Aurora County, South Dakota, is a rural county located in the north-central part of the state near the Missouri River. It was established in 1873 and is named after Aurora, the Roman goddess of dawn. With an area of 1,115 square miles and a population of 2,085 as of 2019, it is one of the least populous counties in South Dakota. See list of counties in South Dakota.
The county seat is Plankinton and other towns include White Lake, Stickney, and Wessington Springs. The terrain of Aurora County consists mainly of rolling hills interspersed with small lakes and ponds. The county also features several small streams that flow into the Missouri River. The climate is semi-arid, with hot summers and cold winters. The average annual temperature ranges from 32°F to 78°F.
The economy of Aurora County is mainly based on agriculture and related industries such as livestock production and crop farming. Other important economic activities include oil extraction, manufacturing (including plastics), tourism (especially hunting), transportation services (including trucking), retail trade, healthcare services (particularly nursing homes), construction services (including road building), educational services (including public schools), financial services (such as banking) and government services (such as fire protection).
Aurora County has several attractions for visitors to enjoy including the Aurora County Historical Museum in Plankinton which exhibits artifacts from early settlers to present day residents; White Lake State Park which offers hiking trails through prairie grasslands; several hunting reserves; White Lake National Wildlife Refuge which protects migratory birds; Wylie Park which has an outdoor swimming pool; Palisades State Park which offers camping sites along with scenic views from its cliffs; Stickney’s Golf Course located on an old homestead; Stickney’s Old Mill Museum which displays artifacts from early settlers; White Lake Speedway for auto racing enthusiasts; Wessington Springs Fish Hatchery where visitors can view various species of fish being raised for stocking local lakes; South Dakota Art Museum located in Plankinton featuring works by local artists; plus many more activities such as fishing, boating, bird watching, horseback riding and more!
Aurora County also offers a variety of cultural events throughout the year including art shows hosted by local galleries, festivals held at various locations around the county during summer months celebrating everything from music to agriculture to history. There are also numerous churches with active congregations offering worship services throughout Aurora County if you’re looking for spiritual nourishment while visiting this rural area.
Overall, Aurora County provides visitors with plenty to do whether they’re looking for outdoor activities or cultural experiences or just some peace and quiet away from the hustle bustle life that we all know so well.
History of Aurora County, South Dakota
The history of Aurora County, South Dakota is a fascinating story of settlement, development and growth. Located in the south central part of the state, Aurora County was established in 1873 and was named after the Roman goddess of dawn and light. The county covers an area of 741 square miles and is home to a population of nearly 4,000 people.
The earliest settlers to the area were Native Americans who had lived in the region for centuries. In 1803, the US government signed a treaty with the Sioux which ceded much of this area to them. However, by 1858, most Native Americans had been forced out due to increasing white settlement.
In 1873, Aurora County was officially organized as one of South Dakota’s original counties. At that time it was mostly an agricultural county with homesteaders growing wheat, oats and other grains on their farms. By 1880 there were over 3,000 residents living in Aurora County and by 1890 it had grown to over 5,500 people.
In the early 20th century, Aurora County experienced significant growth as more settlers moved into the area seeking opportunity and a better life. This growth continued throughout World War I when many young men from Aurora enlisted in the armed forces to serve their country abroad.
During this time period, many businesses opened up in Aurora County such as grocery stores, restaurants, banks and other services that supported its growing population. In addition to businesses opening up during this period, there were also several churches established in the county including Baptist churches as well as Catholic parishes which remain active today.
Today, Aurora County is still primarily an agricultural county with wheat, corn and soybeans being the main crops grown by local farmers. However, there has been some diversification in the local economy with businesses providing services such as medical care, retail stores and restaurants.
The population of Aurora County has remained relatively stable over the years with just over 5,000 people living in the county as of 2019. Despite its small population size, Aurora County is a great place to live with its friendly people, small-town atmosphere and beautiful scenery that includes rolling hills and open fields.