South Dakota: Consolidated Chronology of State and County Boundaries

South Dakota Atlas of Historical County Boundaries

John H. Long, Editor; Peggy Tuck Sinko, Associate Editor; Peggy Tuck Sinko and Deborah Skok, Historical Compilers; Emily Kelley, Research Associate; Laura Rico-Beck, GIS Specialist and Digital Compiler; Peter Siczewicz, ArcIMS Interactive Map Designer; Robert Will, Cartographic Assistant

Copyright The Newberry Library 2006


[See Dakota Territory: Consolidated Chronology for dates before 2 November 1889.]


02 November 1889

The state of South Dakota was created from Dakota Territory. Boundary between North Dakota and South Dakota was set at the seventh standard parallel. AURORA, BEADLE, BON HOMME, BOREMAN (extinct), BROOKINGS, BROWN, BRULE, BUFFALO, BUTTE, CAMPBELL, CHARLES MIX, CHOTEAU (extinct), CLARK, CLAY, CODINGTON, CUSTER, DAVISON, DAY, DELANO (extinct), DEUEL, DEWEY, DOUGLAS, EDMUNDS, EWING (extinct), FALL RIVER, FAULK, GRANT, GREGORY, HAMLIN, HAND, HANSON, HARDING, HUGHES, HUTCHINSON, HYDE, JACKSON, JERAULD, KINGSBURY, LAKE, LAWRENCE, LINCOLN, LUGENBEEL (extinct), LYMAN, McCOOK, McPHERSON, MARSHALL, MARTIN (extinct), MEADE, MEYER (extinct), MINER, MINNEHAHA, MOODY, NOWLIN (extinct), PENNINGTON, POTTER, PRATT (extinct), PRESHO (extinct), PYATT (later ARMSTRONG, extinct), RINEHART (extinct), ROBERTS, SANBORN, SCHNASSE (extinct), SCOBEY (extinct), SHANNON, SPINK, STANLEY, STERLING (extinct), SULLY, TODD (original, extinct), TRIPP, TURNER, UNION, WAGNER (extinct), WALWORTH, WASHABAUGH (extinct), WASHINGTON (extinct), YANKTON, and ZIEBACH (original, extinct) became counties in the state of South Dakota. Non-County Area (1) and Non-County Area (7) became part of the state of South Dakota. BOREMAN (extinct), EWING (extinct), MARTIN (extinct), SCHNASSE (extinct), and WAGNER (extinct) lost territory to North Dakota. (U.S. Stat., vol. 25, ch. 180[1889]/pp. 676–684; U.S. Stat., vol. 26, no. 5/pp. 1548–1549; Swindler, 9:107–109; Van Zandt, 134)

07 March 1890

Legislature passed a single law adjusting the attachment status of multiple counties. All attachments were “for the levy and collection of taxes therein.” (S. Dak. Laws 1890, 1st sess., ch. 65/p. 159)

23 April 1890

STANLEY fully organized, detached from HUGHES. ("Dakota's Counties," 13)

25 February 1891

MARSHALL boundaries redefined [no change]. (S. Dak. Laws 1891, 2d sess., ch. 42/p. 102)

04 June 1891

BRULE gained American Island in the Missouri River from the Sioux Reservation [not mapped]. HUGHES gained Farm Island in the Missouri River from the Sioux Reservation [not mapped].

(S. Dak. Laws 1891, 2d sess., ch. 45/p. 106)

LYMAN gained from GREGORY, PRESHO (extinct), and TRIPP; PRESHO (extinct) gained from TRIPP. (S. Dak. Laws 1891, 2d sess., ch. 41/p. 101)

26 January 1893

Attachment of LYMAN to BRULE “for judicial purposes” was confirmed. (S. Dak. Laws 1893, 3d sess., ch. 49/p. 78)

25 February 1893

Attachment of GREGORY and TODD (original, extinct) to CHARLES MIX “for judicial purposes” was confirmed. (S. Dak. Laws 1893, 3d sess., ch. 48/p. 78)

JACKSON detached from PENNINGTON, attached to STANLEY; NOWLIN (extinct) and STERLING (extinct) detached from MEADE, attached to STANLEY; PYATT (later ARMSTRONG, extinct) detached from LAWRENCE, attached to STANLEY. All attachments were “for judicial purposes.” (S. Dak. Laws 1893, 3d sess., ch. 50/p. 79)

