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What's a Medary?

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The settlement of Medary was one of the first white settlements in what is now South Dakota. In 1869, a permanent settlement was founded on the Big Sioux River, and named after the third and last Territorial governor of Minnesota, Samuel Medary, whose son, Samuel Medary, Jr. accompanied the party as engineer and surveyor.

When the railroad came through in 1879, Medary was bypassed to the north by about 4 miles south. The town didn't immediately pick up and move to the railhead at Brookings, but over the years dwindled away.

Today, the southern edge of Brookings is now within a mile or two of the old Medary town site. Medary Avenue in Brookings runs north and south, and bisects the South Dakota State University campus. Medary Commons is on the SDSU campus, and Medary Elementary School is just off Medary Avenue.

Brookings County History
Brookings Tourist Information
The Town of Medary
Pre-Territorial History of Dakota Territory