Yankton College

Coordinates: 42°52′49″N 97°23′25″W / 42.8803°N 97.3903°W / 42.8803; -97.3903
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Yankton College
Conservatory of Yankton College, a late 19th century brick building, three stories, the third story having a mansard roof, with a four-story tower at one end and an ornate cupola at the other.
The Yankton College Conservatory in 1912
MottoChrist for the World
Active1881; 143 years ago (1881) –
1984; 40 years ago (1984)
FounderJoseph Ward
Religious affiliation
United Church of Christ
Students240 (final)
Logo of Yankton College -- The name "Yankton College", with a greyhound between
Yankton College Historic District
Yankton College is located in South Dakota
Yankton College
Yankton College is located in the United States
Yankton College
LocationYankton, South Dakota
Coordinates42°52′49″N 97°23′25″W / 42.8803°N 97.3903°W / 42.8803; -97.3903
ArchitectElmslie, George
Architectural styleRomanesque
NRHP reference No.82003949[1]
Added to NRHPMarch 22, 1982

Yankton College was a private liberal arts college in Yankton, South Dakota, United States, affiliated with the Congregational Christian Churches (later the United Church of Christ). Yankton College produced nine Rhodes Scholars, more than any other South Dakota higher education institution.[2]


Founded in 1881, it was the first institution of higher learning in the Dakota Territory. The man primarily responsible for the college's establishment was Joseph Ward, a local pastor and educator who is one of the two South Dakotans represented in the National Statuary Hall.

Yankton College produced nine Rhodes Scholars.[2]

Yankton College closed in December 1984, and its campus became the site of Federal Prison Camp, Yankton, which opened four years later.[3][4]


The campus was declared the Yankton College Historic District in 1982 due to the presence of a group of buildings designed by architect George Grant Elmslie. Between 1927 and 1932, Elmslie designed seven structures for the college, of which several were built:[5]

  • Campus Library (1927/1928)
  • Forbes Hall of Science (1929)
  • Look Chapel, project (1929)
  • Power plant (1930)
  • Look Dormitory for Men (1931)
  • Conservatory of Music (1932)
  • Gymnasium, project (1932)

The college's athletic teams were known as the Greyhounds. The football stadium (Crane–Youngworth Field) is now used as the home field for the Yankton High School Bucks and Mount Marty University Lancers football teams.

Yankton College began football in 1894. In 1917 they became one of the charter members of the South Dakota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. From 1960 to 1980 Yankton competed in the Tri-State Conference with private schools in Iowa and Nebraska. Yankton returned to the SDIAC in 1981, remaining until the school closed. The most successful seasons were as members of the Tri-State.

Notable alumni[edit]


  1. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. April 15, 2008.
  2. ^ a b "Office of the American Secretary | The Rhodes Scholarships" (PDF). Retrieved July 14, 2023.
  3. ^ "Yankton College History". www.yanktoncollege.org. Archived from the original on September 27, 2011.
  4. ^ Green, Doug. "From "College Town" to "Prison Town"." Federal Prisons Journal. Federal Bureau of Corrections, Volume 1, No. 1. Northern hemisphere Summer 1989. 25 (26/45). Retrieved on October 3, 2010.
  5. ^ "Yangton College Buildings, George Grant Elmslie, architect". Organica: Purcell and Elmslie, the Web Sanctuary. Retrieved September 9, 2015.
  6. ^ "Gabor S. Boritt". National Endowment for the Humanities. Retrieved October 3, 2012.
  7. ^ "BOTTUM, Joseph H., (1903 - 1984)". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved October 3, 2012.
  8. ^ "Baseball's First Woman Umpire Dies". Schenectady Gazette. Associated Press. July 22, 1971. Retrieved March 29, 2013.
  9. ^ "Dr. Riley W. Gardner Obituary". The Topeka Capital-Journal. Retrieved October 3, 2012.
  10. ^ "Les Goodman". Pro-Football-Reference.Com. Retrieved October 3, 2012.
  11. ^ Alvin Hansen Biography. Encyclopedia of World Biography on Alvin Hansen. Retrieved October 3, 2012.
  12. ^ http://www.yanktoncollege.org/Portals/0/2010%20BULLETIN.pdf [dead link]
  13. ^ "Nancy Lenehan". IMDb. Retrieved October 3, 2012.
  14. ^ "Ruben Mendoza". Pro-Football-Reference.Com. Retrieved October 3, 2012.
  15. ^ Martin, Douglas (May 2, 2012). "Earl Rose, Coroner When Kennedy Was Shot, Dies at 85". The New York Times. New York. Retrieved April 1, 2013.
  16. ^ "Dean Wink Stats | Pro-Football-Reference.com". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved January 2, 2015.

External links[edit]