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

Yankton County Planning & Zoning
Monday, June 17, 2024

To read proposed changes to Article 26 for the next Planning Commission Meeting click here

Yankton County
Thursday, June 6, 2024

The Yankton County Government Center and all other non-emergency offices in the county will be closed on Wednesday, June 19th, 2024 in observance of Juneteenth.

Yankton County Treasurer
Saturday, June 1, 2024

Reminder: Yankton County residents that have last names starting with K and L have until June 30, 2024 to renew vehicle registration.

Yankton County Highway Department
Tuesday, April 2, 2024

The Yankton County Highway Department will begin their summer hours on Monday, April 02, 2024 and will run until further notice.

Summer hours are Monday through Thursday 6:30am-5:00pm.

Yankton County Weed Department
Tuesday, April 2, 2024

The Yankton County Weed Department would like to remind that Yankton County landowners are required to control noxious weeds on their property. The Weed Department will begin their inspections on May 1, 2024.

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, & Sundays

Yankton County YouTube Channel

Yankton County © 2024. Developed by Intuvio Solutions.