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The Birth of Freeman
In 1873 the Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul, & Pacific Railroad brought Germans "from Russia" to Yankton, the capital of Dakota Territory, organized in 1861.  The eastern half of Hutchinson County was called Jayne County until it was abolished in 1871.  Armstrong County was then created by the Dakota Territorial Legislature in 1873, taking its territory from northern Hutchinson County.  In 1879 it was annexed back into Hutchinson CountySouth Dakota wouldn't  become a state until 1889.  Many settlers came here looking for a better way of life, freedom of religion, and escape from military service.  Arriving in Yankton they traveled north to Hutchinson County to claim land.   In 1874 a group of immigrants settled 8 miles west of Freeman on the James River, while others settled around the Freeman area.  The hard winter of 1874 left the settlers facing starvation... Click Here to read more )

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