South Dakota didn’t become a state until 1889, which was right in the midst of the heyday of writing county histories. Therefore, being a new state, South Dakota didn’t produce many county histories until well after 1900. That means most of the books remain under copyright restriction.
However, there are several STATE histories that include people and places in South Dakota in the 1800s.
1. While every county in the state is listed, links are only provided for titles that no longer fall under U.S. copyright laws. All (almost) links connect to free websites.
2. There are a few instances when a book has been digitized, but is only found on a paid site. In that case, no link is inserted, but a note as to the website where it has been found is given.
3. When a state history has also been found in digital format, it is listed in the STATE section that precedes the county list. I have limited STATE entries to those with county histories/biographical volumes in them.
4. There are a number of counties that DO have histories written, BUT they remain copyrighted material. Therefore, if a county has NONE after its name, it doesn’t mean there is no county history, just that none has been digitized. It’s also possible that the only digitized county history is included in one of the state volumes, so be sure to check those entries.
5. If the book is on FamilySearch, you will need a free account to access it. This list does NOT include town histories.
6. When all fifty states have been completed, I will post a PDF of them all.
7. One last note – it is very possible that a book is digitally available on more than one website. I’ve only included links to one site per book.
STATE – Black Hills nuggets, commemorative edition, 1776-1876-1976: United States of America bicentennial, Black Hills of South Dakota centennial, Patricia Lavier Mechling, Diane Houston Schadow & Darlene Hood Martin, Rapid City Society for Genealogical Research, Rapid City, South Dakota, 1975.
STATE – History of Dakota Territory, Volume 1, George W. Kingsbury, S.J. Clarke Publishing Company, Chicago, Illinois, 1915.
STATE – History of Dakota Territory, Volume 2, George W. Kingsbury, S.J. Clarke Publishing Company, Chicago, Illinois, 1915.
STATE – History of Dakota Territory, Volume 3, George W. Kingsbury, S.J. Clarke Publishing Company, Chicago, Illinois, 1915.
STATE – History of Dakota Territory, Volume 4, George W. Kingsbury, S.J. Clarke Publishing Company, Chicago, Illinois, 1915.
STATE – History of Dakota Territory, Volume 5, George W. Kingsbury, S.J. Clarke Publishing Company, Chicago, Illinois, 1915.
STATE – South Dakota de luxe supplement to the History of Dakota Territory and South Dakota: its history and its people, S.J.Clarke Publishing Company, Chicago, 1915.
STATE – Some pioneers and pilgrims on the prairies of Dakota: or from ox team to aeroplane, John T. Reese & H.H. Reese, Mitchell, South Dakota, 1920.
STATE – South Dakota: fifty years of progress, 1889-1939 (with picture section) containing articles by prominent authorities – reviewing a half century of development, in commemoration of fifty years of statehood, York Sampson, Sioux Falls, South Dakota, 1939.
STATE – South Dakota in World War II : an account of the various activities of the people of South Dakota during the period of World War II, both in South Dakota and where South Dakotans and South Dakota units were active throughout the world, South Dakota Word War II History Commission, Pierre, South Dakota, c1947.
AURORA – NONE
BEADLE – History of Beadle County: Development and resources of Beadle county in the new state of South Dakota: its opportunities for investment, Beadle County Commissioners, 1889.
BENNETT – NONE
BON HOMME – History of Bon Homme County: from early settlement until 1921, Mrs. F.F. Chladek & Mrs. C.E. Bixby, South Dakota, 1921.
BON HOMME – A history of Bon Homme County, South Dakota, Scotland Journal and Argus, Stickney, South Dakota, 1961.
BROOKINGS – The immigants’ trek: a detailed history of the Lake Hendricks Colony in Brookings County, Dakota Territory, from 1873-1881, Gustav O. Sandro, n.p., n.d.
BROWN – History of the Finnish settlement in Brown and Dickey counties of South and North Dakota, 1881-1955, Savo Finnish Historical Society, Northwestern, New York Mills, Minnesota, 1955 [FamilySearch Film 215600]
BRULE – A short history of Brule County, John H. Bingham, 1947. Reprint from South Dakota Historical Collections, v. 23.
BUFFALO – NONE
BUTTE – Golden anniversary, Newell, South Dakota, 1910-1960, William Reitmeier, c1960.
CAMPBELL – NONE
CHARLES MIX – NONE
CLARK – A history of southern Clark County and Spirit Lake, 1976.
