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Subject: Sd-Faulk Co. History (Chapter XXI Earl)
Date: Fri, 7 Jan 2005 16:56:41 -0500

Faulk County, SD History .....Chapter XXI Early History 1909
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File contributed for use in USGenWeb Archives by:
Joy Fisher January 7, 2005, 4:56 pm


Robinson, in the History of South Dakota, Vol. 1, page 399, says:

"Faulk county was named after the third Governor of the territory, and dates
from January 8, 1873. It was not organized until October 25th, 1883, when
Governor Ordway appointed commissioners for that purpose. The county seat was
located at LaFoon but soon removed to Faulkton. The railroad reached the county
in 1884 (evidently a misprint as Faulk county was without a railroad until the
fall of 1886.) The earliest exploration of the county was probably by William
Dixon, in one of his trips to the James river in 1828. The county is upon the
line of travel from the Missouri to the Minnesota, and John C. Fremont and
Joseph N. Nicollet passed through it in 1839, Dr. Stephen R. Riggs in 1840.
James R. Brown made many trips through this section in the thirties. Scatter
-wood lake in the northeastern portion, was a famous Indian camp. Faulkton is
the chief town. John A. Pickler of this county was representative in congress
from 1889 to 1896. Howard Fuller, judge of the supreme court. Major Humphrey,
adjutant general from 1897 to 1901. Area 1016 square miles, population 3547."

We are under obligations to D. H. Latham, Esq. for the following interesting
communication upon this interesting subject:

"General John C. Fremont and party visited what is now Faulk county in 1839.

"Doane Robinson, our state historian, has discovered by delving into the
records and reports of General Fremont on file in the war department at
Washington, that General John C. Fremont and party traveled across what is now
Faulk county in the year 1839, and no doubt was one of the first white people to
visit this section.

"In 1839, Dr. Joseph N. Nicollet, the famous French scientist, came up the
river to Fort Pierre, accompanied by General C. Fremont, then a young man. They
were in the employ of the government and had been sent out to map the Dakota
country, the first official action of this kind. They remained at Pierre for
several weeks, preparing for their work, and then set out for the James river
and arrived at Medicine knoll, near Blunt, on the evening of July 3. At midnight
Fremont went to the top of Medicine knoll and fired guns and rockets in
celebration of the national anniversary. After traveling part way to the James
they stopped to fish at Scatterwood lake, Faulk county, finally reaching the
river at Armadale grove in Spink county. This grove was a famous camping place
for the Indians and early travelers. Thence they passed up the James and across
to Devils lake, and thence back down the coteaux to Lake Traverse and Big Stone,
whence they left the state, going down the Minnesota to St. Paul.

"In traveling across the country from Blunt to Scatterwood lake, General
Fremont and party must have crossed the Nixon river in the vicinity of Faulkton,
about July 5th, 1839."

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