National Register Listings in
Jones County, South Dakota

The town of Sturgis, South Dakota hosts the annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, one of the largest motorcycle events in the world, attracting hundreds of thousands of visitors each year.
Jones County, SD, located in the central part of the state, has a rich history dating back to the mid-19th century. It was originally inhabited by various Native American tribes, including the Sioux and the Cheyenne. European settlers arrived in the area in the 1860s, drawn by the promise of fertile land for agriculture.

The county was officially established in 1883 and named after Alfred W. Jones, one of the early pioneers and a prominent local figure. The early settlers faced numerous challenges, including harsh weather conditions and limited access to resources. Nonetheless, they persevered and developed a thriving agricultural community, primarily focused on ranching and farming.

During the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Jones County experienced a period of growth and progress. The arrival of the railroad in the late 1880s greatly improved transportation and trade opportunities. This led to an increase in population and the creation of new businesses to serve the growing community. The construction of schools, churches, and other essential infrastructure also contributed to the county's development.

Despite its growth, Jones County faced setbacks in the 1920s and 1930s due to the Great Depression and the Dust Bowl. Many residents suffered from the economic downturn and agricultural challenges. Efforts were made to combat the effects of the Dust Bowl, including the establishment of soil conservation and land reclamation projects.

Today, Jones County continues to be primarily rural, with a focus on agriculture and livestock production. It remains a tight-knit community where residents take pride in their rural heritage and work together to preserve their history and way of life.

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

  • 1862 - Jones County is established by an act of the Dakota Territorial Legislature.
  • 1883 - The Chicago, Milwaukee and St. Paul Railway extends its line through Jones County, bringing increased settlement and economic growth.
  • 1909 - The town of Murdo is founded and becomes the county seat of Jones County.
  • 1910 - The population of Jones County reaches its peak at over 3,800 residents.
  • 1923 - The Jones County Courthouse, a notable historic landmark, is built in Murdo.
  • 1933 - The Great Depression hits Jones County hard, causing economic hardship for residents.
  • 1940s - World War II brings changes to Jones County as many young men enlist in the military.
  • 1955 - The Murdo Coyote, a local newspaper, is founded and continues to serve the community.
  • 1960s - The construction of Interstate 90 brings improved transportation access to Jones County.
  • 1989 - The Jones County School District is formed, consolidating several smaller rural schools.
  • 1997 - The Murdo Dam and Reservoir is created, providing a recreational area for locals and visitors.
  • 2000s - The population of Jones County sees a decline as younger generations move away for better opportunities.