28 February 1893

STANLEY gained from NOWLIN (extinct), PRATT (extinct), PYATT (later ARMSTRONG, extinct), STERLING (extinct), and gained part of Non-County Area (7). (S. Dak. Laws 1893, 3d sess., ch. 46/p. 76)

21 May 1893

LYMAN fully organized, detached from BRULE. ("Dakota's Counties," 13)

06 November 1894

BUTTE gained from CHOTEAU (extinct), DELANO (extinct), HARDING, and SCOBEY (extinct). HARDING gained from CHOTEAU (extinct) and MARTIN (extinct), and gained all of EWING; EWING eliminated, ending its attachment to BUTTE. (S. Dak. Laws 1893, 3d sess., ch. 47/p. 77)

11 March 1895

Legislature passed a single law adjusting the attachment status of multiple counties. All attachments were “for judicial purposes.” (S. Dak. Laws 1895, 4th sess., ch. 48/pp. 53–54)

06 June 1895

PYATT renamed ARMSTRONG (extinct). (S. Dak. Laws 1895, 4th sess., ch. 52/p. 59)

03 June 1897

GREGORY gained from LYMAN and gained all of TODD (original); TODD (original) eliminated, ending its attachment to CHARLES MIX. (S. Dak. Laws 1897, 5th sess., ch. 46/p. 97)

24 July 1897

United States Congress consented to a boundary change between South Dakota and Nebraska, whereby CLAY would gain an island in the Missouri River from DIXON (Neb.). The island was formed in April 1881 when the Missouri River suddenly changed course. The change was not officially implemented by CLAY until 1902 when voters approved the gain [see 4 November 1902, not mapped]. (Schell, Clay County, 31–32; Schell, History of Clay County, 102–104; U.S. Stat., vol. 30, ch. 12[1897]/p. 214; Neb. Laws 1897, 25th sess., ch. 121/p. 458)

05 September 1898

GREGORY fully organized, detached from CHARLES MIX. (Early History of South Dakota Counties, 45)

08 November 1898

BUTTE gained most of CHOTEAU and RINEHART, and gained all of HARDING, MARTIN, and WAGNER. CHOTEAU, HARDING, MARTIN, RINEHART, and WAGNER all eliminated, ending all attachments to BUTTE. (S. Dak. Laws 1897, 5th sess., ch. 43/p. 93)

LYMAN gained from JACKSON, NOWLIN (extinct), PRATT (extinct), PRESHO (extinct), and Non-County Area (7); lost to creation of Non-County Area (22). NOWLIN eliminated. (S. Dak. Laws 1897, 5th sess., ch. 45/p. 96)

MEADE gained from CHOTEAU (extinct) and RINEHART (extinct), and gained all of DELANO and SCOBEY; CHOTEAU, DELANO, RINEHART, and SCOBEY eliminated. Attachment of DELANO and SCOBEY to MEADE ended. (S. Dak. Laws 1897, 5th sess., ch. 42/p. 91; S. Dak. Comp. Laws 1929, 148)

PENNINGTON gained from WASHINGTON (extinct) and ZIEBACH (original); ZIEBACH (original) eliminated, ending its attachment to PENNINGTON. PENNINGTON lost a very small area to WASHINGTON (extinct) along a river meander. (S. Dak. Laws 1897, 5th sess., ch. 44/p. 94)

STANLEY gained from ARMSTRONG (extinct), JACKSON, NOWLIN (extinct), STERLING (extinct), and ZIEBACH (original, extinct). NOWLIN and ZIEBACH (original) eliminated, ending attachment of NOWLIN to STANLEY. (S. Dak. Laws 1897, 5th sess., ch. 41/p. 90; Early History of South Dakota Counties, 102)

08 March 1901

Legislature authorized an adjustment in the boundary of PENNINGTON with LAWRENCE and MEADE, dependent on local referendum; change did not take effect [no change].

