Sully County, located in central South Dakota, has a rich history that not many people are aware of. Here are seven interesting facts about Sully County and its historical significance.
1. Named after a Civil War General
Sully County was named after General Alfred Sully, a Union Army officer during the American Civil War. Sully was also known for his campaigns against the Sioux Indian tribes in the Dakota Territory during the 1860s.
2. Pioneer Trails
Sully County was a major stop on the pioneer trails that crossed through the area during the mid-1800s. Some of the most notable trails included the Fort Pierre to Deadwood Trail, which ran through Sully County’s southern portion, and the Overland Trail, which ran through the northern part of the county.
3. Early Farming Communities
Sully County was a prime location for farming communities during the late 1800s and early 1900s. It attracted many settlers who were drawn by its fertile soil and open range. Many of the farms in the area were established in the late 1800s and early 1900s and remain operational today.
4. The Holtz Ranch Massacre
On January 14, 1904, five members of the Holtz family were killed in their home by a group of robbers, making it one of the most tragic and brutal events in Sully County history. The case remains unsolved to this day, with no one ever charged for the crime.
5. The Sully Buttes
Sully Buttes, located in the eastern part of the county, is a unique geological formation that rises over 1,000 feet above the surrounding plains. The rock formations are composed of ancient sedimentary rocks, and are known for their scenic beauty.
6. World-Famous Pheasant Hunting
Sully County is known worldwide for its pheasant hunting. Every fall, hunters from all over the world come to Sully County to hunt pheasants in its fields and grasslands.
7. Home of the Warbonnet Rodeo
Sully County is home to the annual Warbonnet Rodeo, which is one of the largest rodeos in the state. The rodeo has been running for over 70 years and is an important part of the community’s culture.
In conclusion, Sully County has a rich and diverse history that is often overlooked. From its pioneer trails and early farming communities, to tragic events and stunning geological formations, Sully County has something for everyone. Its annual Warbonnet Rodeo and world-renowned pheasant hunting are just two examples of the many ways in which this central South Dakota county has contributed to the state’s culture and heritage.
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