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History and Location of Humboldt

History of an Eastern South Dakota Town


Humboldt, South Dakota’s history begins with a background about the land on which it is located.  This land is 20 miles west of Sioux Falls and in Minnehaha County.


It began with a survey of the township by Wm. J. Neely in August of 1859 at which time the boundary lines were drawn.  Subdivisions were made in June 1867 when H.T Austin drew the lines.  In 1880, the township residents named the town in honor of German naturalist-botanist-scientist, the Baron Alexander Von Humboldt.  In 1879 the Chicago, St. Paul, Minneapolis and Omaha railroad was built with a stopping place in Humboldt.  The first township board meeting was held July 16, 1881.  The first school was established on Section 11 with Adelbert Oaks as the teacher.  The first post Office was in the F.B. Lockwood home and store in April 1890.


The plot of land which is now The City of Humboldt was surveyed and staked out into blocks in July 1891.  Humboldt boasts of being the highest point, 1704.107’, elevation between the Missouri and the Mississippi Rivers.  The brass markers are on the old Farmers Bank, the former Western Bank and Humboldt Elementary School.