THE NEW TERRITORY IS BORN
“On the second day of March 1861 Dakota territory was born It included the area now occupied by North Dakota and South Dakota and extended westward to the Rocky Mountains. One of the last official acts of James Buchanan President of the United States was to sign the bill creating it a free territory. And among the first acts of Abraham Lincoln as President was to appoint his old neighbor and family physician, Dr William Jayne of Springfield Illinois, first governor of Dakota territory.
It rested with the governor to determine what point in the territory should be temporary capital until such time as the legislature should select a permanent seat of government; therefore there was great rivalry among the little towns in Dakota territory to secure the favor of the new governor. In due time Governor Jayne met the other territorial officers in Chicago, and together they journeyed out to Dakota. It was reported, by a swift messenger, that Governor Jayne was driving out from Sioux City to look over the Dakota towns before he determined upon the temporary seat of government and the enterprising town of Vermilion energetically prepared a great banquet in his honor.” (Source: A Brief History of South Dakota, Doane Robinson, p. 117)