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Huron, South Dakota
"World's Largest Pheasant" sculpture on U.S. Highway 14
"World's Largest Pheasant" sculpture on U.S. Highway 14
Location in Beadle County and the state of South Dakota
Location in Beadle County and the state of South Dakota
Huron is located in the United States
Location in the United States
Country United States
State South Dakota
County Beadle
Incorporated 1883
 • Type Commissioner Form
 • Total 10.81 sq mi (27.99 km2)
 • Land 9.72 sq mi (25.17 km2)
 • Water 1.09 sq mi (2.82 km2)
1,280 ft (390 m)
 • Total 14,263
 • Density 1,376.68/sq mi (531.56/km2)
Time zone UTC−6 (CST)
 • Summer (DST) UTC−5 (CDT)
ZIP code
57350 and 57399
Area code(s) 605
FIPS code 46-31060
GNIS feature ID 1255722
Airport code HON
Website City of Huron

Huron is a city in Beadle County, South Dakota, United States. It is the county seat of Beadle County. The Huron Daily Plainsman, also referred to as the Plainsman, is the newspaper. The first settlement at Huron was made in 1880. The city was named after the Huron Indians. It is currently the eighth largest city in South Dakota, but it once was the fourth. In recent years, Huron's population has once again started to grow after nearly 20 years of stagnation. A welcoming immigration policy coupled with an economic revival in the area has sparked development. A Walmart Supercenter opened in the mid 2000s. Since Walmart's opening more commercial and residential development has occurred with the completion of a new Runnings store (retailer specializing in farm and fleet products), and many new apartments, twin homes and houses.

The greater Huron area is home to approximately 30,000 people. The population within the city limits was 14,263 at the 2020 census. Huron was once in the running for capital of South Dakota but lost out to Pierre due to Pierre's positioning. Huron is home to the South Dakota State Fair, which is held six days before Labor Day. It is also home to a statue known as "The World's Largest Pheasant", which was refurbished in the summer of 2011. Huron has rail service, provided by the Rapid City, Pierre and Eastern Railroad.

Geography and climate

Downtown Huron
Downtown Huron in the Summer 2009

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 10.57 square miles (27.38 km2), of which, 9.48 square miles (24.55 km2) is land and 1.09 square miles (2.82 km2) is water.

Huron has been assigned the ZIP codes 57350 and 57399 and the FIPS place code 31060.

Huron has a humid continental climate, with hot, humid summers, cold, dry winters, and wide temperature extremes; it is part of USDA hardiness zone 4b. The normal monthly mean temperature ranges from 16.7 °F (−8.5 °C) in January to 73.7 °F (23.2 °C) in July. On average, there are 2.3 days that reach 100 °F (38 °C) or higher, 25 days that reach 90 °F (32 °C) or higher, 64 days that do not climb above freezing, 27 days with a low of 0 °F (−18 °C) or below, and 3.1 days that do not rise above 0 °F annually. The average window for freezing temperatures is September 30 through May 5, allowing a growing season of 147 days. Extreme temperatures officially range from −43 °F (−42 °C) on January 12, 1912, and January 8, 1887, up to 112 °F (44 °C) on July 10, 1966; the record cold daily maximum is −21 °F (−29 °C) on January 14, 1888, while, conversely, the record warm daily minimum is 82 °F (28 °C) on July 11, 1936.

Precipitation is greatest in May and June and averages 22.9 in (580 mm) annually, but has ranged from 9.72 in (247 mm) in 1952 to 30.89 in (785 mm) in 2010. Snowfall averages 43.9 in (112 cm) per season, and has historically ranged from 10.1 in (26 cm) in 1930–31 to 89.6 in (228 cm) in 2000–01; the average window for measurable (≥0.1 in or 0.25 cm) snowfall is November 3 through April 11, although snow in October occurs several times per decade and snow in May is a much rarer event.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1880 164
1890 3,038 1,752.4%
1900 2,793 −8.1%
1910 5,791 107.3%
1920 8,302 43.4%
1930 10,946 31.8%
1940 10,843 −0.9%
1950 12,788 17.9%
1960 14,180 10.9%
1970 14,299 0.8%
1980 13,000 −9.1%
1990 12,448 −4.2%
2000 11,893 −4.5%
2010 12,592 5.9%
2020 14,263 13.3%
U.S. Decennial Census

2010 census

As of the census of 2010, there were 12,592 people, 5,418 households, and 3,179 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,328.3 inhabitants per square mile (512.9/km2). There were 6,023 housing units at an average density of 635.3 per square mile (245.3/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 86.9% White, 1.0% African American, 1.2% Native American, 4.9% Asian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 3.9% from other races, and 1.9% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 9.8% of the population.

