South Dakota: Norwegian American settlements

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Utvandrermuseum Hellestvedt house no - dakota.jpg

The first Norwegians arrived in the Dakota's as early as 1859, shortly after the treaty with the Yankton Sioux was signed 10 Jul 1859.  It took another ten years before the greater influx of Norwegians took place.  According to the 1860 census there were 129 Norwegians in South Dakota.  That changed fast; in 1880 one-tenth of the population was Norwegian, and in 1889 one-third of the population were Norwegians.  The towns of Roslyn and Pierpoint were originally almost 100 percent Norwegian. Augustana College, The Center for Western Studies.  The Center is historically a Norwegian American center, and houses collections relating to the Norwegian American presence in South Dakota.

Norwegian American periodical and serials also found at the Center for Western Studies:

Norwegian-American Studies (1926-1979)

Nord-Norge (1917-1952)

Sons of Norway (1922-1967)

Sons of Norway Viking (1968-1984)

South Dakota Norwegian American Newspaper (In the Norwegian language)

Vesterheim (1888-1889) Sioux Falls

Syd Dakota Ekko (1889-1893) Brookings

Almueven (1890) Pierre

Fremad (1894-1940's) Sioux Falls; Fremad would often include stories from Scandinavian newspapers, selections of Norwegian litterature, and local advertisements. 

Visergutten (1926-1944) Canton 

Posten  (1902-1912) Sisseton

Posten (1908-1916) Sioux Falls

South Dakota Genealogical Societies:

  • MITCHELL AREA GENEALOGICAL SOCIETY, (MAGS) c/o Carnegie Resource Center, 119 West 3rd Ave, P.O.Box 184, Mitchell, SD 57301. (605) 933-0823 E-mail: .
    The society possess a card file of all known burials (1880-1980) in Davison County, South Dakota, some of whom were Norwegian immigrants.
    The society reported that Our Redeemer Lutheran Church, Irene, South Dakota, has the records of several Norwegian communities, including James River, organized 1875;Bang, 1887; and Bethlehem, 1889.  These records are in Norwegian and untranslated.

Aberdeen Area 

Genealogical Society
P.O. Box 493
Aberdeen 57402-0493

Bennett County Genealogical Society
P.O. Box 483
Allen 57714

Brookings Area Genealogical Society
513 3rd St.
Brookings 57006

Chamberlain Area Historical Preservation Association
115 West Lawler
Chamberlain 57325 

Czech Heritage Preservation Society
P.O. Box 3
Tabor 57063

East River Genealogical Forum
RR 2, Box 148
Wolsey 57384

Family Tree Society
P.O. Box 202
Winner 57580

Heritage Club-platte
Rt 2, Box 128
Platte 57369

Hyde County Historical & Genealogical Society
P.O. Box 392
Highmore 57345

Lake County Genealogical Society
Dakota State College
Madison 57042

Little Cornwall On The Prarie
2805 South Fourth Avenue
Sioux Falls 57105

Lyman - Brule Genealogical Society
110 E. Lawler C/O Cozard Memoria
Chamberlain 57325

Mitchell Area Genealogical Society
119 West 3rd Ave,
Mitchell,SD 57301

Moody County Genealogical Society
501 W. First Ave
Flandreau 57028-1003

Murdo Genealogical Society
P.O. Box 441
Murdo 57559

Nordland Heritage Foundation
Augustana College
Sioux Falls 57l97

North Central South Dakota Genealogical Society
178 Southshore Dr
Mina 57462-3000

Pierre-ft. Pierre Genealogical Society
P.O. Box 925
Pierre 57501

Rapid City Society For Genealogical Research
P.O. Box 1495
Rapid City 57709

Sioux Valley Genealogical Society
200 West 6th St
Sioux Falls 57104-6001

South Dakota Genealogical Society
P.O. Box 1101
Pierre 57501-1101

South Dakota State Historical Society
900 Governors Drive
Pierre 57501-2217

Union County Historical Society
P.O. Box 552
Elk Point 57025

Watertown Genealogical Society
611 B Ave Ne
Watertown 57201

Yankton Genealogical Society
1803 Douglas Ave
Yankton 57078