De Smet, South Dakota
|De Smet, South Dakota|
Downtown De Smet, South Dakota
Location in Kingsbury County and the state of South Dakota
|• Total||1.16 sq mi (3.00 km2)|
|• Land||1.16 sq mi (3.00 km2)|
|• Water||0 sq mi (0 km2)|
|Elevation||1,726 ft (526 m)|
|• Estimate (2012)||1,110|
|• Density||938.8/sq mi (362.5/km2)|
|Time zone||Central (CST) (UTC-6)|
|• Summer (DST)||CDT (UTC-5)|
|GNIS feature ID||1265178|
It was named for Belgian Father Pierre De Smet, a 19th-century Jesuit missionary who worked with Native Americans in the United States and its territories for most of his life. De Smet was settled as early as 1860's and was originally, "De Smet, Dakota", being part of the Dakota Territory until 1889 when South Dakota became a state. In the mid 1880s, failures of crops after three-year period of drought and prairie fires caused settlers to relocate their farms and homesteads. By 1917, it was a cow town, with many trains passing through every day.
De Smet is located at (44.385871, -97.551703).
The only transportation for De Smet is by road (U.S. 14, State Highway 25), or by air (Wilder Field, 2 1/2 miles north of De Smet). One of the two highways running through De Smet is U.S. 14, in an east-west direction. The other is north-south South Dakota State Highway 25.
As of the census of 2010, there were 1,089 people, 478 households, and 290 families residing in the city. The population density was 938.8 inhabitants per square mile (362.5/km2). There were 552 housing units at an average density of 475.9 per square mile (183.7/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 98.8% White, 0.1% African American, 0.6% Native American, 0.1% Asian, and 0.5% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.5% of the population.
There were 478 households of which 24.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 52.3% were married couples living together, 5.4% had a female householder with no husband present, 2.9% had a male householder with no wife present, and 39.3% were non-families. 35.6% of all households were made up of individuals and 22.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.17 and the average family size was 2.83.
The median age in the city was 49.6 years. 22% of residents were under the age of 18; 4.1% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 17.9% were from 25 to 44; 26% were from 45 to 64; and 29.9% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 47.2% male and 52.8% female.
As of the census of 2000, there were 1,164 people, 524 households, and 300 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,102.2 people per square mile (424.0/km²). There were 582 housing units at an average density of 551.1 per square mile (212.0/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 98.37% White, 0.95% Native American, 0.09% Asian, 0.09% from other races, and 0.52% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.69% of the population.
There were 524 households out of which 24.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 50.0% were married couples living together, 3.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 42.7% were non-families. 39.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 24.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.09 and the average family size was 2.80.
In the city the population was spread out with 20.8% under the age of 18, 6.0% from 18 to 24, 21.1% from 25 to 44, 20.8% from 45 to 64, and 31.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 47 years. For every 100 females there were 89.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 87.0 males.
As of 2000 the median income for a household in the city was $27,760, and the median income for a family was $41,989. Males had a median income of $24,722 versus $20,417 for females. The per capita income for the city was $15,372. About 7.3% of families and 11.1% of the population were below the poverty line, including 7.1% of those under age 18 and 18.3% of those age 65 or over.
De Smet was the childhood home of Laura Ingalls Wilder, the supercentenarian Walter Breuning, and the birthplace of author Rose Wilder Lane. Artist-illustrator, Harvey Dunn was born in 1884 approximately eight miles from De Smet near Manchester.
Since 1971, De Smet has hosted a pageant, held over several weekends in July, to honor Laura Ingalls Wilder. Five of her classic Little House books were based on her experiences in and around the community.
The story of how Charles Ingalls and his wife Caroline arrived in De Smet in 1879 by covered wagon from Walnut Grove, Minnesota, is told by a cast of thirty in an open-air theater near the old Ingalls homestead and the Surveyors' House. Nearby are Silver Lake and the Big Slough, locations mentioned in her books. Reminders of De Smet's pioneer past are evident throughout the town, including the First Congregational Church, where the Ingallses worshipped. Laura, husband Almanzo Wilder, and daughter Rose left De Smet in 1894 to live on a farm in the Ozarks near Mansfield, Missouri. There Laura Ingalls chronicled her De Smet memories in such works as The Long Winter, Little Town on the Prairie, and These Happy Golden Years. Many residents in De Smet have made a special effort to learn the Ingalls story in hopes of assisting inquiring tourists each summer.
- Federal Writers' Project (1940). South Dakota Place-Names, Part I: State, County, and Town Names. Vermillion, South Dakota: University of South Dakota. p. 34. OCLC 34885177.
- "SD Towns". South Dakota State Historical Society. Retrieved 2010-02-11.
- "US Gazetteer files 2010". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2012-06-21.
- "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2012-06-21.
- "Population Estimates". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2013-05-29.
- "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
- "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
- "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07.
- Gannett, Henry (1905). The Origin of Certain Place Names in the United States. Govt. Print. Off. p. 105.
- Samuel Clark, Sr., and his descendants. Second edition. By Rev. Edgar Warner Clark, A.M.. 1892. p. 99.
- Marian Cramer, Cows on Parade, South Dakota Magazine, May/June 1990
- "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23.
- Chuck Cecil, "Little Town on the Prairie," American Profile, June 2006.
- De Smet Chamber of Commerce
- Ingalls Homestead Website
- Laura Ingalls Wilder Memorial Society Website
- Laura Ingalls Wilder Pageant Website
- De Smet School District Website