CLARK – A history of the city of Clark and of the men who made it and now possess it, S.J. Conklin, J.K. Coe Publishing, Clark South Dakota, 1911.
CLAY – Memorial and Biographical Record of Turner, Lincoln, Union and Clay counties, South Dakota. . ., George A. Ogle & Company, Chicago, 1897.
CODINGTON – NONE
CORSON – NONE
CUSTER – Our yesterdays, Eastern Custer County Historical Society, Hermosa, South Dakota, 1970.
DAVISON – NONE
DAY – NONE
DEUEL – NONE
DEWEY – NONE
DOUGLAS – NONE
EDMUNDS – NONE
FALL RIVER – NONE
FAULK – History of Faulk county, South Dakota: together with biographical sketches of pioneers and prominent citizens, Caleb H. Ellis, Record Print, Faulkton, South Dakota, 1909.
GRANT – Grant County, South Dakota, in the World War: 1917-1918-1919, W.S. Dolan, Grant County Review, Milbank, South Dakota, 1919.
GREGORY – NONE
HAAKON – NONE
HAMLIN – NONE
HAND – NONE
HANSON – NONE
HARDING – NONE
HUGHES – Hughes County History, Bert L. Hall, n.p., 1937.
HUTCHINSON – NONE
HYDE – History of Hyde County, South Dakota: from its organization to the present time, John B. Perkins, n.p., 1908.
JACKSON – Jackson-Washabaugh counties 1915-1965, Jackson-Washabaugh County Historical Society, 1965.
JERAULD – A history of Jerauld county, South Dakota: from the earliest settlement to January 1st, 1909, Niles J. Dunham, Wessington Springs, South Dakota, 1910.
JONES – NONE
KINGSBURY – A history of southern Clark County and Spirit Lake, 1976.
LAKE – Lake County heritage, Craig R. Williams & Aloin Budde, Lake County Extension Heritage Committee, 1976.
LAKE – Pioneer days in Lake County, Preston E. Tyrrell, Dakota State College, Madison, South Dakota, 1980. [Articles originally appearing in the Madison Daily leader, Jan. 7, 1974-Nov. 2, 1978]
LAWRENCE – NONE
LINCOLN – Memorial and Biographical Record of Turner, Lincoln, Union and Clay counties, South Dakota. . ., George A. Ogle & Company, Chicago, 1897.
LYMAN – NONE
MARSHALL – NONE
MCCOOK – Within these borders: McCook County, South Dakota, 1976, n.p., 1976.
MCPHERSON – NONE
MEADE – NONE
MELLETTE – Mellette County, South Dakota, 1911-1961, Mellette County Centennial Committee, White River, South Dakota, 1961.
MINER – NONE
MINNEHAHA – History of Minnehaha County, South Dakota. . ., Dana R. Bailey, Brown & Saenger Printing, Sioux Falls, South Dakota, 1899.
MOODY – NONE
OGLALA LAKOTA – NONE
PENNINGTON – Eastern Pennington County memories, American Legion – Auxiliary of Carrol McDonald, Wall South Dakota, 1965.
PERKINS – NONE
POTTER – NONE
ROBERTS – NONE
SANBORN – History of pioneer Sanborn County, Sanborn County Historical Association, 1953.
SANBORN – Supplement to Story of Pioneer County, Sanborn County Historical Association, n.d.
SPINK – Souvenir, picturesque Redfield and Spink County, South Dakota, Frank Leslie Ransom, n.p., Redfield, South Dakota, 1902.
STANLEY – NONE
SULLY – History of Sully County, Bessie B. Lumley & Mrs. B.M. Lister, Sully County Old Settlers Association, Onida, South Dakota, 1939.
TODD – NONE
TRIPP – NONE
TURNER – Memorial and Biographical Record of Turner, Lincoln, Union and Clay counties, South Dakota. . ., George A. Ogle & Company, Chicago, 1897.
TURNER – Turner County pioneer history, William H. Stoddard, Turner County Historical Society, Brown & Saenger, Sioux Falls, South Dakota, 1931.
UNION – Memorial and Biographical Record of Turner, Lincoln, Union and Clay counties, South Dakota. . ., George A. Ogle & Company, Chicago, 1897.
WALWORTH – Golden anniversary historical book, 1900-1950, Selby, South Dakota, Fritz Clement, c1950.
WASHABAUGH – Jackson-Washabaugh counties 1915-1965, Jackson-Washabaugh County Historical Society, 1965.
YANKTON – NONE
ZIEBACH – NONE