South Dakota is home to the world's largest sculpture, the Crazy Horse Memorial. The sculpture, which has been under construction since 1948, depicts the Oglala Lakota warrior Crazy Horse riding a horse and pointing towards the horizon.
McPherson County, South Dakota is located in the state's north-central region. The area was originally inhabited by indigenous tribes, including the Lakota Sioux people. European-American settlers began arriving in the late 19th century, attracted by the rich agricultural land and the promise of a better life on the frontier.

In 1873, McPherson County was officially established. The county was named after Civil War General James B. McPherson. The early years were challenging for the settlers, as they had to contend with harsh weather conditions, limited resources, and conflicts with the Native American tribes. However, with determination and hard work, the settlers managed to establish thriving communities.

A significant event in the county's history was the arrival of the railroad in the late 19th century. The Chicago and Northwestern Railway played a crucial role in connecting McPherson County with the rest of the state, opening up opportunities for trade and economic growth. The railroad brought new settlers and stimulated the agricultural industry, as farmers were now able to transport their goods more efficiently.

Throughout the 20th century, McPherson County continued to be primarily an agricultural area, with farming and ranching being the dominant industries. The county experienced periods of growth and decline, influenced by various factors such as the Great Depression and changes in agricultural practices. With the advent of modern technology and advancements in farming techniques, McPherson County's agricultural sector has become more efficient and productive.

Today, McPherson County remains a primarily rural area with a close-knit community. While the population may be smaller compared to urban areas, the county is valued for its natural beauty, tranquil atmosphere, and the strong sense of community spirit. The county's history is a testament to the resilience and enduring spirit of its pioneers, who laid the foundation for the vibrant agricultural community that exists today.

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

  • 1800s: The area that is now McPherson County was inhabited by Native American tribes, including the Lakota Sioux.
  • 1862: The Homestead Act was passed, sparking a wave of settlement in the region.
  • 1885: The county of McPherson was officially established by the Dakota Territorial Legislature.
  • 1887: The Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul and Pacific Railroad reached McPherson County, leading to further growth and development.
  • 1890s: Agriculture became the mainstay of the county's economy, with wheat being the primary crop.
  • 1930s: The Great Depression hit McPherson County hard, causing economic hardship for many residents.
  • 1950s: The construction of the Oahe Dam on the Missouri River brought new opportunities for irrigation and water supply in the county.
  • 1990s: McPherson County experienced a decline in population as younger residents moved away in search of better job opportunities.
  • 2010s: The county saw a slight resurgence in population, driven by an increase in oil drilling activity in the region.