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

Hughes County, South Dakota

Hughes County Education, Geography, and History

HughesCounty, South Dakota Courthouse

Hughes County is a county located in the state of South Dakota. Based on the 2010 census, the population was 17,022, making it the least populous capital county in the nation. Its county seat is Pierre, the state capital. The county was created in 1873 and organized in 1880. It was named for Alexander Hughes, a legislator.

Hughes County is part of the Pierre, SD Micropolitan Statistical Area.

Etymology - Origin of Hughes County Name

Hughes is named for territorial legislator Alexander Hughes.


County QuickFacts: CensusBureau Quick Facts

Hughes County History

Hughes County derived its name from the Honorable Alexander Hughes, one-time member of the territorial legislature. The county as organized by order of Governor Ordway and its official existence commenced on November 26, 1880 with a county commission meeting. Pierre, being the only town in the county, was designated as the county seat. The citizens of Pierre won for their city the permanent location of the state capital in a vote in 1890.

Geography: Land and Water

As reported by the Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 800 square miles (2,073 km2), of which, 741 square miles (1,919 km2) of it is land and 59 square miles (154 km2) of it (7.42%) is water.

Neighboring Counties

Bordering counties are as follows:

  • Sully County, South Dakota - north
  • Hyde County, South Dakota - east
  • Lyman County, South Dakota - south and southeast
  • Stanley County, South Dakota - south and west


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