The History of Brookings County
began with the Act which authorized its first boundaries approved
on April 5th 1862.
At this time it included the
north half of Lake and Moody Counties and the tier of Townships on
the Eastern edge of Kingsbury County.
In 1873 it was reduced to its
There was an attempt to settle in
the County in May or June of 1857, but the settlers were driven
out by Indians in the summer of 1858.
This undertaking was under the
Dakota Land Company of St. Paul, Minnesota. They selected the name
of Medary after Governor Medary of Minnesota and intended to make
it the Capital of the New Territory.
Eleven years later in 1869 the
first permanent settlement was started on the east bank of the
Sioux River four miles northwest of the first settlement.
An Act to organize the County of
Be it enacted by the Legislature
Assembly of the Territory of Dakota;
Sec. 1 - That Martin N. Trygstad,
L. M. Hewlett and Elias Thompson be and are hereby appointed
County Commissioners of Brookings County, and the said County
Commissioners and shall have full power and authority to appoint
all of the offices to complete the organization of said county.
Sec. 2 - That Wm. H. Packard be
and he is hereby appointed Register of Deeds of said County of
Brookings. The County seat of Brookings County, be and the same is
hereby located at Medary.
Sec. 3 - This act shall take
effect and be in force from and after it's passage and approval.
Approved, January 13, 1871.
Geo. A. Batchelder
Secretary & Acting Governor
Territory of Dakota
June 20, A.D. 1871
Notice is hereby given that the
first meeting of the County Commissioners of Brookings County,
Dakota Territory will be held at the home of Martin N. Trygstad at
Medary the County Seat of Brookings County on Monday, July 3rd,
1 - For the choice of one of
their members as chairman and to decide whose term of office shall
expire in order first,
2 - For the choice of such
officers as are necessary to fully complete the organization of
said Brookings County by and with the authority as to do given the
Commissioners by the Legislature of the Territory of Dakota in its
organization act in selection to said Brookings County,
3 - To provide suitable County
seals to such officials as need then also books for Records and
Clerk officials and such other stationary as in need by the
4 - To divide the County into
percents and districts for elections and other purposes,
5 - To take masurers to lay out a
County road from Medary or from any other point that in their
judgment would be for the best interest of the County to run
through Flandreau to the line of Minnehaha County and petition the
County Commissioners of Minnehaha County to continue said road to
6 - To further transact such
other business as may legally come before the board of County
Commissioners of said Brookings County.
Dated June 20 A. D. 1871 Wm. H.
County Clerk of Brookings County, D.T.
In the spring of 1876 the town of
Fountain was settled and the settlers were hoping that the
railroad that was moving west would go through their town;
although the Dakota Central Railroad located and built the line
five miles south of Fountain and north of Medary.
October 6, 1879
Board met as per statute, on the
6th day of October A. D., 1879, board was called to order by the
Chairman, present, full board and clerk.
On motion the following
resolution was adopted unanimously:
Resolution, That the Dakota
Central Railway Company, now constructing its railway in a
westerly direction across Brookings County in consideration of the
public benefit of said railway be and is hereby granted Right of
Way for it's said railway to occupy and pass over all public roads
and highways over which it is located in Brookings County in the
Territory of Dakota, said railway company to put in and maintain
such highways crossings as now and or hereafter may be required by
||Wm. H. Skinner
Brookings was surveyed and
platted on the 3rd and 4th of October 1879 and became the County
Seat after an election on November 4, 1879.
Brookings won out over Aurora and
Proceedings of the County
Commissioners Special Session,
November 18, 1879.
Board met as per notice calling a Special
Session on this 18th day of November, A.D. 1879.
Board called to order by the
chairman, present as Commissioner, Wm. H. Skinner Chairman and
Martin N. Trygstad also Clerk of Board. Board
proceeded to examine the County
Treasurers account and passed the former with settlement of the
same. Wm. H. Skinner presented to the board his resignation as
Chairman of said board the same being accepted. On motion Martin
N. Trygstad was duly chosen chairman of said board. The clerk
presented to the board an abstract of the votes cast at the
election held November 4th, 1879, as made by the canvassing board
of said election. The same was examined and the required number of
votes for the change of the County seat were cast. Therefore be it
resolved that the notice of removal of the County seat from
Medary to Brookings as indicated by the voters of said County be
posted in each election precinct in the County in compliance with
sections 6 and 7 of chapter 21 of the revised Code of Dakota
On motion the County seat is now
hereby declared to be at Brookings, D. T.
On motion the board adjourned to
Brookings, at the Store of Wm. H. Roddle. The Roddle Store was
located at which is now 313 Main Avenue.
Board met as per adjournment with
the same members and clerk present. The clerk presented the tax
books for the year 1879. The same were found satisfactory. The
board then affixed their signatures and attached the seal of the
County thereto the same for collection. Wm. H. Skinner presented
his official bond as Clerk of the District Court, which was
Resolved, That the several
officers required by statute to hold their offices at (Brookings)
the County seat and are hereby required to remove their offices to
Brookings, the present County Seat.
On motion board adjourned without
As near as possible the Towns in
Brookings County were settled as follows:
Medary - 1857 & 1869
Oakwood - 1873
Lake Hendricks - 1873
Fountain - 1878
Renshaw - 1878
Elkton - 1879
Aurora - 1879
Brookings - 1879
Volga - 1879
Bruce - 1883
Bushnell - 1884
White - 1884
Sinai - 1907
Como-Ahnberg - 1907
McKain - 1909
Sunnyview - 1950
Compiled by George Norby
109 7th St.
Brookings, SD 57006