Yankton: Capital of Dakota Territory
Yankton became the capital of Dakota Territory in 1861, when the town was only two years old. The designation brought new settlers and businesses and the river town quickly expanded. The original capitol building was two stories, with territory offices on the bottom floor and territorial legislators on the second. In 1883, Yankton lost the territorial capital to Bismarck. And six years later when South Dakota became a state, Yankton tried to become the state’s capital, but lost to Pierre. Crystal Nelson, director and curator of the Dakota Territorial Museum in Yankton, joined Dakota Midday to share more about the town's history as the center of Dakota Territory.