Mobridge history

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  • Thanks for research that helps explain why town's population booms between 1910 and 1920 census when my Grandfather must have moved to town as a medical doctor.
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  • Mobridge was originally home to the Arikara and Sioux Indians.  With the discovery of Gold in the Black Hills a large number of people began to move and settle in the area.
  • Sitting Bull a famous Lakota Sioux Indian Chief is buried along the banks of the Missouri River. Sitting Bull was buried in 1890 in nearby North Dakota, his remains were relocated to a site directly across Lake Oahe from Mobridge in 1953.
  • On October 8, 1804 Lewis and Clarke passed the area of Mobridge, South Dakota along their famous exploration of the Louisiana Purchase. The party’s journal entries from that day describe an abandoned Native American settlement, circular in design and walled in. They also describe an Indian swimming across the river to trade with them. 
  • Railroad companys raced to lay track throughout the west.   Many Bridges were being built across the Missouri in the early 1900’s. Mobridge, South Dakota was formed due to the construction of one such bridge. Mobridge received its name through  an abbreviated telegraph communication by the bridge construction workers. Construction on the Milwuakee Road line begins in 1872 and reaches what becomes the town of Mobridge in 1906.
  • the Milwaukee Road would eventually carry freight and passengers to Seattle, Washington.  The railroad had a history of struggles, until it went bankrupt and merged out of business in the 1980s. The former Mobridge train depot was cut in two. The passenger section is on the east side of town, just north of US 12. It was a coffee shop, now closed. The freight section sits about a mile north of Selby, SD, in a pasture just east of US 12
  • Construction on the Oahe Dam near Fort Pierre began in 1948. It was dedicated by John F. Kennedy in 1962.  Created the 231 mile long Lake Oahe. Many Native Americans in that area were displaced from their lower Missouri River valley homes. It was built to supply the growing country with hydro-electricity. Unintended and unforseen consequence was that this area has become a recreational hub.


  • 1. A Brief History of  Mobridge, South Dakota URBPL4280 Chelsea, Megan, John, Brandon
  • 2. Native Americans
    • Arikara Lodge
    • Site of Mobridge once inhabited by Mound Dwellers
    • Farming Indians  
    •   Molstad Village
    • National Historic Landmark
    • US Register of Historic Places
  • 3. Sitting Bull Native Americans
  • 4. Native Americans
    •   Sacagawea Memorial
  • 5. Lewis & Clarke Explore the Louisiana Purchase On October 8, 1804 Lewis and Clarke passed the area of Mobridge, South Dakota along their famous exploration of the Louisiana Purchase.  
  • 6. Mobridge, South Dakota exists today because this is the place that The Milwuakee Railroad Company selected to cross the Missouri River. The Milwaukee Road
  • 7. Historical Photo
  • 8. The Milwaukee Road
  • 9. The Milwaukee Road Old Milwuakee Road jingle
  • 10. Historical Photo Highway State Bridge At Mobridge, South Dakota. December 10, 1927
  • 11. Bridges Today Milwaukee Road Bridge US-12 Bridge
  • 12. Oahe Dam Construction began in 1948 and was completed in 1962.
  • 13. Historic Buildings
    • Brown Palace Hotel,1918
    • 301 Main St
    • Architect:Clarence Herges
    • Mobridge Masonic Temple,1923
    • 6th & Main St
    • Architectural Style: Exotic Revival
    • Mobridge Auditorium,1936
    • 212 Main St
    • Architectural Style: Art Deco
    • Unique Interior Decor by: Art Oscar How e
    Brown Palace Hotel Oscar Howe Murals
  • 14. Population 1900-1990
  • 15. Population 1990-2009