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Jackson County is a county located in the south-western part of the state of South Dakota. The county was named after Andrew Jackson, who was the seventh president of the United States. The history of Jackson County is long and interesting, as it has been home to various indigenous tribes, explorers, settlers, and heaps more. Here are 7 interesting facts about Jackson County in South Dakota history that you may not know:

1. Indigenous tribes once dwelled in Jackson County

Before European settlers arrived, several Native American tribes - including the Oglala Lakota, Miniconjou Lakota, and Cheyenne - often utilized Jackson County lands for hunting, food, and other resources. The county also contains the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, which is the eighth largest Native American reservation in the United States.

2. Early European explorers visited the land

Spanish explorer Francisco Vásquez de Coronado and his army spent time on South Dakota's Great Plains in the late 16th century. During his travels, he crossed the Cheyenne River near what is now Jackson County.

3. Settlers had to endure difficult living conditions

Jackson County settlers had to deal with harsh weather, a shortage of resources, and diverse challenges. One of the most prominent natural disasters they faced occurred in 1893 when a blizzard struck the area. The snowstorm devastated their crops, leaving many people without food and shelter.

4. The U.S. Army established Fort Robinson on the county

Fort Robinson was built in May 1874, near what is now known as Crawford, Nebraska. The fort played a significant role in protecting Union Pacific Railroad workers and supplies from Indian raids. It also served as a training center for troops that fought in World War II.

5. Dinosaurs roamed Jackson County

The county is home to many dinosaur fossils. During the Cretaceous period, the area was covered by a shallow sea, and evidence of marine reptiles, pterosaurs, theropods, and herbivorous dinosaurs have been discovered in the area.

6. The county is home to several ghost towns

Several towns have been established in Jackson County whose history has since faded away. These towns include Otis, now a ghost town, and his adjacent town of Alden. These towns were established in the 1800s and saw their peak in the early 1900s.

7. The 1972 flood had a massive impact on Jackson County

In June of 1972, Jackson County experienced a severe flood that caused extensive damage to the area's infrastructure. The flood not only affected Jackson County, but it also affected many other areas in South Dakota. About 200 people were evacuated from their homes, and over 2,000 farmers lost their property, leading to the loss of livestock, crops, and equipment.

In conclusion, Jackson County is steeped in history. From indigenous tribes to early settlers, European explorers, and even dinosaur fossils, the county has many stories to tell. Understanding the vibrant past of Jackson County helps us appreciate and preserve the fascinating history of the American West.

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