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What Happened To Emmet, South Dakota?


So there you are, motoring down I-29 from Sioux Falls headed to Sioux City (slow down around there!) or maybe Omaha (yep, I have kids and grand kids there) or maybe Kansas City or even further south.

You pull out onto the interstate and see the town signs as you breeze along. Lennox. Canton. Beresford. Exit here if you want Vermillion or maybe Yankton. On past signs for Jefferson, Elk Point, Emmet.

Wait. What? Emmet?

No, there’s no exit sign for Emmet, South Dakota. There was a day, though. But you wouldn’t have been motoring. You’d have been in a buggy maybe and instead of honking a horn you’d have been saying ‘Giddy Up!’.

Located in Union County in the southeastern part of South Dakota, Emmet wasn’t perhaps a bustling community, but beginning in about 1871 it did boast a general store, the Emmet Hall and a catholic church. In fact, as late as the 1930’s and 1940’s, dances were held at the hall. And Lawrence Welk even played there!

But alas, the railroad decided to go through other, larger towns and when that happens, well, the businesses and people go where the railroad tracks are.

And so Emmet met the fate of dozens of towns across South Dakota. It died.

Oh, and speaking of dying, Emmet also had a cemetery, which is still there and still commonly called the Emmet Cemetery. And that hall? Yep, still around, a few miles from the cemetery.

Wikipedia Contributed To This Article

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