DeSmet, South Dakota - Population 1089
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member NGComets
N 44° 22.655 W 097° 33.090
14T E 615393 N 4914831
Quick Description: Little Town on the Prairie.
Location: South Dakota, United States
Date Posted: 3/29/2015 8:09:38 AM
Waymark Code: WMNKFA
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member monkeys4ever
Views: 1

Long Description:
About 10,000 years ago a large glacier covered the De Smet area. The glacier moved southward forming the west side of the Missouri River. As the glacier retreated, it left large stagnant blocks. These blocks formed the numerous South Dakota sloughs and lakes. Lake Thompson, near De Smet, is the largest glacial lake in the state. The American Indian entered the South Dakota area during the period, between 5,000-8,000 years ago.

In 1803, President Thomas Jefferson assigned Meriwether Lewis and William Clark to explore the territory that would become the state of South Dakota in defense of the Louisiana Purchase. After exploration, Clark referred to South Dakota as the “Land of Plenty”.

The present North Dakota and South Dakota area became the Dakota Territory in 1868. The history of Kingsbury County begins in 1838 when John C. Fremont of the US Army and Dr. Nicolet came through this section. The early settlers found a sea of waving grass when they arrived in the late 1800’s. Prior to 1877, the hand of the white man had not disturbed the soil or erected habitations in Kingsbury County except the driving of stakes by the government surveyors. Kingsbury County was named for George W. Kingsbury of Yankton, a pioneer, editor, historian and legislator.

With the railroad came many tents of workmen who added to the towns. The graders were closely followed by the tracklayers and then the locomotive. The first train came to De Smet in 1880.

At the May 9 meeting of the board, De Smet was named county seat. It was plotted in 1880 and incorporated in 1883. Years later it was dubbed “Cream City,” because of the high cream production.

The county seat got one of its first buildings in 1880, when Henry Hinz Sr. built a recreation place. Structures started going up rapidly along the business street, and the lumber was hauled mostly from Volga before the first train came.

The first family of De Smet was that of Charles P. Ingalls. He was the timekeeper for the railway construction crew at his camp on the shore of Silver Lake, a mile east of where De Smet was to be built. As construction work ceased in the fall of 1879, he and his wife, along with four daughters remained in the timekeeper’s building through the winter and spring and built what was to become Ingalls’ store.

By 1883, De Smet was a typical early prairie town. De Smet had about 60 buildings including grocery and provision stores, wagon shops, lumber yards, banks, a drug store, newspaper companies, a flour mill, a church, a school, an elevator, two attorneys, a harness shop, one hotel and two real estate dealers.

On November 2, 1889, President William Harrison issued a proclamation announcing the admission of South Dakota as a state of the great republic of the United States of America. The late 1890’s were years of progress, which brought about the passing of the sod shanty. With the 29th century came the telephone, rural mail routes and the automobile. Progression also brought electric lights by 1910 and the radio by 1920. De Smet was among the early ones to have cement sidewalks and the surfaced streets by the 1950’s.


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Address: South Highway 25

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