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

Butte County, South Dakota

Butte County Education, Geography, and History

Butte County, South Dakota Courthouse

Butte County is a county located in the state of South Dakota. Based on the 2010 census, the population was 10,110. Its county seat is Belle Fourche. The county was established in the Dakota Territory on March 2, 1883, and given the descriptive name based on the French word for a hill.

Etymology - Origin of Butte County Name

Butte is named for the local geographical features known as buttes.


County QuickFacts: CensusBureau Quick Facts

Butte County History

Butte County was established in 1883. The county was formed as an outgrowth of a fight over the location of the capital of the Dakota Territory. In January 1883 a session of the Territorial Council was held to determine if Yankton would remain the capital of the Dakota Territory. The session created 59 new counties and a bill passed to divide Lawrence County into two counties, Lawrence and Butte. Governor Ordway designated Minnesela as the county seat. By 1894 Minnesela was a defunct community. Belle Fourche had built a 2-story building and offered it to Butte County if they would move the county seat to Belle Fourche. Following a brief fight, Belle Fourche won by a landslide.

Geography: Land and Water

As reported by the Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 2,266 square miles (5,870 km2), of which, 2,249 square miles (5,824 km2) of it is land and 18 square miles (46 km2) of it (0.79%) is water.

Neighboring Counties

Bordering counties are as follows:

  • Harding County, South Dakota - north
  • Perkins County, South Dakota - northeast
  • Meade County, South Dakota - southeast
  • Lawrence County, South Dakota - southwest
  • Crook County, Wyoming - west
  • Carter County, Montana - northwest


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