The Missouri River Flood of 1881

Posted by Brian Gevik on
Images Courtesy Yankton County Historical Society

In March of 1881, winter ice on the Missouri River between Pierre, South Dakota and Omaha, Nebraska broke with disastrous consequences. Huge floating chunks of ice jammed the river channel, creating ice dams that held back that season's copious amount of meltwater. When those dams broke, the water was released and low-lying areas in towns like Yankton and Vermillion quickly found themselves inundated.

ice dams on the missouri river

Yankton flooding 1881

Yankton flooding 1881

ice

excelsior flour mill 1881

missouri river flood 1881

kunze brick yard Yankton

riverboat in the missouri river flood of 1881

1881 flood on Capitol Street Yankton

1881 flood in Yankton

1881 flood in Yankton

riverboat in the missouri river flood of 1881

"Personalities" with Chuck Anderson. Vintage radio interviews with well known and not so well known South Dakotans.

Personalities: How to Survive A Death March

When you're drafted into the military, you have a chance of being on the front lines. When you're on the front lines,...

Personalities: "Hell No, We Don't Glow!"

In the southern shadow of the Black Hills sits a small town with a small population...and a big past. Chuck Anderson...

Personalities: Being Volga German in an Anti-German World

The "Germans from Russia" story continues with Drs. Tim Kloberdanz and Harry Delker, experts in German anthropology...

Personalities: How the Volga Germans Came to America

The Dakotas are a product of Native American and northern European cultures. With a deeper look, one can see the...

Personalities: Baxter Black

The nation knows his tongue-in-cheek performances on the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson . People from the heartland...

Personalities: Roy and Lucille Fitz Pt. II

In this continuation of the story of Roy and Lucille Fitz, the De Smet couple discusses the reality of the...

Personalities: Roy and Lucille Fitz, Part 1

Sadly, we're losing senior South Dakotans able to share first-hand remembrances of what life was like here in the...