South Dakota was the site of the Wounded Knee Massacre, a tragic event in which over 150 unarmed Native American men, women, and children were killed by U.S. troops in 1890. Today, the site is a National Historic Landmark.
McCook County is located in the southeastern part of South Dakota, USA. The area was initially inhabited by Native American tribes, including the Dakota Sioux. European settlers began to arrive in the mid-19th century, attracted by the fertile soil and the abundance of wildlife. In 1879, the county was officially established and named after Edwin McCook, a Civil War general.

During its early years, McCook County experienced rapid agricultural development. Wheat was the primary crop, and the construction of railroad lines in the 1880s facilitated transportation and boosted economic growth. The county's population grew steadily as more settlers arrived to start farming operations.

In the early 20th century, McCook County faced challenges such as severe droughts, economic downturns, and the Great Depression. However, the resilient community persevered, adapting to changing circumstances and diversifying its agricultural practices. The introduction of modern machinery and techniques increased efficiency and productivity in the farming sector.

Today, McCook County remains primarily an agricultural community, with corn, soybeans, and livestock being the main staples. The county has also seen growth in other sectors, such as manufacturing and healthcare. With its rich history and commitment to progress, McCook County continues to preserve its heritage while embracing opportunities for future development.

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

  • 1873: McCook County is established and named after Edwin Stanton McCook.
  • 1880: The town of Salem is founded in McCook County.
  • 1890: The population of McCook County reaches over 8,000 residents.
  • 1895: The town of Montrose is incorporated as a city.
  • 1903: The McCook County Courthouse is built in Salem.
  • 1927: McCook County experiences significant economic growth due to the development of oil fields.
  • 1936: The town of Canistota celebrates its centennial.
  • 1962: The McCook County Historical Society is founded to preserve the county's history.
  • 1975: The South Dakota Historical Society designates the Salem Opera House as a historical landmark.
  • 1992: The McCook County Threshing Bee is established as an annual event.