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Definition: Pierre from Philip's Encyclopedia

Capital of South Dakota, USA, on the Missouri River opposite Fort Pierre. Originally the capital of the Aricara Native Americans, it was a trading settlement in the early 19th century before becoming a railway terminus in 1880. It became the state capital in 1904. Government services and agriculture (grain, cattle) dominate the economy. Pop. (2000) 13,876.


Summary Article: Pierre from The Hutchinson Unabridged Encyclopedia with Atlas and Weather Guide

State capital of South Dakota, USA, in Hughes County, on the east bank of the Missouri River; population (2000 est) 13,900. It is situated at the geographic centre of both the state and the North American continent. Industries include tourism and the processing of grain and dairy produce.

Pierre was sited on the former fortified capital of the Arikara American Indians. Fort Pierre, which is situated on the opposite shore of the river, served as a fur-trading post from 1817. The arrival of the railroad promoted rapid growth after 1880. Pierre became a supply point for gold miners in the late 1800s, and was declared state capital in 1889.

When Bismarck became capital of the Territory of Dakota in 1883, a campaign began to establish South Dakota as a separate state. This was achieved in 1889, and Pierre was named temporary capital. Its status was confirmed the following year. The capitol was built 1908–10.

The South Dakota Historical Society Museum, modelled on the dwellings of the Plains Indians, contains historical, military, and cultural displays. There are 33 entries on the national register of historic places, including the capitol and a fort.

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