About Yankton

A Welcoming Town

Yankton, South Dakota, is especially devoted to being a welcoming place to families, students, and all who come to town. Below are just some of our many pluses!

Our friends at Greater Yankton Living excel at giving you a glimpse of life and activities around the Yankton area. Check out their video.

Greater Yankton features the following:

Beautiful boulevards and public spaces, including Riverside Park, which lies on the old river port and now includes a classic baseball diamond — on which the MMC Lancers play home games — with a water view. Another local green space is known as “the duck park” because geese and mallards live year-round on a tiny lake near the college. Our campus is an 80-acre, tree-shaded hilltop with a blend of old and new architecture. It's unlike anything else you’ll find in the Great Plains. Hiking and biking trails wind around the town and lake and connect directly to campus.

Two major hospitals, including Avera Sacred Heart, which is adjacent to the college complex. Yankton is also home to the Mickelson Center for the Neurosciences, a highly respected mental health facility. And the high-quality Yankton Medical Clinic with 40 top physicians is just across the street.

A robust entrepreneurial and manufacturing sector. We create high-tech electronics, archery equipment (did you know that we are home to the National Field Archery Association?), construction equipment that can crush rocks, and radio towers designed to look like pine trees.

A couple of Yankton's claims to fame: Yankton is the hometown of legendary broadcaster and writer Tom Brokaw. Moreover, we launched the musical career of Lawrence Welk (Google him . . . you’ll be impressed), and countless other lesser-known but successful men and women.

We’re especially proud of the thousands of Mount Marty College alums who came here to live and learn; some stayed for opportunities in the region, while others have achieved success in communities nationwide and around the world. Read some of their stories.

A Rich History

Long before this modern community was established, Native Americans enjoyed life in the cottonwood forest by the river. Our city’s very name, Yankton, means “End Village” in the Lakota language, indicating that this was the last camp on the Missouri River. The Lakota welcomed the explorers Lewis and Clark, who paddled through in 1804. Decades later came the steamboat captains, politicians, entrepreneurs, town builders, railroaders, farmers, and immigrants. 

Yankton was founded in 1861, and President Abraham Lincoln soon proclaimed it the capital of the huge Dakota Territory. Governors and senators and other pioneers walked many of the same streets we travel today, occasionally in the shade of some of the very same old cottonwood trees.

Yankton, now a modern and thriving city of 15,000, still plays a major regional role in government, religion, education, and health care.

Work, Study, Pray, and Play

Yankton has a community theater, miles of urban hiking and biking paths, street sculptures and fountains, shopping, history, culture, and fun restaurants — including Charlie's (kitty-corner from campus), one of the oldest pizza joints with the tastiest offerings within 1,000 miles. The beautiful waters of Lewis & Clark Lake are just a few miles upstream from campus. Sailors, water skiers, swimmers, anglers, and weekend sunbathers congregate there. The river stretch that runs from Yankton to Sioux City is also an amazing water corridor — one of the last wild, free-flowing stretches of the great Missouri where eagles fly and giant paddlefish swim, while the rest of us kayak, canoe, and tube. The river — so natural and pristine that it has been declared a national park — borders the south side of our campus. Wild turkey, Canada geese, white-tailed deer, and other winged and four-legged creatures of God sometimes wander up from the river valley for a look.