The first airplane to fly over the North Pole was piloted by South Dakota native Richard E. Byrd.
Walworth County, located in the northeastern region of South Dakota, has a rich and fascinating history. The area that is now known as Walworth County was originally inhabited by various Native American tribes, including the Dakota Sioux. European settlement began in the mid-1800s, as the US government negotiated treaties with the Sioux tribes and opened up land for homesteading.

In 1883, Walworth County was officially established, named after Walworth County in Wisconsin. The county seat, Selby, was founded the same year. The arrival of the railroad in the 1880s played a significant role in the county's growth, allowing for the transportation of goods and attracting new settlers. Agriculture became the backbone of the local economy, with crops such as wheat, corn, and flax being cultivated.

Walworth County faced challenges in the early 20th century. The Great Depression had a severe impact on the local economy, causing many farmers to lose their land and businesses to struggle. However, the county slowly recovered during the following decades. The construction of dams, such as the Oahe Dam on the Missouri River in the 1950s, brought new opportunities for irrigation and hydroelectric power in the area.

Today, Walworth County continues to thrive as a rural community with a strong agricultural focus. The county is also known for its natural beauty, with the presence of lakes and recreational areas, attracting tourists and outdoor enthusiasts. Walworth County is proud of its heritage and hosts events and festivals to celebrate its history and culture, ensuring that its past remains an integral part of its present and future.

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

  • 1862: Dakota Territory is established, including the area that would become Walworth County
  • 1883: Walworth County is officially organized
  • 1887: First post office is established in Mobridge
  • 1890: Mobridge becomes the county seat
  • 1905: First train arrives in Mobridge, boosting the local economy
  • 1930s: The Great Depression hits Walworth County, causing economic challenges
  • 1940: Walworth County population reaches its peak at over 13,000 residents
  • 1950s-1960s: Farming becomes more mechanized, leading to a decrease in the agricultural workforce
  • 1980s-Present: Walworth County diversifies its economy, focusing on tourism, hunting, and outdoor recreation