from "Dakota", Compiled by O. H. Holt, 1885
This county is situated in the southeastern part of the Territory, in the second tier of counties west of the Minnesota State line. Most of the surface is drained by the east and west forks of the Vermillion river with their affluents.
The surface is comparatively level, with slight undulations; the soil, a black loam, from two to three feet in depth.
All the grains and vegetables common to the latitude yield plentifully.
The railroad facilities are abundant, the Dakota Central traversing the county north-westerly through the centre, the Chicago, St. Paul, Minneapolis & Omaha crossing the eastern part, and the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul Railway passing across the southwestern portion.
Salem, the county seat, is near the geographical centre of the county, at the junction of the Dakota Central and the Chicago, St. Paul, Minneapolis & Omaha Railways. It has a substantial court house and jail, a good school, two banks, three lumber yards, three hotels, a newspaper, and numerous business establishments.
Bridgewater, Canastoba aud Cameron are thriving towns.
HISTORY OF Southeastern Dakota, Its Settlement and Growth,
Sioux City Iowa: Western Publishing Company, 1881
This county is justly participating in the general prosperity of Dakota. McCook County was organized May 16, 1878. Its first Commissioners were: David Manary, William H. Weels and Isaac Manary.
Cameron was the first County Seat of McCook County up to the autumn of 1880, when Salem, Bridgewater and Montrose entered into competition at the election for the "post of honor." Afterwards, the County Commissioners moved the office of Register of Deeds and their place of meeting to Bridgewater, where they continued to meet. The Clerk of the Court moved his office to Salem. Cameron is still, according to law, the County Seat, but there is little, left there now, save the school house. Cameron at one time had from thirty to forty buildings, with one hundred and fifty people, and was a promising town; but when the railroad left it on either side, its prospects suddenly vanished. The county now has about two thousand inhabitants, and is one of the best in Southeastern Dakota. Montrose, Salem and Bridgewater are all lively towns. The first two are on the C, St. P., M. & O. Railroad, the latter on the line of the C. M. & St. P. Railroad.