The town of Plankinton [†] was named the temporary county seat on August 29, 1881, and it won the permanent seat in a November, 1882 election.
The westward expansion of the railroad and the white settlement of South Dakota are synonymous. The railroad expansion created towns and then delivered the settlers to occupy them. After this initial wave of settlement that lasted from about 1870 to 1900, the role of the railroad changed. The railroad operated as the main source for passenger travel but was also the vital transportation link that supported South Dakota's agricultural economy. The railroad continues to serve agricultural production in the state, but its overall importance has been reduced with the emergence of the automobile.
† Chris Nelson, South Dakota State Historic Preservation Office, Sweep Hotel, nomination document, 2004, National Register of Historic Places, accessed August, 2022.