Historic Markers

Historic Markers

See the sites that made Yankton what it is today.

Charles Francois Picotte

Picotte Street and 4th Street

“Born at Ft. Tecumseh (Pierre), the son of Honore Picotte, an American Fur Co. factor and Eagle Woman, he was educated at St. Louis. Marrying a Yankton woman, he became a leader in that Band and was influential in the Treaty of 1858 ceding land and setting up a Reservation. Yankton townsite is a part of his 640 acres allotment. His 1860 home was 200 yards South.”

Courthouse Memorial

West 3rd Street and Broadway Avenue

The Yankton County Courthouse stood at this site from 1905 to 2003. The handsome three-story building was dedicated Nov. 1, 1905. Speakers at that event estimated it would have “a long life of 25 years.” The building far exceeded those expectations and served Yankton County residents for most of a century.

Dakota’s Oldest Newspaper

Walnut Street and 4th Street

Published since 1861, The Yankton Daily Press & Dakotan is the first and oldest daily newspaper in the state.

Dakota Territorial Capitol

Original Site – Capital Street and 4th Street
Replica – Riverside Park (Douglas Avenue and Levee Street)

The replica is patterned after the original Dakota Territorial Capitol built in 1862 and torn down in 1886. Yankton was the first capitol of the Dakota Territory from 1861-1883. Displays include photos of old Yankton, maps of the Dakota Territory, a gallery of former Territorial governors, a tribute to the local St. John’s Masonic Lodge, and a quilt highlighting Yankton landmarks. The building is located in Riverside Park, which includes free Wi-Fi, trails, play structures and picnic shelters.

Dakota Territories First Bank

225 Cedar St.

First Dakota National Bank began in 1872 when it became the first fully chartered bank in the Dakota Territory. Located in Yankton, First Dakota grew steadily as it served the needs of settlers, the river traffic, and the flourishing businesses.

Episcopal Church of the Dakotas

517 Douglas Ave.

Built in 1882, the “Mother Church of the Dakotas” has been used constantly.

First Building at Yankton Site

Mulberry Street and East 3rd Street

This site stands as where the first building in Yankton was built.

Jack McCall Historical Marker

Hanging – Intersection of Highway 81 and 31st Street
Trial – East 3rd Street and Capital Street
Headstone – City Cemetery (25th & Douglas Street)

Being the first territorial capital of the Dakotas, Yankton hosted the trial and hanging of the notorious Jack McCall for the murder of Wild Bill Hickok. The trial began on Dec. 4, 1876 in a courtroom at what is now present-day intersection of Third and Capital Streets. Two days later, the jury found McCall guilty. McCall’s hanging took place on March 1, 1877 near the present day intersection of Highway 81 and Highway 50. The hanging is remembered by a historical plaque, which is located in the parking lot on the south end of the Human Services Center. The gravestone of Jack McCall was just placed on his burial site in 2017.

Pierre Dorian’s Grave

West 2nd Street and Riverside Drive

Pierre Dorian was the first white settler in the Yankton area. He lived among the Yankton Sioux at the time that Lewis and Clark passed through in 1804. Lewis and Clark convinced Dorian to accompany them on their expedition and to serve as an Indian interpreter. Dorian later returned to the Yankton area. His grave was located by a local historian and a memorial marker dedicated in 2002.

USS Scorpion Historical Marker

Walnut Street and Riverside Drive

Presented by U.S. Submarine Veterans WWII South Dakota Chapter, this historical marker is located near the Missouri River on the West side of the Meridian Bridge. Scorpion was launched on July 20, 1942 and their first patrol was a hunting and mining mission near Honshu, Japan in April 1943. Scorpion went on three patrols that earned her a battle star. She was involved with a series of torpedo attacks and gun battles. On Jan. 5, 1944, Scorpion rendezvoused with Herring to transfer an injured man, but heavy seas prevented a safe transfer. Scorpion and 77 courageous crewmen were never seen again.

Veterans Memorial

West 3rd Street and Broadway Avenue

This memorial is dedicated to all veterans, past, present and future, whose sacrifices continue to protect our freedom. The red, white and blue memorial was designed by Luken Memorials to be uplifting and reaching to the stars with the bronze eagle taking flight. The wording on the west side, “All Gave Some, Some Gave All,” refers to the sacrifices of our veterans. The five granite pedestals display lasered scenes particular to each branch of the military. The main feature memorial contains three different colors of granite: Rubin Red – India, Sierra White – United States and Blue Pearl – Norway.

War Memorial

Fantle Memorial Park (Douglas Avenue and East 19th Street)

This war memorial is a tribute to veterans of all wars. The monument lists more than 50 names of Yankton County World War II veterans who have died in the fight for freedom. Fantle Memorial Park is also home to the Avenue of Flags, a presentation of the five service flags and hundreds of American flags. These flags are displayed six times a year: Loyalty Day, Memorial Day, Flag Day, Fourth of July, Labor Day and Veterans Day. Each flag pole has a nameplate that bears the name or names of fallen soldiers.

Yankton College

East 10th Street

The oldest institution of higher learning in the Dakotas.

“Oldest Institution of Higher Learning in the Dakotas Joseph Ward, a graduate of Brown University and Andover Seminary came to Yankton, Dakota Territory as a missionary pastor in 1868. He soon established Yankton Academy but it was taken over by the school board and became Yankton High School, the first secondary schools in Dakota.

Yankton Stockade

3rd Street and Broadway Avenue
North Wall – West 4th Street and Broadway Avenue
East Wall – 313 Cedar St.
West Wall – West 3rd Street and Linn Street

During 1862, President Lincoln signed the Homestead Act in to law. The Santee Sioux of Minnesota rebelled across a 200-mile front and several hundred settlers were killed. 2,000 Indians were taken prisoner and 38 were hanged. Small bands of marauders entered Dakota Territory spreading great fear. Governor Jayne ordered all male citizens to enroll in their county defense unit. 77 responded locally and met in the Episcopal log cabin on August 31. A box-shaped fortification was then erected at the center of 3rd Street and Broadway Avenue. Each wall was 450 feet long. People from the village of Bon Homme and residents from Sioux Falls fled to the capital city for protection. For several weeks almost 300 people lived in and near the stockade, but no one in the vicinity was killed or wounded.

Historic Markers Located at the Dakota Territorial Museum

610 Summit St.

-First Permanent Building in Yankton
-Historic Highway
-Lewis and Clark
-Mother City of the Dakotas
-Robert McClellan Fur Post
-Yankton County Seat of Yankton County



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