|Herrick History back to HOME|
|"Bed in the Shed"||Gift Shop||Location||History||Group Retreats|
1882, Sitting Bull and his family at Fort Randall
|History and Culture:
The east one-third of Gregory County was settled in 1892, but the west section remained part of the Great Sioux Nation until 1904. Fort Randall, Lewis and Clark, Native American sites . . . With such a rich and accessible history, you can discover magic around each corner. Spend an hour or a day, and still come back next year for more.
Gregory County History
In 1856, Fort Randall was established on the Missouri River. Gregory County was platted in the early 1860's, but subsequent treaties wiped if off the map. It reappeared on maps nearly 30 years later and the eastern approx 1/3 of the unofficial Gregory County--land from the Missouri River to the 99th parallel--was opened for settlement in 1892. Fort Randall closed, and trading posts called Bonesteel and Fairfax were set up that year. At that time, official county business was taken care of east across the Missouri River in Charles Mix County.
The railroad, which had followed the Ponca up from Lynch to Spencer and Anoka in Nebraska, climbed the 7% grade to reach the flat land of Fairfax. From there it angled west and north to Bonesteel. At this time, there was no firm southern border to Gregory County. Originally, the line had followed the Keya Paha River to the Niobrara to the Missouri. Later a line was drawn 7 miles south of the current state line, and later yet the line was marched north to 3 miles south of the current state line. Nebraska had become a state in 1867 and had stronger political power. Finally a firm border was set in its current position in 1895.
On August 23, 1898 Gregory County was created.
Gregory County Historical Society
The Gregory County Historical Society is comprised of three chapters:
the Dallas Chapter, the Burke-Herrick-Lucas Chapter, and the Bonesteel-Fairfax Chapter.
The Gregory County Historical Preservation Center is located at the St. Augustine Church in Dallas, SD.
Other historical treasures owned by the Historical Society include The Pocahontas School at rural Dixon, the Ponca Valley School, now located near the Gregory City Park and a Bank in St. Charles.
Gregory County Timeline of Important Dates
1889-Dakota Territory is divided; new, smaller Reservations are set aside; South Dakota and North Dakota simultaneously become States of the Union.
1889-Arthur C. Mellette, 10th and last territorial governor appointed by president elected by people to take office October 1, 1889 as first Governor of South Dakota.
1890-February 4, the east one-fourth of what would later be Gregory County ceded by Sioux to the United States, opened to homesteading.
-December 29 Wounded Knee Massacre in western South Dakota
1892-Fort Randall abandoned.
-Bonesteel and Fairfax, trading posts established
1893-March 3, Fort Randall made part of public domain by act of United States Congress and thrown open to settlement
1894- First portion of Gregory County border defined two miles west of Bonesteel; Gregory County was, up until then, attached to Charles Mix County for judicial purposes.
1895-Homesteaders and squatters allowed to file in first Gregory County; land surveyed by Chas. Bates, gov’t surveyor from Yankton, South Dakota.
-State line between South Dakota and Nebraska surveyed and established. The southeastern corner of Gregory county extended into Boyd and Keya Paha Counties, Nebraska; the settlers who lived in this so-called ‘three mile strip’ were uncertain as to their state, South Dakota or Nebraska.
1897-Gregory County boundaries established and defined by the legislature.
1898-Gregory County organized by order of Governor E. Lee.
-August 23 Fairfax, South Dakota made County Seat and county officials elected
1916-Burke became County seat of the re-organized county.
1925 -The Rosebud Bridge was opened near Wheeler. It closed in 1953.
1956-The Fort Randall Dam was dedicated.
1966- Francis Case Bridge on Platte Winner Highway 44 was dedicated.
Fort Randall Church, current
Following is a list of other towns and the years they were founded:
1899-St. Elmo; 1902-Day; 1903-Jamison, NE (located on SD border in what had been 3-mile strip); 1904-Herrick, Burke, Gregory, Wade, Carlock, and “Old Dallas”;1905- Dixon; 1906-Lucas, St. Charles (designated by railroad as Hampton) and Mullen; 1907-"New" Dallas (present town site); 1908-Denver-Paxton.