Where South Dakota Begins!
History notes that the Lewis and Clark Expedition made camp in or near Elk Point on August 22, 1804. Elk Point was first settled in 1859 along the Military Road running from Sioux City to Fort Randall in the Dakota Frontier, making this community one of the oldest in South Dakota.
The recorded history of Elk Point dates back to the Lewis & Clark Expedition of 1804. Captain William Clark recorded in his journal a “Great deel of Elk Sign” at this campsite along the Missouri River. In spite of that significant journal entry, no one today can pinpoint the origin of the name Elk Point. Depending on the historian, Elk Point was named by the Native Americans who hunted in this area, or it was named by the French fur trappers who preceded Lewis & Clark’s Corps of Discovery, or it was named by Captain Clark himself, or by Eli Wixson, who had come from Sioux City, IA, to build the first cabin in 1859 and become Elk Point’s first citizen. Whatever the origin, this community was officially incorporated as Elk Point on January 10, 1873.
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