History

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

Possible Quorum
Wednesday, May 18, 2022

There may be a possible quorum of the Yankton County Commissioners on Tuesday, May 24, 2022 at 7:00pm. This Meeting will discuss the Yankton County Road 213 Grade Raise (431st Avenue) - James River to Stone Church. It will be held at Our Savior’s Lutheran Church (Stone Church) - 29219 431st Avenue, Menno, SD 57045.

Yankton County Director of Equalization
Monday, May 16, 2022

If you had damage to your home or any structure on your property due to the storm on May 12th, please contact the Director of Equalization’s Office at 605-260-4400 option 3. This will allow us to make sure we have accurate information with regards to your property assessment.

Yankton County Veteran's Service Office
Monday, May 16, 2022

The Yankton County Veteran's Service Office will be closed until 1:00 pm on May 23, 2022. If you would like to leave a voice message for Cody Mangold you can call 605-260-4420.

Yankton County Auditor
Wednesday, May 11, 2022

Last day to register to vote is Monday, May 23, 2022 at 5:00pm. If you have any questions about the upcoming election please give the Yankton County Auditor's office a call. Our phone number is 605-260-1710. Have a great day!

Yankton County Weed Department
Sunday, May 1, 2022

The Yankton County Weed Department would like to remind Yankton County landowners are required to control noxious weeds on their property. The Weed Department will begin inspections on May 1, 2022. To read more CLICK HERE.

Yankton County Highway Department
Thursday, March 10, 2022

The Yankton County Highway Department will begin their Spring/Summer hours on Monday, March 14, 2022. Spring/Summer hours are Monday thru Thursday 6:30am-5:00pm.

Yankton County
Thursday, November 4, 2021

Yankton County adopted a new ordinance regulating Medical Cannabis Establishments that took effect on November 4, 2021. To view the ordinance please CLICK HERE

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 © 2022. Developed by Intuvio Solutions.