According to countryaah, Aurora County is located in the southeastern corner of South Dakota. It is bordered by Brule County to the north, Jerauld County to the east, Davison County to the south, and Sanborn and Miner Counties to the west. The county seat is Plankinton and it is home to a population of approximately 1,800 people.
The landscape of Aurora County consists of rolling hills and open prairie land. The terrain gradually rises from east to west and there are several creeks that flow through the county. There are also several small lakes scattered throughout the area including Lake Poinsett which is located just south of Plankinton.
The climate in Aurora County is typical for South Dakota with hot summers and cold winters. Average temperatures range from highs in the 80s during July to lows below zero during January. Precipitation averages around 20 inches per year with snowfall usually occurring from November through March.
Aurora County has a rich history and was first settled by European immigrants in 1879 when they began homesteading along what would later become known as “The Great Sioux Trail” which ran through this part of South Dakota. Today, agriculture remains one of the primary industries in Aurora County with corn, soybeans, wheat, alfalfa, oats, and hay being some of the most commonly grown crops.
Aurora County offers visitors plenty of outdoor activities such as hunting, fishing, camping, hiking and bird watching. There are several state parks located within its borders including Lake Poinsett State Park which offers excellent swimming opportunities during summer months as well as plenty of trails for biking or horseback riding throughout other seasons!
Demographics of Aurora County, South Dakota
Aurora County is located in the southeastern corner of South Dakota and has a population of approximately 1,800 people. According to the 2019 U.S. Census Bureau estimates, the county is composed of 93.2% White, 3.2% American Indian or Alaska Native, 0.6% Black or African American, 0.3% Asian, and 2.6% of two or more races.
The median age in Aurora County is 45 years old with 28.3% of the population under 18 years old and 14.7% over 65 years old. The median household income for Aurora County is $50,876 with 24.2% of households living below poverty level compared to 14% statewide in South Dakota as a whole.
Education levels are relatively high in Aurora County with 44% of adults aged 25 and older having completed high school while 11% have obtained a bachelor’s degree or higher compared to 34% and 22%, respectively statewide in South Dakota as a whole according to 2017 U.S Census Bureau estimates.
The primary industry in Aurora County is agriculture with corn, soybeans, wheat, alfalfa, oats, and hay being some of the most commonly grown crops throughout the region’s rolling hills and open prairie land terrain that gradually rises from east to west throughout the area. Other local industries include manufacturing, retail trade services such as healthcare providers and restaurants, construction, finance, insurance, real estate, transportation, utilities, educational services, social services, professional services such as legal and accounting firms, among other businesses that serve both locals and visitors alike.
Places of Interest in Aurora County, South Dakota
Aurora County, South Dakota is a great place to explore nature and outdoor activities. The county is home to several state parks, including Lake Poinsett State Park which offers swimming, boating, camping, fishing, and bird watching opportunities. There are also plenty of trails for biking or horseback riding throughout other seasons.
The Aurora County Museum is another great place to visit in the area. Located in Plankinton, the museum features exhibits and displays that show the history of Aurora County from its early pioneers and settlers to its current residents. The museum also has a collection of artifacts from Native American tribes who once lived in the area.
The town of White Lake is home to one of the oldest churches in South Dakota – St. Henry’s Catholic Church which was built in 1883 and is still an active parish today! The church has been designated as a historical site by the state’s Historical Society and serves as a reminder of the area’s rich religious heritage.
Another popular spot in Aurora County is Bonesteel Recreation Area which offers camping, fishing, boating, swimming and hiking opportunities along with a playground and picnic areas for visitors to enjoy! The nearby Bonesteel Wildlife Refuge protects over 8,000 acres of habitat for local wildlife such as deer, pheasants, quail, ducks and turkeys along with some rare species like bald eagles.
For those looking for nightlife activities or dining options there are several restaurants located throughout Aurora County that offer an array of cuisines from American favorites to Mexican dishes. There are also several bars located throughout the county which offer live music on certain nights as well as pool tables and other games for visitors to enjoy!
Communities in Aurora County, South Dakota
Aurora County, South Dakota is home to many small towns and communities, each with its own unique character and charm. The county seat is Plankinton, a small town of just over 800 people that serves as the hub of the county. The town offers a variety of amenities including two grocery stores, several restaurants and cafes, a bank, post office, library, and much more.
The town of White Lake is located just south of Plankinton and also has a population around 800 people. White Lake is known for its historical sites such as St. Henry’s Catholic Church which was built in 1883 and still serves as an active parish today. The town also has several restaurants and shops to explore as well as a public beach on the lake for visitors to enjoy!
The small village of Stickney has about 300 residents who are proud to call it home. It’s located along the Missouri River which offers plenty of opportunities for recreational activities such as fishing or boating. Stickney also has several churches and other local amenities including a library, post office, bank, grocery store and more.
