“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Yankton in Yankton County, South Dakota — The American Midwest (Upper Plains)

First Territorial Capital


First Territorial Capital Marker image. Click for full size.
July 18, 2021
1. First Territorial Capital Marker
Inscription.  Dakota Territory, extending N to Canada and W to the summit of the Rockies, a fourth larger than Texas, was created March 2, 1861. Lincoln appointed William Jayne Governor and he arrived at Yankton June 8th. Dakota had 2,326 white citizens; the first legislature met at Yankton on March 17, 1862 and after a lot of legislative jockeying, Yankton was named permanent capital on April 8, 1862. It so remained, capital, "mother City," steamboat town and railhead until 1883. Then Alexander Mackenzie came down from the North with a handful of votes and reputedly a satchel full of money. He parlayed these assets into a capital removal commission. The law required that they organize at Yankton. They did, on a Milwaukee train passing rapidly through town late in April. Aspirants were Aberdeen, Bismarck, Canton, Frankfort, Huron, Mitchell, Odessa, Ordway, Pierre, Redfield and Steele. The Commission passed among these towns in a glorious jamboree and then met at Fargo on June 3rd and decreed Bismarck as capital. Governor Ordway and Senator, later Territorial Attorney General Alexander Hughes were credited as Mackenzie's most effective allies. Yankton resorted
First Territorial Capital & Building Site Markers image. Click for full size.
July 18, 2021
2. First Territorial Capital & Building Site Markers
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to the law but the Supreme Court rejected their appeal. Governor Pierce completed the move to Bismarck and Yankton has a fine historic site a few rods north of this marker and a bitter memory.
Erected 1956 by Hotels Charles Gurney and Nancy. (Marker Number 135.)
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Settlements & Settlers. In addition, it is included in the South Dakota State Historical Society Markers series list. A significant historical date for this entry is March 2, 1861.
Location. 42° 52.273′ N, 97° 23.427′ W. Marker is in Yankton, South Dakota, in Yankton County. Marker is at the intersection of East 4th Street (South Dakota Route 50) and Capital Street, on the right when traveling west on East 4th Street. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 200 E 4th St, Yankton SD 57078, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. First Capitol Building of Dakota Territory (a few steps from this marker); Trial of Jack McCall for Murder of "Wild Bill" (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); Cramer - Kenyon Home (approx. 0.2 miles away); Historic Highway (approx. 0.2 miles away); First Building at Yankton Site (approx. 0.2 miles away); The Intersection of Third & Walnut (approx. 0.2 miles away);
Dakota Territory First Capitol Building Site image. Click for full size.
July 18, 2021
3. Dakota Territory First Capitol Building Site
"This Stone Marks the Site of the
First Capitol Building of Dakota Territory
Erected in 1862
Presented by South Dakota Daughters of the
American Revolution 1925"
Christ Church (approx. 0.2 miles away); Pine Street Bridge (approx. 0.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Yankton.
Related marker. Click here for another marker that is related to this marker.
Credits. This page was last revised on July 25, 2021. It was originally submitted on July 24, 2021. This page has been viewed 58 times since then and 18 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on July 24, 2021. • Mark Hilton was the editor who published this page.

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Dec. 3, 2022