Historical Markers in
Deuel County, South Dakota

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.
Deuel County, located in the eastern part of South Dakota, has a rich and diverse history that goes back thousands of years. The region was initially inhabited by various Native American tribes, including the Dakota Sioux and Yanktonai Dakota, who relied on the fertile land and abundant resources for their livelihoods.

European settlement in the area began in the 1850s, as pioneers started moving westward in search of new opportunities. The first permanent settlement in Deuel County was established in 1879, when the Chicago, Milwaukee, and St. Paul Railroad reached the area. The town of Clear Lake, named after the nearby lake, quickly grew and became the county seat.

Agriculture played a crucial role in the development of Deuel County. The rich soil allowed for successful farming, and many settlers started cultivating crops such as corn, wheat, and oats. In addition, the lake provided ample fish and waterfowl, attracting hunters and fishermen to the area.

Over the years, Deuel County experienced both periods of growth and challenges. The Great Depression in the 1930s hit the agricultural community hard, but the county managed to recover with the help of New Deal programs. The construction of Interstate 29 in the 1960s brought new opportunities for trade and transportation, contributing to the county's economic development.

Today, Deuel County continues to thrive as a primarily agricultural community. The county's cities and towns, including Clear Lake, Toronto, and Gary, provide residents with essential services and a strong sense of community. With its historical roots in Native American cultures and early pioneers, Deuel County remains an essential part of South Dakota's heritage.

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

  • Deuel County was established on January 8, 1862.
  • The first settlers arrived in the area around the 1870s.
  • In 1878, the town of Clear Lake was founded.
  • The Chicago and Northwestern Railroad was built through the county in 1882.
  • The village of Gary was founded in 1883.
  • In 1886, the county seat was moved from Lebanon to Clear Lake.
  • In 1887, the town of Toronto was platted.
  • In 1910, the county courthouse was built in Clear Lake.
  • In 1920, the town of Astoria was incorporated.
  • Waubay National Wildlife Refuge was established in 1935.
  • In 1955, the Big Stone power plant was constructed on the Big Stone Lake.
  • The town of Goodwin was incorporated in 1972.