There were 5,418 households, of which 28.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 44.4% were married couples living together, 9.8% had a female householder with no husband present, 4.4% had a male householder with no wife present, and 41.3% were non-families. 36.1% of all households were made up of individuals, and 15% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.27 and the average family size was 2.94.

The median age in the city was 39.8 years. 24.1% of residents were under the age of 18; 8.7% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 22.8% were from 25 to 44; 26.4% were from 45 to 64; and 17.8% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 49.4% male and 50.6% female.


Huron, located in east central South Dakota, is a result of railroad and land booms in the 1880s. The early history of the town is closely linked with the Chicago and Northwestern Railway. At the direction of Marvin Hughitt, general manager of the railroad, the west bank of the James River was selected as the division headquarters of the railroad. The company gained title to 880 acres (3.6 km2) of land at that location. Huron was named for the Huron Indians. Exactly who gave it the name was never established, apparently either Marvin Hughitt or someone in the Chicago office of the C&NW railroad company.

The original plat covered 11 blocks from 1st Street to 3rd Street and from Iowa Avenue SE to Ohio Avenue SW. Huron’s first settler was John Cain, a practical printer from Troy, New York. He learned in Chicago, from the railroad people, that they would have their chief town and operating headquarters at their James River crossing.

From 1880 until the capital was permanently located at Pierre in 1904, Huron was in the thick of the fight for the honor of being the capital city. Campbell and Winter Parks are the only remaining properties that were once designated capital grounds. Located between the two parks, Victorian houses originally built around 1906 occupy the city block on the land originally slated for the capitol building.

Huron is the home to a handful of celebrities. Cheryl Ladd replaced Farrah Fawcett of the original Charlie's Angels. Gladys Pyle was the first female member of the South Dakota House of Representatives and the first Republican woman in the US Senate. Hubert H. Humphrey was the Democratic nominee for president in 1968 and served as vice president under Lyndon B. Johnson.

  • Chronology:
    • 1879 - The town site was located
    • 1880 - Town site surveyed and platted
    • 1881 - First town government formed - a board of four trustees, a town clerk, a justice of the peace, one marshal and a surveyor
    • 1882 - Alderman system of government adopted
    • 1883 - Incorporated as the City of Huron - the city still operates under the original charter and seal
    • 1910 - Changed from alderman to city commission form of government
    • 1935 - City manager form of government adopted


The Huron School District has three public elementary schools, one middle school, and one high school. Huron High School's mascot is the "Tigers".

The principal of the Huron High School is Michael Radke, as of 2020–21 school year.

The current assistant principal of 2020–21 school year is Rodney Mittelstedt.

It was the home of Si Tanka University (formerly Huron College) from 1983 to 2005.

Huron is also home to a Catholic elementary school called Holy Trinity School, and a private Christian school on the north side of town called James Valley Christian School.


U.S. Route 14 is an east–west route passing through the northern part of the city. It intersects with north–south South Dakota Highway 37 in the city. This was the historical designation of the north–south U.S. Route 281, which was later moved to a more direct route that passes about ten miles west of Huron.

The Rapid City, Pierre and Eastern Railroad runs east–west, with maintenance facilities and a working roundhouse in the city.

The Huron Regional Airport is city-owned. It had scheduled passenger flights operated by a commuter air carrier, Great Lakes Airlines, with Beechcraft 1900D commuter turboprop aircraft service to Denver. The airport does not currently see scheduled service.

Notable people

  • Adolphus W. Burtt, South Dakota Attorney General
  • Earl Caddock, professional wrestler.
  • J. L. Carr, English novelist, taught at the public school in Huron in 1938–1939 and 1956–1957.
  • Roxanne Conlin, Iowan politician, ran for senator in 2010.
  • Patrick Davis, Republican political consultant and former director of the National Republican Senatorial Committee.
  • John K. Fairbank, historian of China, was born in Huron in 1907.
  • Archibald K. Gardner, former federal judge
  • Bob Glanzer (1945-2020), member South Dakota House of Representatives 2017
  • Candace Hilligoss, actress.
  • Muriel Humphrey, U.S. Senator from Minnesota in 1978 and wife of Hubert Humphrey.
  • Raymond A. Johnson, aviation pioneer.
  • Craig Kennedy, member of the South Dakota Senate
  • Cheryl Ladd, actress and singer.
  • Arthur L. Padrutt, Wisconsin politician.
  • Gladys Pyle, first woman elected to the U.S. Senate without having previously been appointed.
  • John L. Pyle, Attorney General of South Dakota, 1899–1902.
  • Mamie Shields Pyle, women's suffrage advocate.
  • Mike Rounds, South Dakota governor and U.S. senator.
  • Chic Sale, actor and vaudevillian, born in Huron.
  • Ron Tschetter, Director of the Peace Corps.
  • Fred M. Wilcox, South Dakota state senator
  • Josh Haeder, 33rd State Treasurer of South Dakota.

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