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South Dakota Deed History

South Dakota became a state on November 2, 1889. Although it was admitted simultaneously with North Dakota, North Dakota is counted as the 39th state and South Dakota as the 40th state. South Dakota was initially the southern portion of the Dakota Territory, which was formed in March of 1861. The territory that would become South Dakota was first added to the United States in 1803 with the Louisiana Purchase.

South Dakota has 66 counties. There are five counties in the state that are entirely within an Indian Reservation. Ten counties were formed in 1862 from unorganized territory, shortly after the formation of the Dakota Territory. The most populous county in the state is Minnehaha, which also contains the state’s most populous city, Sioux Falls. Minnehaha County was formed in 1862. The first recorder of deeds in Minnehaha County after statehood had been granted in 1889 was George Garter, who served until 1897.

Continuous American presence in South Dakota began in 1819, when Fort Pierre was set up as an American fur-trading post. In 1858, the area encompassing South Dakota was opened up for development by the Yankton Treaty. Two of South Dakota’s largest cities, Sioux Falls and Yankton, were founded by land speculators in 1856 and 1859. When South Dakota was acquired, the federal government surveyed the available land into townships and began transferring it to private hands through local land offices.