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

Brown County, South Dakota

Brown County Education, Geography, and History

Brown County, South Dakota Courthouse

Brown County is a county located in the state of South Dakota. Based on the 2010 census, the population was 36,531, making it the fourth-most populous county in South Dakota. Its county seat is Aberdeen. The county is named after Alfred Brown, of Hutchinson County, South Dakota, a Dakota Territory legislator in 1879.

Brown County is part of the Aberdeen, SD Micropolitan Statistical Area.

Etymology - Origin of Brown County Name

Brown is named for territorial legislator Alfred Brown.


County QuickFacts: CensusBureau Quick Facts

Brown County History

Brown County was created in 1879, organized in 1881, and named for Alfred Brown who was a member of the legislature of 1879. Governor Ordway appointed three Commissioners in July 1880 and Columbia was named as the temporary county seat. Columbia was the first town to be organized and the first election in Brown County was held in Columbia in 1880. The Milwaukee railroad reached Aberdeen in late 1880 and the Northwestern Railroad in 1882. To remove the county seat required a two-thirds vote until in 1887 when it was changed to a majority vote. In that same year Aberdeen obtained a majority vote over Columbia; however, in 1889 the county seat was ordered back to Columbia. It was again submitted to the general election in 1890 and the vote was in favor of Aberdeen. The Brown County Courthouse, Aberdeen, was dedicated on March 24, 1904.

Geography: Land and Water

As reported by the Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 1,731 square miles (4,484 km2), of which, 1,713 square miles (4,437 km2) of it is land and 18 square miles (47 km2) of it (1.05%) is water.

Neighboring Counties

Bordering counties are as follows:

  • Dickey County, North Dakota - north
  • Sargent County, North Dakota - northeast
  • Marshall County, South Dakota - east
  • Day County, South Dakota - southeast
  • Spink County, South Dakota - south
  • Faulk County, South Dakota - southwest
  • Edmunds County, South Dakota - southwest
  • McPherson County, South Dakota - northwest


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