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Bennett County, located in the southwestern part of South Dakota, has a rich history filled with interesting facts. Here are seven of the most fascinating things about this unique county.

1. The county is named after John E. Bennett, who was a member of the first Dakota Territorial Legislature and later served as a senator in the state. He was instrumental in helping to establish the county and its boundaries.

2. Bennett County is home to two significant Native American reservations - the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation and the Rosebud Indian Reservation. The area has been inhabited by various tribes for thousands of years and has a rich cultural heritage.

3. The town of Martin, the county seat, was named after its founder, Harvey Martin, who was a prominent businessman and politician in the late 1800s. Today, Martin is known for its charming small-town atmosphere and friendly residents.

4. The county played an important role in the cattle drives of the late 1800s. Cowboys would bring their herds through the area on their way to Wyoming and Montana. As a result, many ranches and farms were established in Bennett County, and the area remains an important part of the state's agricultural industry today.

5. During World War II, the Bennett County Fairgrounds were used as a prisoner of war camp. It housed German prisoners who had been captured in North Africa and Italy. The camp was closed in 1946.

6. In 1973, Wounded Knee, a village on the Pine Ridge reservation within Bennett County, was the site of a 71-day standoff between American Indian Movement activists and federal agents. The event, known as the Wounded Knee Incident, brought national attention to the plight of Native American people and is considered a pivotal moment in the civil rights movement.

7. Bennett County is home to the Badlands Petrified Gardens, a unique attraction that showcases rare examples of petrified wood from around the world. The gardens were first opened to the public in 1953 and have since become a popular destination for tourists visiting the area.

From its rich cultural heritage to its role in the cattle drives of the Wild West, Bennett County has a fascinating history that is worth exploring. Whether you are interested in Native American history or the days of cowboys and cattle drives, there is something for everyone to enjoy in this unique corner of South Dakota.

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