The city of Plankinton, population @ 700, is a lovely little community in South Dakota. The Milwaukee Road selected the location as a railroad stop in 1881 and named it for one of their directors, John Plankinton, of Milwaukee.
It’s easy to find – just 25 miles west of Mitchell. You might have heard of the Corn Palace? They stole the idea from Plankinton in 1892. The good citizen’s of Plankinton created the first grain palace in South Dakota and held festivals in 1891 and 1892, but then conceded to the competition.
Today it is a thriving city, albeit small, with good jobs, successful businesses, a great school, and wonderful people. My family has lived there since 1914, and my father still lives in the home my great-grandparents purchased that year.
Since January 2013, I have been writing a monthly history column in the local weekly newspaper, the South Dakota Mail, entitled “It Happened Right Here.”
A Jewel of a Location: My Hometown: Plankinton, South Dakota .