as the first capital of Dakota Territory. The year 1861 also saw the first official newspaper, “The Weekly Dakotian,” published in Yankton. Steamboat trade flourished here until 1873 when the first railroad line connected Yankton and Sioux City, Iowa.

The first school, held in the home of Dr. Abram Van Osdel, opened in December of 1862. Governor Howard selected Yankton County as the site for the hospital for the insane in September of 1878. Yankton lost the fight to retain the status of Territorial Capital in 1883 when the capital was moved to Bismarck, ND.

The rich history of Yankton County is preserved through many landmark buildings, historical sites and the written word.

Announcements

Yankton County
Friday, January 17, 2020

The Yankton County Government Center and all Non-Emergency Offices will be closing at 12:00 PM today January 17, 2020 due to the inclement weather. We will also be closed Monday, January 20, 2020 in observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Have a nice long weekend and stay safe!

Yankton County Ambulance Task Force
Tuesday, January 7, 2020

The next Yankton County Ambulance Task Force meeting is at the Emergency Medical Services office located at 805 Capitol St on Monday January 20, 2020 at 7pm. The public is welcome to attend.

Yankton County Road Closures
Friday, December 13, 2019

For a map of the current closed roads in Yankton County due to the recent flooding Click Here.

Yankton County Highway Department
Monday, December 9, 2019

The Yankton County Highway Department asks the cooperation of all rural residents living along Yankton County Roads and Unorganized Township Roads to remove their electric fences from the Yankton County Right-of-Way and not to push the snow from your farmyard and/or driveways onto the Yankton County Right-of-Way. For more information please CLICK HERE.

Yankton County Emergency Management
Monday, December 9, 2019

The Yankton County Department of Emergency Management would like to inform you that if your Furnace, Well or Septic System was impacted by this years disaster between September 9-26, 2019, FEMA may be able to help you! For more information CLICK HERE.

Yankton County Highway Department
Monday, December 2, 2019

We will be in our winter hours starting with Monday, December 2, 2019. Monday-Friday, 6:45am - 3:00pm

Yankton County Conservation District
Friday, November 22, 2019

The Yankton County Conservation District Would like to present their Fall/Winter Newsletter/Order Form! To read the newsletter/order form CLICK HERE!

Upcoming Meetings

Commission Meeting

Date: January 21, 2020
Time: 6:00 PM
Place: Commission Meeting Room

Commission Meeting

Date: February 4, 2020
Time: 6:00 PM
Place: Commission Meeting Room

Planning Commission Meeting

Date: February 11, 2020
Time: 7:00 PM
Place: Commission Meeting Room

Main Phone:
605.260.4400

Address:
321 West 3rd Street, Suite 100 Yankton, SD 57078

Office Hours:
9:00am - 5:00pm CST, Monday-Friday
Closed on Holidays, Saturdays, & Sunday

Yankton County © 2020. Developed by Intuvio Solutions.