Brief Sketches of the Counties


This information appears in Chapter LXXIV of "History of South Dakota" by Doane Robinson, Vol. I (1904), pages 392-407 and was scanned, OCRed and edited by Joy Fisher,


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Day county, named for Merritt H. Day, the pioneer Democratic politician, was created by the act of February 22, 1879, which reorganized the county lines throughout the state. The section was formerly called Greeley county. It was organized December 5, 1881, by Governor Ordway. Chauncy Warner, Lansing Sykes and George Bryant were the commissioners, and the county seat was located at Webster, where it remains. At that time the county included Marshall county and the south tier of towns was a part of Clark county. The session of 1885 created Marshall county and added the south tier to Day. The first exploration of Day county goes back to the fur trading days of the 'thirties, when Major Joseph R. Brown had a trading post at Buffalo lake. Fremont and Nicollet visited the county in 1839. Waubay and the adjacent lakes were favorite resorts for the Indians, time out of mind, and all of their trails across Dakota centered there. The soil is fertile and productive. The railroad came in 1880 and the modern settlement dates from that time. In public affairs the county has been represented by Eugene Huntington, adjutant general, 1890-3; Charles H. Sheldon, governor, 1893-7; Charles W. Stafford, oil inspector, 1893-7; David Williams, census superintendent, 1890. Area, 1.077. Population, 1900, 7,483.