(S. Dak. Laws 1901, 7th sess., ch. 90/p. 115)

04 November 1902

CLAY officially gained an island in the Missouri River from DIXON (Neb.); voters approved the gain 1006 to 25 [see 24 July 1897]. (Schell, History of Clay County, 102–104; S. Dak. Laws 1901, 7th sess., ch. 85/p. 109)

11 March 1903

Legislature authorized an adjustment in the boundary between MEADE and PENNINGTON, dependent on local referendum; change did not take effect [no change]. (S. Dak. Laws 1903, 8th sess., ch. 101/p. 109)

06 June 1907

TRIPP gained from PRESHO, gained all of Non-County Area (22), lost to Non-County Area (7). Non-County Area (7) gained part of PRESHO. PRESHO eliminated, ending its attachment to LYMAN; Non-County Area (22) eliminated. (S. Dak. Laws 1907, 10th sess., ch. 99/p. 148)

03 November 1908

HARDING re-created from BUTTE with slightly different boundaries from the original county; HARDING not fully organized, not attached. (S. Dak. Comp. Laws 1929, 1:143, 146, 149; S. Dak. Laws 1911, 12th sess., ch. 7/p. 7; S. Dak. Code 1939, 1:319, 324, 328–329)

PERKINS created from BUTTE; PERKINS not fully organized, not attached. (S. Dak. Comp. Laws 1929, 1:143, 146, 149; S. Dak. Laws 1911, 12th sess., ch. 7/p. 7; S. Dak. Code 1939, 1:319, 324, 328–329)

UNION exchanged with the state of Nebraska when the main channel of the Missouri River was established as the boundary between South Dakota and Nebraska [not mapped]. (Neb. Laws 1905, 29th sess., ch. 43/p. 286 and ch. 234/p. 792; S. Dak. Laws 1907, 10th sess., ch. 245/p. 484; U.S. Stat., vol. 33, ch. 1295[1905]/p. 820)

09 February 1909

PERKINS fully organized. (Early History of South Dakota Counties, 92)

17 February 1909

HARDING fully organized. ("Dakota's Counties," 13)

19 February 1909

Attachment of MEYER (extinct) to LYMAN “for judicial purposes” was confirmed. (S. Dak. Laws 1909, 11th sess., ch. 53/p. 82)

02 March 1909

CORSON created from DEWEY, SCHNASSE (extinct), all of BOREMAN (extinct), and part of Non-County Area (1); BOREMAN eliminated, ending its attachment to CAMPBELL. CORSON not fully organized, attached to WALWORTH “for judicial purposes.” (S. Dak. Laws 1909, 11th sess., ch. 133/p. 209)

03 June 1909

BENNETT created from LUGENBEEL (extinct), SHANNON, WASHABAUGH (extinct), and WASHINGTON (extinct); LUGENBEEL eliminated, ending its attachment to FALL RIVER. BENNETT not fully organized, attached to FALL RIVER “for judicial purposes.”

MELLETTE created from JACKSON, MEYER (extinct), WASHABAUGH (extinct), all of PRATT (extinct), and part of Non-County Area (7). JACKSON eliminated, ending its attachment to STANLEY; MEYER and PRATT eliminated, ending their attachment to LYMAN; Non-County Area (7) eliminated. MELLETTE not fully organized, attached to LYMAN “for judicial purposes.”

TODD created from LUGENBEEL (extinct), MEYER (extinct), WASHABAUGH (extinct), and part of Non-County Area (7); LUGENBEEL, MEYER, and Non-County Area (7) eliminated. TODD not fully organized, attached to LYMAN “for judicial purposes.” TODD was located in a different part of South Dakota from TODD (original, extinct).

WASHABAUGH (extinct) gained from JACKSON and WASHINGTON (extinct). Attachment of WASHABAUGH (extinct) and WASHINGTON (extinct) to CUSTER “for judicial purposes” was confirmed. Attachment of SHANNON to FALL RIVER “for judicial purposes” was confirmed.

