About Yankton

A Welcoming Town

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

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

* Two major hospitals, including Avera Sacred Heart, which is located adjacent to the college complex. Yankton is also home to the Mickelson Center for the Neurosciences, a highly respected mental health facility. And the top 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 we’re home to the National Field Archery Association?) construction equipment that can crush rocks and radio towers designed to look like pine trees.

* Our share of characters! Yankton is the hometown of legendary broadcaster and writer Tom Brokaw. Plus we launched the music career of Lawrence Welk (Google him … you’ll be impressed) and countless other lesser-known but quite 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 within the region while others are successful in communities around the USA and the world.

a Rich History

Long before this modern community was established, Native Americans were enjoying life in the cottonwood forest by the river. Our city’s very name Yankton means “End Village” in the Lakota language because this was the last camp on the Missouri River. The Lakota welcomed 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 soon proclaimed capital of the huge Dakota Territory by President Abraham Lincoln. Governors and senators and other pioneers walked many of the same streets we travel today, at times in the shade 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

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 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 here — so natural and pristine that it has been declared a national park — borders the south side of our campus. Wild turkey, Canada geese, white-tail deer and other winged and four-legged creatures of God sometimes wander up from the river valley for a look.

Yankton has community theater, miles of urban hiking and biking paths, street sculptures and fountains, shopping, history, culture and fun restaurants — including Charlies (kitty-corner from campus), one of the tastiest and oldest pizza joints in a thousand miles.