South Dakota was the first state in the United States to grant women the right to vote, in 1890.
Gregory County, located in the southeastern corner of South Dakota, has a rich and fascinating history. The region was originally inhabited by various Native American tribes, including the Yankton Sioux. However, European settlers began arriving in the mid-1800s, attracted by the fertile land and the promise of economic opportunities.

In 1859, Dr. John Anderson Gregory, a prominent physician from Ohio, led an expedition to the area and established a settlement along the Missouri River. The settlement was named "Gregoryville" in his honor. Over time, more settlers arrived and the town grew, eventually becoming the county seat of Gregory County when it was officially organized in 1862.

Like many communities on the frontier, Gregory County faced its fair share of challenges. The region endured harsh weather conditions, including devastating blizzards and droughts. Despite these hardships, settlers persevered and established prosperous agricultural operations, primarily focused on cattle and grain production.

In the early 20th century, the construction of railroads further boosted the county's economy. The arrival of the Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul and Pacific Railroad and the Chicago and North Western Railway provided new avenues for trade and transportation, facilitating the growth of Gregory County's farming and ranching industries.

Today, Gregory County continues to thrive as an agricultural community. Its picturesque landscapes, including the stunning Missouri River valley, attract visitors who enjoy outdoor activities such as hunting, fishing, and birdwatching. The county also celebrates its history through various events and festivals, providing a glimpse into its frontier past and the resilient spirit of its early settlers.

This timeline provides a concise overview of the key events in the history of Gregory County, South Dakota.

  • 1859 - Gregory County, South Dakota is first settled by European Americans
  • 1873 - The town of Dallas is established in the county
  • 1882 - The county is officially organized and named after Edmund Burke Gregory, a Dakota Territory judge
  • 1891 - The town of Gregory is incorporated as the county seat
  • 1940s - The county's economy is predominantly based on agriculture
  • 1960s-1970s - The county experiences a population decline due to changes in farming practices
  • 1989 - The county's first wind energy project, the Minn-Dakota Wind Power Project, is established
  • 1990s - The county's economy diversifies with the development of tourism, hunting, and fishing industries
  • 2002 - The county's largest wind farm, the Crow Lake Wind Farm, begins operation
  • 2010 - Gregory County's population starts to stabilize after decades of decline