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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, March 22, 2019

The Yankton County Planning and Zoning Office will be open Monday, March 25th, 2019 and Wednesday, March 27th, 2019 and Friday, March 29th from 9am-5pm. Any questions you might have outside of these hours should be directed to the Yankton County Auditor's office on the first floor of the Government Center. Phone number 605-260-4400 ext. 0. Yankton County Auditor's Office Hours are 9:00am-5:00pm Monday-Friday.

Yankton County Road Closures
Thursday, March 21, 2019

For a map of flood related road closures, go to the Departments Tab at the top of this page and go down to Emergency Management. This map is being updated as roads become open or closed. These are current as of 03/21/2019.

Yankton County
Friday, March 15, 2019

For any flood related questions or concerns, please call 211. Thank you.

Yankton County EMS
Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Yankton County EMS is going to be offering public CPR classes. For a list of dates and times of these classes go to the Yankton Emergency Medical Services page on this website under Departments.

2019 Calendar
Tuesday, January 1, 2019
Highway Department Hours
Sunday, November 25, 2018

We will be in our winter hours starting with Monday, November 26, 2018.
Monday-Friday, 7:00am - 3:00pm

Veteran's Service Office - Drivers Wanted
Thursday, September 27, 2018

Please contact our office if you are interested in driving the DAV van. (605) 260-4400, Ext. 8

Yankton County Emergency Management
Monday, January 1, 2018

You can text YCOEM to 85511 to receive up to date emergency information.

Yankton County Commission Meeting Policy & Form
Thursday, November 23, 2017

Upcoming Meetings

Planning Commission Meeting

Date: March 26, 2019
Time: 5:30 PM
Place: Commission Meeting Room

Drainage Commission Meeting

Date: March 26, 2019
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 © 2019. Developed by Intuvio Solutions.