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Sioux Falls in Minnehaha County, South Dakota — The American Midwest (Upper Plains)
 

Department of Veterans Affairs

 
 
Department of Veterans Affairs Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Ruth VanSteenwyk, January 11, 2016
1. Department of Veterans Affairs Marker
(Side One)
Inscription.  
Front
Near the beginning of the 19th century two wars were fought in two widely separated Spanish possessions. Men from South Dakota were federal combatants in both conflicts. The 1898 Spanish-American War was fought in Cuba, only 90 miles from Florida, while action in the 1899 Philippine Insurrection took place thousands of miles away in the North Pacific Ocean in the Philippine Islands. Two decades later another generation of men from South Dakota served in Europe during World War I. To attend to the needs of these veterans, a federal office opened in 1921 in Sioux Falls to process benefit claims. This small contact benefits office soon became a regional office, and it then assumed oversight of benefits for all veterans living within the state.

South Dakota Congressman Royal C. Johnson successfully spearheaded a movement to consolidate the administration of benefits for veterans at a time when veterans affairs were managed by a number of federal agencies and bureaus. In 1930 the Veterans Administration (VA) was established. Later, legislation was introduced in Congress for the construction of a hospital in eastern
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South Dakota to be named Royal C. Johnson Veterans Memorial Hospital.

Back
After an influenza outbreak struck the Sioux Falls Army Air Force base during World War II, the War Department purchased the vacant buildings on the Columbus College campus to use for a hospital. While the VA Regional Office did establish offices in the former college buildings a hospital was not opened.

Following the end of World War II, a general medical and surgical hospital for veterans was constructed. It opened in July 1949. Twenty-five years later a major mission change occurred when an agreement was sighed with the University of South Dakota School of Medicine. The VA medical center then became a teaching hospital and first USD medical students arrived in 1964.

The name Veterans Administration was change to the Department of Veterans Affairs in 1989 at the time the national director became a member of the President's cabinet. However, it still continued to be known by many as "the VA."

The Sioux Falls VA has had an enviable record of growth and high-level professionalism since its unpretentious beginning as a small contact benefits office. Today the medical center provides 17 specialty programs and state-of-the-art diagnostic and monitoring equipment. While the Dakotas Regional Office administers benefits other than health care for veterans
Department of Veterans Affairs Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Ruth VanSteenwyk, January 11, 2016
2. Department of Veterans Affairs Marker
(Side Two)
and their families.
 
Erected 2008 by Minnehaha County Historical Society.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Government & PoliticsWar, Spanish-AmericanWar, World IWar, World II. A significant historical month for this entry is July 1949.
 
Location. 43° 31.967′ N, 96° 45.307′ W. Marker is in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, in Minnehaha County. Marker is at the intersection of W. 22nd Street and S. Holly Street, on the right when traveling east on W. 22nd Street. This marker is at the entrance to the Sioux Falls VA Medical Center. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 2501 W 22nd St, Sioux Falls SD 57117, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Columbus College (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); 1870s' Grasshopper Invasions (about 500 feet away); Children's Care Hospital & School (approx. ¼ mile away); Sherman Park Indian Burial Mounds (approx. 0.4 miles away); Linear Mound (approx. 0.4 miles away); Mound Builders Village (approx. 0.4 miles away); Ceremonial Dance Circle (approx. 0.4 miles away); The Fifth Mound (approx. 0.4 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Sioux Falls.
 
Related marker. Click here for another marker that is related to this marker. To better understand the relationship, study each marker in the order
Department of Veterans Affairs Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Ruth VanSteenwyk, January 11, 2016
3. Department of Veterans Affairs Marker
shown.
 
Also see . . .  Royal C. Johnson Wiki Page. (Submitted on January 12, 2016, by Ruth VanSteenwyk of Aberdeen, South Dakota.)
 
Sioux Falls VA Medical Center image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Ruth VanSteenwyk, January 11, 2016
4. Sioux Falls VA Medical Center
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. It was originally submitted on January 12, 2016, by Ruth VanSteenwyk of Aberdeen, South Dakota. This page has been viewed 589 times since then and 9 times this year. Last updated on January 13, 2016, by Keith S Smith of West Chester, Pennsylvania. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on January 12, 2016, by Ruth VanSteenwyk of Aberdeen, South Dakota. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.

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Feb. 29, 2024