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Buffalo County in South Dakota has a rich history that stretches back to the days of the Plains Indians and the early pioneer settlers. Here are seven interesting facts about Buffalo County's past.

1. Buffalo County was created in 1873 out of the old Indian territory that was then known as Spink County. The county was named for the great buffalo herds that were once prevalent in the area.

2. Buffalo County was home to several Native American tribes, including the Sioux, the Mandan, the Arikara, and the Hidatsa. These tribes lived off the land and hunted buffalo, elk, deer, and other game.

3. In the late 1800s, settlers began moving into Buffalo County, attracted by the lush grasslands and abundant wildlife. Many of these early pioneers were homesteaders who staked their claims and began farming the land.

4. One of Buffalo County's most famous residents was the legendary cowboy and Wild West showman, Buffalo Bill Cody. Cody made his home in the town of North Platte, which was then part of Buffalo County. Cody was instrumental in promoting the western frontier and bringing its colorful characters and exciting adventures to audiences around the world.

5. During World War II, Buffalo County was home to German prisoners of war who worked in the local sugar beet fields. These prisoners were held at a camp near the town of Gann Valley and were supervised by American soldiers. The camp was closed after the war ended and the prisoners were returned to Germany.

6. In the mid-20th century, Buffalo County experienced a decline in population as many young people left to seek better opportunities elsewhere. Today, the county has a population of just over 2,000.

7. Despite its small size, Buffalo County has been the site of several major events in South Dakota history, including the 1890 Wounded Knee Massacre, the 1973 occupation of Wounded Knee by Native American activists, and the 1982 shootout between the FBI and members of the militant American Indian Movement.

In conclusion, Buffalo County has a fascinating history that reflects the struggles and triumphs of the people who lived there. From the Native American tribes who hunted buffalo on the plains, to the homesteaders and cowboys who tamed the land, to the modern-day residents who continue to build on this legacy, Buffalo County remains an important part of South Dakota's story.

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