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South Dakota

  • Perhaps the most violent moment in Dakota territorial politics was the killing of the territorial secretary in 1873. General Edwin Stanton McCook was a distinguished Civil War veteran and one of the “Fighting McCooks,” a prominent Union military family. In February of 1872, President Grant appointed McCook as secretary of Dakota Territory, a position which also served as acting governor. McCook soon afterward arrived in the capital city of Yankton with his family.
  • Seth Bullock arrived in Deadwood, Dakota Territory, on this date in 1876. Bullock’s history as Deadwood Sheriff and U.S. Marshal was featured in the HBO television series, "Deadwood," but his lasting legacy on Dakota Territory is much more legendary than his portrayal in the television show.
  • Today’s story takes us just south of the border to the Petrified Wood Park in Lemmon, South Dakota. The roadside attraction features pillars, spires, a miniature castle, and other creations made of petrified wood. There are also cannonball concretions, various other geologic specimens, and even several quartzite Dakota markers, originally installed in 1892 along the boundary of North and South Dakota.
  • Dakota Territory existed for 28 years – from 1861, just days before Abraham Lincoln took office, until 1889, when the territory was divided along the 46th parallel, with North and South Dakota admitted as states.
  • As what would become North and South Dakota moved towards statehood, regional differences became more apparent. The south had a population of over 98,000…
  • French aristocrat Marquis de Mores founded the town of Medora in the spring of 1883 on the east side of the Little Missouri River, across from a small…
  • North Dakota’s legislative business is usually done on a tight schedule, no more than 80 days every two years. But sometimes, special sessions are…
  • North Dakota and South Dakota have been rivals for a long, long time. Congress created Dakota Territory in 1861, and Yankton eventually wrestled with…
  • What began as a desperate late night ride to warn of an attack ended poorly for a young military man in Dakota Territory. Sam Brown lost the use of his…
  • When Dakota Territory was created, that also meant organizing its Supreme Court, which was seated at Yankton in southern Dakota for many years. President…