Upper Sioux Agency

Coordinates: 44°44′5″N 95°27′24.23″W / 44.73472°N 95.4567306°W / 44.73472; -95.4567306
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Upper Sioux Agency
Upper Sioux Agency is located in Minnesota
Upper Sioux Agency
Upper Sioux Agency is located in the United States
Upper Sioux Agency
Location5908 Highway 67, Sioux Agency Township, Minnesota, U.S.
Nearest cityGranite Falls, Minnesota
Coordinates44°44′5″N 95°27′24.23″W / 44.73472°N 95.4567306°W / 44.73472; -95.4567306
Area1,300 acres (530 ha)
NRHP reference No.70000315[1]
Added to NRHPOctober 15, 1970

Upper Sioux Agency (or Yellow Medicine Agency), was a federal administrative center established in response to treaties with the Dakota people in what became Yellow Medicine County, Minnesota, United States.[2] Located on the Minnesota River south of Granite Falls, Minnesota, the government-run campus of employee housing, warehouses and a manual labor school was destroyed in the Dakota War of 1862.[3] The grave of Chief Walking Iron Mazomani, a leader of the Wahpetonwan (Dwellers in the Leaves) Dakota tribes, who was killed during the 1862 Dakota War's Battle of Wood Lake, is here.[2] The site was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1970 for having state-level significance under the themes of archaeology, architecture, education, and social history.[4]

Established as a Minnesota state park in the 60s, the park was closed in February 2024 as authorized by the state legislature.[5] Considered sacred for being a place where their ancestors died of starvation, the site is being transferred to tribal members of the Upper Sioux Community.[6][3] State Route 67, which traverses through the park, was closed after unstable ground beneath the road made the highway impassable. The highway would have required expensive repairs along with the bridge over the Yellow Medicine River that has been compressed by the movement so much that it needs to be removed or replaced.[7] State funds will be used to buy land for replacement recreational opportunities and pay for road and bridge demolition.[8]


  1. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. January 23, 2007.
  2. ^ a b Stanley, Greg (July 1, 2023). "State vows to replace amenities of state park after it's closed and returned to tribe". Star Tribune. Retrieved July 3, 2023.
  3. ^ a b Stanley, Greg (May 11, 2023). "Minnesota poised to close state park, return land to Dakota tribe". Star Tribune. Retrieved May 12, 2023.
  4. ^ "Upper Sioux Agency". Minnesota National Register Properties Database. Minnesota Historical Society. 2009. Retrieved June 15, 2015.[permanent dead link]
  5. ^ Lauritsen, John (February 15, 2024). "After decades-long fight, state park land will be returned to Upper Sioux Community". CBS Minnesota. Retrieved February 17, 2024.
  6. ^ Janke, Ryan (January 11, 2023). "State park closing as Minnesota set to give land back to tribal community". KFGO. Retrieved January 13, 2024.
  7. ^ Krueger, Andrew (February 8, 2021). "Western Minnesota highway that's sliding down hillside may be removed, rerouted". MPR News. Retrieved June 27, 2023.
  8. ^ "Tribe getting piece of Minnesota back more than a century after ancestors died there". KNSI. Associated Press. September 5, 2023. Retrieved September 6, 2023.

External links[edit]

Media related to Upper Sioux Agency State Park at Wikimedia Commons