According to the Minnehaha County Historical Society, Buffalo Bill Cody brought his famous Wild West Show to Sioux Falls on September 21, 1896. It was the first of five visits the show would make to the city.

Thousands of people came out to see the spectacle, that was set up on the shore of the Big Sioux River by what is now Riverdale Park in East Central Sioux Falls.

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Buffalo Bill Cody was born in 1846 on a farm just outside of Le Claire, Iowa. Buffalo Bill was a larger-than-life old west cowboy, Pony Express Rider, Stagecoach Driver, Civil War Soldier, and Buffalo Hunter which is where he got his nickname by killing thousands of buffalo while providing meat for railroad building crews.

In 1883, in the area of North Platte, Nebraska, Cody founded Buffalo Bill's Wild West, a circus-like attraction that toured annually.

"Audiences loved Cody’s reenactments of frontier events: an attack on a Deadwood stage, a Pony Express relay race and Custer’s Last Stand at the Battle of the Little Big Horn. Even more popular were the displays of western outdoor skills like rope tricks, bulldogging and amazing feats of marksmanship." -

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By 1913 Buffalo Bill's Wild West show was forced into foreclosure. In 1917 Buffalo Bill died of Kidney Failure at the age 70.

Buffalo Bill
1892: The programme for Buffalo Bill's Wild West show at Earl's Court, London. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

Buffalo Bill brought his Wild West Show to South Dakota several times.

    • Aberdeen September 6, 1899
    • Edgemont August 11, 1914
    • Huron September 5, 1899
    • Mitchell September 14, 1899; July 3, 1914
    • Sioux Falls September 21, 1896; September 15, 1899; August 25, 1909; September 6, 1912; July 4, 1914
    • Watertown September 4, 1899
    • Yankton September 13, 1899; July 2, 1914

The Oldest Wood-Framed Church In Sioux Falls

Saint Joseph Cathedral at 521 N Duluth Ave in Sioux Falls was founded in 1915. But that's not the oldest church in the city. The Beaver Creek Lutheran Church at Heritage Park on the Augustana College campus at 33rd & S. Prairie Ave. was built in 1892, making it the oldest wood-framed church in Sioux Falls.

Pam Cole Executive Director of the Nordland Heritage Foundation says there are some exciting events and future plans involving Heritage Park. Tours of this wonderful look into the prairie past are available Wed. - Sat. from 10 am to 3 pm and by appointment.

The Sunken Iowa Steamboat

A shipwreck full of sunken treasure isn't exactly something you'd expect to find anywhere near the state of Iowa, but the remains of a giant steamboat ship still lie at the bottom of this western Iowa river to this day. You can also find out more information on the shipwreck at Only In Your State.

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