1860 Census of the Dakota Territory


The 1860 enumeration of "Unorganized Dakota" included settlers in Pembina and old Fort Abercrombie in present-day North Dakota, and the communities of Medary, Sioux Falls, Vermillion, and the Yankton Agency, in present-day South Dakota.


Several military forts (trading posts) were also enumerated along the Missouri River's west bank and northern reaches, even though they were technically in the Nebraska Territory, not in "Unorganized Dakota." These forts included Fort William, Fort Berthold, and Fort Clark, in present-day North Dakota, and Dirtville, Fort Pierre, Old Fort George, Fort Lookout, and Old Cedar Fort, in present-day South Dakota. Fort Alexander and Fort Union in present-day Montana were also enumerated with "Unorganized Dakota," even though these two trading posts were part of the Nebraska Territory in 1860. Just to make matters more confusing, the U. S. Army's Fort Randall, in present-day South Dakota, was enumerated with the Nebraska Territory.

Two sites in the 1860 census of "Unorganized Dakota" have not been located: Orphan's Village (two inhabitants) presumably in the Red River Valley of North Dakota, and the Old Trading House (twenty-three inhabitants) north of the Niobrara River in present-day South Dakota or Nebraska.

The enumeration of the entire 1860 Federal Census of "Unorganized Dakota" was completed between June 1 and November 1, 1860 by one single man, Oscar W. Streeter of Breckenridge, Minnesota, who traveled the vast territory on horseback to complete the enumeration of this first Dakota territorial census. A total of 4,837 persons were enumerated in "Unorganized Dakota" in 1860.
(Source: Time Passages, Genealogy of the Dakotas http://www.time-passages.com/1860-census.html)

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