(S. Dak. Laws 1909, 11th sess., ch. 280/pp. 427–429)

15 June 1909

TRIPP fully organized, detached from LYMAN. ("Dakota's Counties," 13)

13 July 1909

CORSON fully organized, detached from WALWORTH. (Corson Co. Commissioner's Meeting Minutes, 3 August 1909; Tidball, 68)

03 December 1910

DEWEY fully organized, detached from WALWORTH. (Early History of South Dakota Counties, 29–30)

by 1 February 1911

DEWEY gained from ARMSTRONG (extinct) and gained part of Non-County Area (1); ARMSTRONG (extinct) lost to non-county area when boundaries were moved to run on federal land survey lines. (S. Dak. Laws 1911, 12th sess., ch. 107/p. 137; S. Dak. Rev. Code 1919, 1:142, 145)

01 February 1911

ZIEBACH created from ARMSTRONG (extinct), all of SCHNASSE (extinct), all of STERLING (extinct), and all of Non-County Area (1). SCHNASSE eliminated, ending its attachment to WALWORTH; STERLING eliminated, ending its attachment to STANLEY; Non-County Area (1) eliminated. ZIEBACH not fully organized, attached to WALWORTH “for judicial purposes.” ZIEBACH was located in a different part of the state from ZIEBACH (original, extinct). (S. Dak. Laws 1911, 12th sess., ch. 107/p. 137)

02 March 1911

MELLETTE gained from WASHABAUGH (extinct); TODD gained from BENNETT. (S. Dak. Laws 1911, 12th sess., ch. 108/p. 138)

22 April 1911

ZIEBACH fully organized, detached from WALWORTH. ("Dakota's Counties," 13)

31 May 1911

MELLETTE fully organized, detached from LYMAN. (Mellette County, 4; HRS S. Dak., Mellette, 3)

27 April 1912

BENNETT fully organized, detached from FALL RIVER. (HRS S. Dak., Bennett, 7; "Dakota's Counties," 13)

03 November 1914

HAAKON created from STANLEY; HAAKON not fully organized, not attached. (S. Dak. Comp. Laws 1929, 1:146, 150; HRS S. Dak., Haakon, 3; S. Dak. Code 1939, 1:323)

JACKSON re-created from STANLEY with somewhat different boundaries from original JACKSON County; JACKSON not fully organized, not attached. (S. Dak. Comp. Laws 1929, 1:147; S. Dak. Code 1939, 1:324–325)

08 February 1915

HAAKON fully organized. (Early History of South Dakota Counties, 48–49; HRS S. Dak., Haakon, 3–4)

09 February 1915

JACKSON fully organized. (HRS S. Dak., Jackson-Washabaugh, 5)

03 June 1915

WASHABAUGH (extinct) detached from CUSTER, attached to JACKSON “for judicial purposes.” (S. Dak. Laws 1915, 14th sess., ch. 147/p. 324)

07 November 1916

JONES created from LYMAN; JONES not fully organized, not attached. (Proving Up, 20; S. Dak. Comp. Laws 1929, 1:147; S. Dak. Code 1939, 1:325)

15 January 1917

JONES fully organized. (Proving Up, 21)

03 May 1917

SULLY boundaries redefined [no change]. (S. Dak. Laws 1917, 15th sess., reg., ch. 178/p. 235)

21 June 1919

Legislature passed a single law adjusting the attachment status of multiple counties. All attachments were “for judicial purposes.” (S. Dak. Laws 1918, 15th sess., spec., ch. 354/p. 434)

22 May 1923

Legislature passed a single law adjusting the attachment status of multiple counties. All attachments were “for judicial purposes.” (S. Dak. Laws 1923, 18th sess., ch. 304/p. 319)

01 January 1945

SHANNON gained all of WASHINGTON; WASHINGTON eliminated, ending its attachment to PENNINGTON. SHANNON remained unorganized and attached to FALL RIVER as of 31 December 2000. (S. Dak. Laws 1943, 28th sess., ch. 23/p. 40; S. Dak. Code 1939, 1:339)

01 January 1953

DEWEY gained all of ARMSTRONG; ARMSTRONG eliminated, ending its attachment to STANLEY. (S. Dak. Laws 1951, 32d sess., ch. 37/p. 38; S. Dak. Code 1939, 1:339)

01 January 1983

JACKSON gained all of WASHABAUGH; WASHABAUGH eliminated, ending its attachment to JACKSON. (S. Dak. Laws 1981, 56th sess., ch. 47/p. 201; S. Dak. Code 1939, 1:339)