Watertown, South Dakota facts for kids

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Watertown, South Dakota
City
Intersection of Interstate 29 and Highway 212: The Redlin Art Center
Intersection of Interstate 29 and Highway 212: The Redlin Art Center
Nickname(s): South Dakota's Rising Star
Location in Codington County and the state of South Dakota
Location in Codington County and the state of South Dakota
Country United States
State South Dakota
County Codington
Founded 1879
Incorporated 1885
Area
 • City 25.04 sq mi (64.85 km2)
 • Land 17.45 sq mi (45.20 km2)
 • Water 7.59 sq mi (19.66 km2)
Elevation 1,732 ft (528 m)
Population (2010)
 • City 21,482
 • Estimate (2015) 22,073
 • Density 1,231.1/sq mi (475.3/km2)
 • Metro 27,938 (US: 444th)
Time zone CST (UTC-6)
 • Summer (DST) CDT (UTC-5)
ZIP code 57201
Area code(s) 605
FIPS code 46-69300
GNIS feature ID 1258841
Website http://www.watertownsd.us/

Watertown is a city in and the county seat of Codington County, South Dakota, United States. The population was 21,482 at the 2010 census. It is the fifth largest city in South Dakota. It is also the principal city of the Watertown Micropolitan Statistical Area, which includes all of Codington and Hamlin counties.

Watertown is home to the Redlin Art Center which houses many of the original art works produced by Terry Redlin, one of America's most popular wildlife artists. Watertown also is home to the Bramble Park Zoo and the Watertown Regional Library. The Watertown Public Opinion is a six-day daily newspaper published in Watertown.

Watertown's residential real estate is considered the most expensive in South Dakota for cities of its size; the median price for a home in Watertown is around $200,000.

Geography

Watertown is located at 44°54′12″N 97°7′14″W / 44.90333°N 97.12056°W / 44.90333; -97.12056 (44.903433, -97.120437), along the Big Sioux River.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 25.04 square miles (64.85 km2), of which, 17.45 square miles (45.20 km2) is land and 7.59 square miles (19.66 km2) is water. Watertown sits on the Big Sioux River and two major lakes, Lake Pelican and Lake Kampeska. Most of Watertown also sits upon a short plateau. Elevation at Watertown Regional Airport is 1,745 feet.

Watertown has been assigned the ZIP code 57201 and the FIPS place code 69300.

History

Watertown, SD 1883
An 1883 bird's eye illustration of Watertown

Watertown was founded in 1879 as a rail terminus when the Chicago & Northwestern Railroad reactivated part of a line it had constructed to Lake Kampeska. Despite the prominence of rivers and lakes in the area, the city was named after Watertown, New York, the hometown of brothers John E. Kemp and Oscar P. Kemp, two of the city's founders. The town's name was originally planned to be named Kampeska.

During the 1880s, Watertown prospered as a transportation hub after the railroads had been extended further west. Along with several other cities, Watertown had been a candidate as capital of the new state of South Dakota, although it lost out to the more centrally located Pierre. The city's current newspaper, the Watertown Public Opinion, began publishing in 1887.

In the mid-20th century, Interstate 29 was constructed through eastern South Dakota. The route included a slight bend to bring the interstate closer to Watertown. The interstate's construction has been a major economic benefit to the larger communities along its route, including Watertown.

