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Why are There Two Dakota’s?

Bison roam the Black Hills of South Dakota
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As a fan of history, particularly American history and South Dakota history, I wondered why are there two Dakota’s when there was only one Dakota territory? Maybe it was because, hey, if one Dakota is good, then two would be great!

Well, uh, no.

If we’d jump into the ol’ time machine and head on back to, say, 1861 we’d land smack dab into the middle of Dakota territory. Now, there wasn’t much dispute that this part of the great American frontier would become a state. Basically all that was needed was enough people and a state constitution. Then, with the swipe of a President’s pen, we would have the newest, the greatest state in the country…Dakota!

But wait.

There were a few, well, differences between those kind folks in the southern part of the territory and those nice folks up north. In addition to some trade routes and population discrepancies, well…according to some, they just flat out didn’t get along real well at the time. More bluntly, one history professor put it this way: ‘The south half didn’t like the north half’.


Now, as far as population, the south half always did have more people than the north half. Why? Perhaps weather? geography? Whatever it was, the most folks lived ‘down south’. And there was even a perceived personality difference. The southerners thought the northerners were a bit, well…disreputable.

Well, be that what it may, eventually the halves both had enough population to become a state, or rather two states. And no it was on November 2, 1889 that President Benjamin Harrison signed the papers to make it official

The United States of America added not one, but two Dakota’s.

Time Dot Com Contributed To This Article, click here to read the full story 

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