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 Emergency Management
Monday, April 5, 2021

On April 5, 2021 the Yankton County Office of Emergency Management and the Yankton County Commission adopted a Burn Ban Resolution in effect from April 5, 2021 until May 4, 2021 when the Yankton County OEM and the Yankton County Commission will revisit the issue at the Yankton County Commission Meeting. To read more about it CLICK HERE.

Yankton County Weed Department
Wednesday, March 24, 2021

The Yankton County Weed Department is going to begin inspections for Noxious Weeds on Wednesday, May 1, 2021. To learn more information please click here.

Yankton County Highway Department
Sunday, February 28, 2021

Spring Load Limits for Yankton County begin March 1, 2021. For more information CLICK HERE.

Yankton County Highway Department
Friday, January 1, 2021

We are in our winter hours now which are 6:45 am to 3:00 pm -- Monday thru Friday.

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 © 2021. Developed by Intuvio Solutions.