The town of Murdo, South Dakota is home to the Pioneer Auto Museum, which boasts a collection of over 250 antique cars, motorcycles, and tractors.
Codington County, located in the eastern part of South Dakota, has a rich and diverse history. The area that is now Codington County was initially inhabited by various Native American tribes, including the Dakota Sioux and the Yankton Sioux. European settlement began in the mid-19th century when traders and trappers arrived in the region.

The county was officially established on January 8, 1877, and was named after Reverend George S. S. Codington, a missionary who worked with the Native American tribes in the region. The town of Watertown was selected as the county seat. In the early years, agriculture played a crucial role in the county's economy, with settlers cultivating the fertile soil for farming.

The arrival of the railroad in the late 19th century further accelerated the development of Codington County. The railroad allowed for easier transportation of goods and people, opening up opportunities for trade and commerce. Watertown, the county seat, became a regional center with the establishment of various businesses and industries.

Over the years, Codington County has experienced economic growth and diversification. In addition to agriculture, industries such as manufacturing, healthcare, and retail have thrived in the county. The county has also focused on preserving its history and promoting tourism, with attractions such as the Bramble Park Zoo and historical sites like the Mellette House.

Today, Codington County continues to be a vibrant and prosperous community, offering a high quality of life for its residents and attracting visitors from near and far. Its rich history, economic opportunities, and natural beauty make it a unique and appealing place to live, work, and explore.

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

  • 1877: Codington County is established in Dakota Territory
  • 1880: Watertown becomes the county seat
  • Late 1800s: Rapid growth from railroad expansion and agriculture
  • Early 1900s: Development of infrastructure, schools, and businesses
  • 1920s-1930s: Challenges with the Great Depression and drought
  • 1960s: Modernization and growth of manufacturing industries
  • Today: Codington County has a diverse economy and a strong sense of community