South Dakota Counties
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South Dakota Counties

There are sixty-six counties in the state of South Dakota. Todd County and Oglala Lakota County are the only counties in South Dakota which do not have their own county seats

Brookings County, South Dakota

Brookings County Education, Geography, and History

Brookings County, South Dakota Courthouse

Brookings County is a county located in the state of South Dakota. Based on the 2010 census, the population was 31,965, making it the fifth-most populous county in South Dakota. Its county seat is Brookings. The county was created in 1862 and organized in 1871.

Brookings County comprises the Brookings, SD Micropolitan Statistical Area.

Etymology - Origin of Brookings County Name

Brookings is named after Wilmot Wood Brookings, a politician and pioneer of southeastern South Dakota.


County QuickFacts: CensusBureau Quick Facts

Brookings County History

The history of Brookings County begins with the act, which authorized its first boundaries on April 5, 1862. Its area at that time included parts of Moody, Lake and Kingsbury Counties but was reduced to its present dimensions in 1873. On January 13, 1871 the first Commissioners were appointed to organize the county and Governor Burbank named Medary as the county seat. The town of Brookings was laid out in early October, 1879. There was a rush to the new town and Medary was moved almost bodily to Brookings. The question of the county seat came up at the November election and Brookings won over two other contestants. Bitter feelings and accusations of fraud followed, but Brookings became the legal county seat and the records were moved to the new town during the closing days of 1879. The establishment of the Agricultural College and experiment station at Brookings was by an act of the Territorial Legislature on February 21, 1881.

Geography: Land and Water

As reported by the Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 805 square miles (2,084 km2), of which, 794 square miles (2,058 km2) of it is land and 10 square miles (27 km2) of it (1.28%) is water

Neighboring Counties

Bordering counties are as follows:

  • Deuel County, South Dakota - north
  • Lincoln County, Minnesota - east
  • Moody County, South Dakota - south
  • Lake County, South Dakota - southwest
  • Kingsbury County, South Dakota - west
  • Hamlin County, South Dakota - northwest


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