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Vermillion, South Dakota
—  City  —
Location in Clay County and the state of South Dakota
Coordinates: 42°46′52″N 96°55′37″W / 42.78111°N 96.92694°W / 42.78111; -96.92694Coordinates: 42°46′52″N 96°55′37″W / 42.78111°N 96.92694°W / 42.78111; -96.92694
Country United States
State South Dakota
County Clay
Incorporated 1877[1]
 - Mayor Dan Christopherson
 - Total 3.8 sq mi (9.9 km2)
 - Land 3.8 sq mi (9.9 km2)
 - Water 0 sq mi (0 km2)
Elevation 1,224 ft (373 m)
Population (2000)
 - Total 9,765
 Density 2,569.7/sq mi (986.4/km2)
Time zone Central (CST) (UTC-6)
 - Summer (DST) CDT (UTC-5)
ZIP code 57069
Area code(s) 605
FIPS code 46-66700[2]
GNIS feature ID 1258745[3]

Vermillion is a city in and the county seat of Clay County,[4] in the southeastern corner of the U.S. state of South Dakota, and the tenth largest city in the state. Vermillion lies atop a bluff on the Missouri River.

The area has always been home to various Native American tribes.[citation needed] French fur traders first visited in the late 1700s. Vermillion was founded in 1859 and incorporated in 1873. The name refers to the Lakota name: wa sa wak pa'la (red stream). Home to the University of South Dakota, Vermillion has a mixed academic and rural character: The University is a major academic institution for the state, boasting the state's only law and medical school, the state's only AACSB accredited business school, and several well-regarded academic departments. Major farm products include corn, soybeans, and alfalfa. The population was 9,765 at the 2000 census.

Vermillion is also home to the National Music Museum.



Lewis and Clark camped at the mouth of the Vermillion River near the present day town on Friday, August 24, 1804. (The previous day they had killed their first buffalo and the following day they climbed Spirit Mound, according to Clark's journal.)

John James Audubon visited the Vermillion ravine to view the bird life in 1843.

The original town was entirely located below the bluffs on the banks of the Missouri River, and three-quarters of the town was washed away in the great flood of 1881.

Presidential candidates William Jennings Bryan visited and spoke in Vermillion on September 28, 1908, and William Howard Taft on the next day.[citation needed]

John Philip Sousa conducted the Sousa Band on October 26, 1926 at the facility that became known as Slagle Auditorium in 1929.[citation needed]

On March 24, 1967; Thomas James White Hawk and William Stands murdered Vermillion jeweler James Yeado and raped his wife.[citation needed]

Donald Opperman's car parked illegally on the streets on December 10, 1973 leads to U.S. Supreme Court case South Dakota v. Opperman decided March 29, 1976.[citation needed]

Ratingen, Germany is the sister city of Vermillion. Because of this relationship, there is a street called "Ratingen Strasse" (formerly known as Apple Street) which runs alongside the DakotaDome.

Located approximately 10 miles (16 km) from the proposed site of a Hyperion Refinery (formerly known as the Gorilla Project), which will be one of the 10 biggest refineries in the United States.


Vermillion is located at 42°46′52″N 96°55′37″W / 42.78111°N 96.92694°W / 42.78111; -96.92694 (42.780981, -96.926911)[5].

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 3.8 square miles (9.9 km²), all of it land.

Vermillion has been assigned the ZIP code 57069 and the FIPS place code 66700.

The elevation of the city is 1,221 feet.


As of the census of 2000, there were 9,765 people, 3,647 households, and 1,801 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,549.3 people per square mile (984.4/km²). There were 3,967 housing units at an average density of 1,035.6/sq mi (399.9/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 90.95% White, 1.29% African American, 3.37% Native American, 2.46% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 0.37% from other races, and 1.56% from two or more races. 1.07% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 3,647 households out of which 25.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 37.5% were married couples living together, 9.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 50.6% were non-families. 34.1% of all households were made up of individuals and 7.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.24 and the average family size was 2.90.

In the city the population was spread out with 17.5% under the age of 18, 36.2% from 18 to 24, 24.5% from 25 to 44, 13.4% from 45 to 64, and 8.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 24 years. For every 100 females there were 91.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 89.9 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $24,095, and the median income for a family was $40,109. Males had a median income of $28,180 versus $20,975 for females. The per capita income for the city was $13,909. 26.2% of the population and 16.2% of families were below the poverty line. Out of the total people living in poverty, 19.0% are under the age of 18 and 14.8% are 65 or older.

For the population 25 years and over, 90.7% have a high school education or higher; 45.4% have a bachelor's degree or higher; and 21.2% have a graduate or professional degree.

For ancestries, 36% claim German ancestry; 14.2% Norwegian; 13.4% Irish; 6.6% English; 5.5% Dutch; and 4% Swedish.


Vermillion contains the following churches:

Major Employers[6]

Company Employees (est.) Location
Dakota Care Center of Vermillion 90 125 S Walker St
Hy-Vee 135 525 W Cherry St
Jones Food Center of Vermillion (Godfather's Pizza) 90 812 Cottage Ave
Polaris Industries 120 1997 Polaris Pkwy
Sanford Health Network 233 20 S Plum St
Sesdac Inc 130 1314 E Cherry St
South Dakota Department of Military & Veterans Affairs 96 PO Box B434
University of South Dakota 800 414 E Clark St
Vermillion City 157 25 Center St
Vermillion School Dist 13-1 (Austin Elementary School) 225 17 Prospect St
Vermillion School Dist 13-1 90 422 Princeton St
Wal-Mart 100 1207 Princeton St


Prentis Park includes two swimming pools (one kiddie pool, and one full size with a waterslide and diving boards), as well as a variety of playground equipment wide open green space. Additionally the park features a snack bar (next to the pool area), several basketball hoops, a baseball diamond (Home of the Vermillion Red Sox, of the South Dakota Amateur Baseball Association), and two disc golf courses.

Notable natives and residents


  1. ^ "SD Towns". South Dakota State Historical Society. Retrieved 2010-02-16. 
  2. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  3. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  4. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  5. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2000 and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2005-05-03. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  6. ^ Dun & Bradstreet's Million Dollar Database (2010)

External links



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