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The famous Wild West outlaw, Calamity Jane, lived and worked in South Dakota for a time. She even claimed to have saved the life of legendary gunslinger Wild Bill Hickok in the town of Deadwood.
Brown County, South Dakota has a rich history that can be traced back to the early 1800s. The area was originally inhabited by various Native American tribes, including the Dakota Sioux. European settlers arrived in the mid-1800s, with the establishment of the Fort Sisseton military post in 1864. This marked the beginning of the influx of American settlers into the region.

In 1879, Brown County was officially established and named after Alfred Brown, a prominent territorial legislator. The county seat was initially located in Columbia, but in 1880, it was moved to Aberdeen, which eventually became the largest city in the county. The railroad reached Aberdeen in the late 1880s, further contributing to the growth and development of the area.

The early years of Brown County were marked by agricultural expansion, as farmers settled in the region and began cultivating the fertile land. Wheat, corn, and livestock farming became the backbone of the local economy. The establishment of the first creamery in Aberdeen in 1885 also marked a significant development in the agricultural sector.

Over the years, Brown County continued to grow and diversify its economy. In the early 1900s, the county became a hub for manufacturing and industry, with companies like Aberdeen American News and Hub City Iron Works contributing to its economic prosperity. Today, Brown County remains a vibrant community with a strong agricultural sector, a thriving manufacturing industry, and a rich cultural heritage, attracting visitors from near and far.

This timeline provides a glimpse into the major events and milestones that have shaped the history of Brown County, South Dakota.

  • 1879: Brown County was established by the Dakota Territory Legislature.
  • 1880: Aberdeen, the county seat, was settled.
  • 1881: The Milwaukee Railroad reached Aberdeen, boosting the city's growth.
  • 1882: The town of Columbia was established.
  • 1883: The town of Bath was established.
  • 1885: Warner was settled.
  • 1887: The town of Frederick was established.
  • 1889: South Dakota became a state.
  • 1890: The population of Brown County reached over 14,000.
  • 1917: The Brown County Courthouse was constructed in Aberdeen.
  • 1996: The Northern State University Barnett Center was built in Aberdeen.
  • 2016: The Aberdeen Regional Airport completed a major expansion project.