Climate

Climate data for Watertown, SD
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °F (°C) 65
(18.3)
66
(18.9)
82
(27.8)
95
(35)
106
(41.1)
107
(41.7)
110
(43.3)
105
(40.6)
104
(40)
91
(32.8)
77
(25)
69
(20.6)
110
(-17.8)
Average high °F (°C) 21.0
(-6.11)
25.5
(-3.61)
38.3
(3.5)
55.3
(12.94)
67.8
(19.89)
77.1
(25.06)
83.4
(28.56)
81.6
(27.56)
71.7
(22.06)
58.6
(14.78)
40.2
(4.56)
26.1
(-3.28)
53.88
(12.157)
Average low °F (°C) 0.6
(-17.44)
4.8
(-15.11)
18.2
(-7.67)
31.8
(-0.11)
43.4
(6.33)
53.7
(12.06)
58.6
(14.78)
56.3
(13.5)
46.6
(8.11)
34.8
(1.56)
20.4
(-6.44)
7.3
(-13.72)
31.38
(-0.347)
Record low °F (°C) -40
(-40)
-38
(-38.9)
-27
(-32.8)
-10
(-23.3)
16
(-8.9)
25
(-3.9)
35
(1.7)
32
(0)
9
(-12.8)
-2
(-18.9)
-20
(-28.9)
-37
(-38.3)
-40
(-17.8)
Precipitation inches (mm) 0.55
(14)
0.59
(15)
1.05
(26.7)
2.09
(53.1)
2.86
(72.6)
3.69
(93.7)
2.88
(73.2)
2.28
(57.9)
2.05
(52.1)
1.54
(39.1)
0.78
(19.8)
0.51
(13)
20.87
(530.1)
Snowfall inches (cm) 6.0
(15.2)
6.2
(15.7)
6.1
(15.5)
2.5
(6.4)
0.2
(0.5)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
1.2
(3)
4.0
(10.2)
5.1
(13)
31.3
(79.5)
Source: http://www.wrcc.dri.edu/cgi-bin/cliMAIN.pl?sd8932

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
1880 746
1890 2,672 258.2%
1900 3,352 25.4%
1910 7,010 109.1%
1920 9,400 34.1%
1930 10,214 8.7%
1940 10,617 3.9%
1950 12,699 19.6%
1960 14,077 10.9%
1970 13,388 −4.9%
1980 15,649 16.9%
1990 17,592 12.4%
2000 20,237 15.0%
2010 21,482 6.2%
Est. 2015 22,073 2.8%
U.S. Decennial Census
2015 Estimate

The per capita income for the city was $18,994. About 5.7% of families and 9.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 8.5% of those under age 18 and 11.0% of those age 65 or over.

2010 census

As of the census of 2010, there were 21,482 people, 9,278 households, and 5,563 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,231.1 inhabitants per square mile (475.3/km2). There were 10,050 housing units at an average density of 575.9 per square mile (222.4/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 94.8% White, 0.4% African American, 2.4% Native American, 0.5% Asian, 0.5% from other races, and 1.4% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.6% of the population.

There were 9,278 households of which 29.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 45.7% were married couples living together, 10.0% had a female householder with no husband present, 4.3% had a male householder with no wife present, and 40.0% were non-families. 33.0% of all households were made up of individuals and 12.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.28 and the average family size was 2.90.

The median age in the city was 36.6 years. 24.2% of residents were under the age of 18; 10.3% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 24.9% were from 25 to 44; 25.2% were from 45 to 64; and 15.4% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 49.2% male and 50.8% female.

2000 census

As of the census of 2000, there were 20,237 people, 8,385 households, and 5,290 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,328.9 people per square mile (513.0/km²). There were 9,193 housing units at an average density of 603.7 per square mile (233.1/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 96.25% White, 0.14% African American, 1.65% Native American, 0.33% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 0.71% from other races, and 0.90% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.28% of the population. 47.1% were of German, 19.8% Norwegian and 5.9% Irish ancestry. 96.5% spoke English, 1.7% Spanish and 1.1% German as their first language.

There were 8,385 households out of which 31.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 50.6% were married couples living together, 8.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 36.9% were non-families. 30.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.37 and the average family size was 2.98.

In the city, the population was spread out with 25.9% under the age of 18, 11.3% from 18 to 24, 27.9% from 25 to 44, 19.9% from 45 to 64, and 15.0% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 35 years. For every 100 females there were 96.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 93.9 males.

Points of interest

Sailboat on Kampeska circa 1900
Sailboat on Lake Kampeska circa 1900.
  • Redlin Art Center
  • Bramble Park Zoo
  • Codington County Heritage Museum
  • Mellette House
  • Watertown Stadium
  • Lake Kampeska
  • Lake Pelican

Transportation

The City of Watertown is connected to three major thoroughfares: Highway 81, running north and south; Highway 212, running east and west; and Interstate 29, running north and south.

Watertown also has one airport, Watertown Regional Airport, and local bus service provided by the Watertown Area Transit Corporation.

Notable visitors

President Barack Obama has visited the city twice, first in 2008 during his presidential campaign, and again on May 8th, 2015, to address the graduating class of 2015 from Lake Area Technical Institute.

Images for kids


Watertown, South Dakota Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.