Aurora County, South Dakota
from "Dakota", Compiled by O. H. Holt, 1885
Aurora county is situated on the western water-shed of the James river, between that stream and the Missouri river. It lies toward the southeastern part of the Territory, and is drained by streams which flow iuto the above-named rivers. The county comprises twenty townships, with an area of 720 square miles, or 460,803 acres.
The soil is a deep, black, slightly sandy loam, mixed with a light, sandy clay, retains moisture well, and gives a very rapid growth. The rainfall averages twenty-nine inches. Rains are frequent and not very heavy. The average is gradually increasing as the country is being settled, and is ample for all crops here raised. No drouth has ever visited this locality, and from the nature of the soil, with the dews usual, such a thing as serious drouth is quite improbable.
The climate is good, the days in summer very warm, and the nights cool, requiring a blanket for covering while sleeping. There is perfect freedom from malaria and disease, and physicians are about the only class who will find this country unprofitable. The winters are not cold, and the mercury does not often register as low as twenty degrees below, and, by reason of the dry and light air, neither men nor stock are seriously affected thereby.
There are several considerable bodies of water in the county, the principal of which are White Lake, in the northwestern part, covering nearly 3,000 acres, and Platte Lake, near the west line. A half dozen smaller lakes are scattered over the central portions of the county.
The Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul Railway passes through the centre of the county, east and west.
Aurora county contains six churches, thirty-six schools, and five newspapers.
Plankingion is the largest towo. It boasts a population of 2,200, and was incorporated in 1882. The town is situated on the line of the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul Railway; has a court house and jail, erected at a cost of $18,000; a flouring mill, with a capacity of 100 barrels per day; a fine school house, costing $5,000. and a large number of mercantile houses, representing all the various lines of business.
White Lake Is a thrifty village, west of Plankington, having a population of 600, a fine school house, roller mill, and several churches.