No one knows when the first people came to live on the land that now comprises Minnehaha County, but native Woodland and Oneota peoples were here over 1000 years ago. The Big Sioux River which flows south through the county, appears on maps in Paris in 1702. The Sioux Indians arrived soon thereafter and have lived in the area for over 250 years.
The area has had a colorful history. Indian country claimed by the French was ceded to Spain in 1762 and back to France in 1800. When Thomas Jefferson bought the Louisiana Territory in 1892, Minnehaha County was part of that purchase. As part of the United States, the area was successively under eight territorial flags: Louisiana, Indiana, Missouri, Wisconsin, Michigan, Iowa, Minnesota and finally Dakota Territory, organized in 1861. Minnehaha County was created by the Territorial Legislature in 1862.
The county, currently 24 miles north and south by 34 miles east & west had much of its surface formed by the Late Wisconsin Glacier, about 10,000 years ago. The falls of the Big Sioux River, its most notable feature, were formed from the Precambrian pink quartzite about 1.7 billion years ago and have been a regional landmark since earliest times.
The first European known with certainty to have visited the falls was
Like the rest of the nation, Minnehaha County was
transformed by World War II. An important Army Air Force
Technical School was established at Sioux Falls. Two
interstate highways crossed the county, a large regional
airport developed, and new technology transformed agriculture.
Sioux Falls is frequently cited as one of the nationís
most attractive places to live, with Minnehaha County
sharing the honors.
Erected 1998 by The South Dakota Historical Society The Minnehaha Century Fund and South Dakota Department of Transportation.
Location. 43° 36.612′ N, 96° 27.68′ W. Marker is near Valley Springs, South Dakota, in Minnehaha County. Marker is on Interstate 90, on the right when traveling west. Click for map.
Other nearby markers. At least 2 other markers are within 8 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. 1908 Palisades Bridge (approx. 6.2 miles away); Garretson (approx. 7.8 miles away).
Categories. • Agriculture • Native Americans • Railroads & Streetcars • Settlements & Settlers •
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Rev. Ronald Irick of West Liberty, Ohio. This page has been viewed 171 times since then and 11 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on , by Rev. Ronald Irick of West Liberty, Ohio. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on September 2, 2016.