Other communities in Aurora County include Delmont which is known for its annual “Delmont Days” festival held each summer; Fairfax which is home to some of the oldest buildings in South Dakota; Wessington Springs which features an old-fashioned ice cream parlor; Sinai which was established in 1885; Kimball which celebrates its German heritage each year with its annual Octoberfest celebration; and Virgil which boasts some beautiful views from atop Virgil Hill!
No matter where you go in Aurora County you’ll find friendly locals who are proud to call this place home! From historical sites to outdoor activities there’s something here for everyone to enjoy!
Notable People of Aurora County, South Dakota
Aurora County, South Dakota has been home to many notable people throughout its history. One of the most famous residents is former U.S. Senator George McGovern who was born and raised in the county. McGovern served as a senator from 1963-1981 and ran for president in 1972 against President Richard Nixon. He was also the Democratic nominee for Vice President in 1976.
The town of Stickney is home to several notable figures such as actor and comedian Tom Arnold, who was born there in 1959, and singer/songwriter Phil Ochs who wrote songs about his hometown such as “I Ain’t Marching Anymore” and “Power and the Glory”.
Another well-known resident of Aurora County is Native American author Zitkala-Sa (Gertrude Simmons Bonnin) who was born on the Yankton Sioux Reservation in 1876. She wrote several books about her life and experiences growing up on the reservation including Old Indian Legends (1901) and American Indian Stories (1921).
Other famous people from Aurora County include former South Dakota Governor Mike Rounds; former NFL quarterback Jeff Tisdel; musician Sam Bush; country singer Toby Keith; Olympic gold medalist speed skater Brittany Bowe; professional golfer Bryson DeChambeau; actress Kelli Williams; NBA player Mike Miller; U.S. Senator John Thune; and author Stephen King whose novel “The Stand” was set in Aurora County!
Aurora County has a rich history filled with many notable people from all walks of life! From politicians to athletes to entertainers, this small county in South Dakota has produced some truly remarkable individuals over the years!
Bordering States of South Dakota
According to abbreviationfinder, South Dakota is bordered by six states: North Dakota to the north, Minnesota to the east, Iowa to the southeast, Nebraska to the south, Wyoming to the west, and Montana to the northwest. It is also bordered by two Canadian provinces: Saskatchewan to the north and Manitoba to the northeast. In total, South Dakota has a border that stretches for 1,711 miles (2,751 km).
The state of North Dakota borders South Dakota on its northern side. The border between these two states runs along a north-south orientation for approximately 441 miles (709 km). This border starts at the Missouri River in southeastern North Dakota and follows I-29 for most of its length before eventually reaching Big Stone Lake near Ortonville in Minnesota. Towns located along this border include Aberdeen and Sioux Falls in South Dakota; while Fargo and Bismarck are located on North Dakota’s side.
Minnesota is located on South Dakota’s eastern side and borders it for approximately 276 miles (444 km). This border starts at Big Stone Lake near Ortonville in Minnesota and follows I-90 for most of its length before eventually reaching Sioux Falls in South Dakota. Towns located along this border include Pipestone and Worthington in Minnesota; while Watertown and Sioux Falls are located on South Dakota’s side.
Iowa is situated on South Dakota’s southeastern side and borders it for approximately 186 miles (299 km). This border starts at Sioux Falls in South Dakota and follows I-29 for most of its length before eventually reaching Council Bluffs in Iowa. Towns located along this border include Sergeant Bluff, Akron, Canton, Yankton and Vermillion in South Dakota; while Sioux City, Onawa and Council Bluffs are located on Iowa’s side.
Nebraska is situated on South Dakota’s southern side bordering it for about 212 miles (341 km).
This border starts at Council Bluffs in Iowa and follows I-29 for most of its length before eventually reaching the Niobrara River near Springview in Nebraska. Towns located along this border include Vermillion, Yankton, and Sioux Falls in South Dakota; while Norfolk, O’Neill, and Chadron are located on Nebraska’s side.
Wyoming is situated on South Dakota’s western side and borders it for approximately 91 miles (146 km). This border starts at the Niobrara River near Springview in Nebraska and follows I-90 for most of its length before eventually reaching Spearfish in South Dakota. Towns located along this border include Newcastle and Sundance in Wyoming; while Spearfish is located on South Dakota’s side.
Finally, Montana is situated on South Dakota’s northwestern side and borders it for approximately 453 miles (728 km). This border starts at Spearfish in South Dakota and follows I-90 for most of its length before eventually reaching the Hi-Line near Opheim in Montana. Towns located along this border include Miles City, Glendive, Sidney, Wolf Point, Culbertson and Scobey in Montana; while Belle Fourche is located on South Dakota’s side.