The state capital of South Dakota, Pierre, was named after Pierre Chouteau Jr., a prominent fur trader and founder of the American Fur Company.
Jerauld County, South Dakota, is located in the southeastern part of the state. The county was established in 1881 and named after H.T. Jerauld, a prominent attorney and Democratic politician. The area was primarily settled by European immigrants, including Germans, Irish, Norwegians, and Czechs, who came to farm the fertile land.

The early years of Jerauld County were marked by the difficulties faced by settlers in establishing farms and communities in the harsh prairie environment. Homesteaders faced numerous challenges, including extreme weather, locust plagues, and isolation. However, through perseverance and hard work, the county slowly grew and developed.

The arrival of the Chicago, Milwaukee, and St. Paul Railroad in 1890 brought significant changes to Jerauld County. The railroad provided a vital means of transportation for both people and goods, connecting the county to national markets. This led to a boom in agriculture, with crops such as wheat, corn, and oats becoming the mainstays of the local economy.

Over the years, Jerauld County has experienced ups and downs in its economic fortunes. The Great Depression of the 1930s hit the county hard, causing a decline in agricultural prices and forcing many farmers to abandon their land. However, the county managed to rebound in subsequent decades, diversifying its agricultural sector and experiencing a growth in population. Today, Jerauld County continues to be an agricultural powerhouse, with a strong and close-knit community that thrives on its farming heritage.

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

  • 1873: Jerauld County was established on January 8.
  • 1883: The county seat was moved from Woonsocket to Wessington Springs.
  • 1890: The population of the county reached 7,733 according to the United States Census.
  • 1905: Jerauld County's first courthouse was completed in Wessington Springs.
  • 1949: The county's first hospital, Avera Weskota Memorial Medical Center, was established in Wessington Springs.
  • 1965: The Jerauld County Pioneer Museum was founded.
  • 2020: Jerauld County celebrated its 147th anniversary since establishment.