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The Homestake Mine, located in the Black Hills of South Dakota, was the largest and deepest gold mine in North America, producing over 40 million ounces of gold during its operation.
Davison County, South Dakota has a rich history that dates back thousands of years. Before European settlers arrived, the area was inhabited by various Native American tribes, including the Yankton Sioux. These tribes utilized the land for hunting, farming, and gathering. In the early 19th century, however, the US government forced many Native Americans from their ancestral lands as part of westward expansion.

The first European settlers arrived in what is now Davison County in the late 1860s. The area was initially used for fur trading, but with the establishment of Fort Dakota in present-day Mitchell, the region began to see more permanent settlement. In 1879, the town of Mitchell was officially founded, becoming the county seat of Davison County. The town grew rapidly, fueled by the arrival of the railroad in 1880.

A major turning point in Davison County's history came in 1883 when the Dakota Territorial Legislature selected Mitchell to be the site for the new Dakota Wesleyan University. The university brought intellectual and cultural growth to the area, contributing to the development of Mitchell as a regional hub for education and commerce.

Throughout the 20th century, Davison County continued to thrive as agriculture became the primary industry. The county boasts rich soil and favorable climate for farming, leading to the cultivation of various crops like corn, wheat, and soybeans. The agricultural sector has remained a significant part of the local economy, driving growth and creating employment opportunities.

Today, Davison County prides itself on its historical heritage while embracing progress and innovation. Mitchell is known for its annual Corn Palace Festival, which celebrates the county's agricultural roots. The Corn Palace itself, a unique structure decorated with murals made from corn and grains, stands as a testament to the county's rich farming history. Davison County continues to be a vibrant community, combining its agricultural legacy with modern development and a commitment to education and community engagement.

This timeline provides a condensed summary of the historical journey of Davison County, South Dakota.

  • 1873: Davison County was established by the Dakota Territorial Legislature.
  • 1881: Mitchell was chosen as the county seat.
  • 1883: The county courthouse was completed.
  • 1885: The Chicago, Milwaukee and St. Paul Railway reached Mitchell, boosting the local economy.
  • 1904: The Corn Palace, a unique structure decorated with corn and grains, was built to promote the area's agricultural activities.
  • 1908: The Mitchell Prehistoric Indian Village was discovered, providing insights into the early human history of the region.
  • 1929: The State Training School in Plankinton was established to provide education and training to troubled youth.
  • 1930s: The Great Depression led to economic challenges in the county.
  • 1942: The federal government established the Corn Belt Ordnance Plant near Mitchell as part of the World War II effort.
  • 1956: The South Dakota Firefighters' Training School was opened in Mitchell.
  • 1969: The 1969 flood caused significant damage in Davison County.
  • 1983: The trail system of the Dakota Nature Park was developed.