kids encyclopedia robot

Faith, South Dakota facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts
Quick facts for kids
Faith, South Dakota
A sculpture of Sue stands on U.S. Route 212 in Faith, across from the Prairie Oasis Hotel,April 2010
A sculpture of Sue stands on U.S. Route 212 in Faith, across from the Prairie Oasis Hotel,
April 2010
"Welcome to the Prairie Oasis!"
Location in Meade County and the state of South Dakota
Location in Meade County and the state of South Dakota
Country United States
State South Dakota
County Meade
Established 1910
Incorporated 1912
 • Total 1.20 sq mi (3.11 km2)
 • Land 1.20 sq mi (3.11 km2)
 • Water 0.00 sq mi (0.00 km2)
2,595 ft (791 m)
 • Total 367
 • Density 342.79/sq mi (132.37/km2)
Time zone UTC-7 (Mountain (MST))
 • Summer (DST) UTC-6 (MDT)
ZIP code
Area code(s) 605
FIPS code 46-20980
GNIS feature ID 1255004

Faith is a city in the northeastern corner of Meade County, South Dakota, United States. The population was 367 at the 2020 census. The most complete Tyrannosaurus rex skeleton known, Sue, was discovered approximately 15 miles northeast of Faith in August 1990.


According to folk etymology, the town was named Faith because it took faith to live out on the prairie. However, the story of the city as documented in various informal, locally published histories, is that the town was named for Faith Rockefeller, one of the daughters of a major investor in the railroad responsible for founding the town. This is in keeping with the names of other towns on the route of the old railroad (now abandoned), such as Isabel, South Dakota. Faith was the permanent end of the railroad, a local spur off the Milwaukee Road Railroad. The city was established in 1910.


Faith is located at 45°1′18″N 102°2′22″W / 45.02167°N 102.03944°W / 45.02167; -102.03944 (45.021648, -102.039502).

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 1.20 square miles (3.11 km2), all land.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1920 575
1930 607 5.6%
1940 522 −14.0%
1950 599 14.8%
1960 591 −1.3%
1970 576 −2.5%
1980 576 0.0%
1990 548 −4.9%
2000 489 −10.8%
2010 421 −13.9%
2020 367 −12.8%
U.S. Decennial Census

2010 census

As of the census of 2010, there were 421 people, 192 households, and 117 families living in the city. The population density was 350.8 inhabitants per square mile (135.4/km2). There were 236 housing units at an average density of 196.7 per square mile (75.9/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 91.0% White, 4.0% Native American, 0.7% Asian, 0.5% from other races, and 3.8% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.9% of the population.

There were 192 households, of which 28.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 47.9% were married couples living together, 10.4% had a female householder with no husband present, 2.6% had a male householder with no wife present, and 39.1% were non-families. 36.5% of all households were made up of individuals, and 17.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.19 and the average family size was 2.91.

The median age in the city was 43.6 years. 25.4% of residents were under the age of 18; 4.3% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 21.4% were from 25 to 44; 29.5% were from 45 to 64; and 19.5% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 51.1% male and 48.9% female.


Faith is located in the West River region of South Dakota, that section of the state located west of the Missouri River, and in the Northern Great Plains, on a ridge dividing the Cheyenne River to the south and the Grand River and its major tributary, the Moreau River to the north (both are tributaries of the Missouri). Faith is the center of a vast cattle and sheep ranching area, and is the community center for hundreds of scattered ranchsteads. It is located in the extreme northeast corner of Meade County, South Dakota's largest: it is approximately 100 miles to Sturgis, the county seat. It is also located immediately west of the boundary of the Cheyenne River Indian Reservation, home to several Lakota bands organized into the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe or CRST. The region is well known for deer hunting and also offers pheasant, elk, and recently, prairie mountain lion hunting. A small reservoir, Durkee Lake, is approximately three miles south and offers a local recreation venue, with its boating, fishing, golf course, beach, and camping.

Past and future

Founded as the town at the end of the railroad, Faith was originally the hub of a homestead boom in the period 1910-1920; but the drought conditions of the 1920s that led to the Dust Bowl of the 1930s quickly replaced abnormally wet conditions of the early 20th century, and the harsh winters of the northern plains quickly drove many sodbusters to more hospitable regions. The town's location allows for ranch families in the area to have schools and stores closer than Sturgis, Fort Pierre, or other regional market towns, but early expectations of steady growth were never realized. Faith is still well known for its rodeos and livestock sales. The town's location made it a necessary stop on the Sunset Trail, also known as the Yellowstone Trail.


Faith Public Schools are part of the Faith School District (South Dakota). The Faith School District has two elementary schools, one middle school, and one high school. Students attend Faith High School.


Faith, South Dakota - panoramio
Looking north along SD 73 in Faith, April 2007

The Faith Municipal Building, designed by U.L Freed, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.


Faith is accessed from U.S. Route 212 and South Dakota Highway 73. The nearest commercial airports are located at Pierre, the state capital, and Rapid City, the major market city of the region, located 100 mi (160 km) to the southwest. The railroad was constructed in 1910 and abandoned in the 1960s; there is presently no scheduled passenger bus service or freight service to the city.

Notable people

  • Catherine Bach, actress
  • Cole Elshere, rodeo cowboy
  • Boyd Raeburn, jazz bandleader and baritone saxophonist
kids search engine
Faith, South Dakota Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.