May 29, 2023


Turner County home of the towns of Parker, Centerville, Marion, Viborg, Irene, Hurley, Chancellor, Dolton and Monroe, was founded in 1871 and was named for John W. Turner, a member of the Dakota Territory Legislature of 1865-66 and again in 1872. He and several others of the name of Turner formed an extensive settlement in one of the richest valleys in Dakota. Swan Lake City, first city in Turner County, was named the county seat.

Centerville was so named because it was located midway between Swan Lake, which is near the present site of Parker, and Vermillion on an old stage line. Parker was laid out in1879 by Milwaukee railroad surveyors and was named Kimball City after the surveyor, J. W. Kimball. In 1880 a town was platted by the same men in Brule County and called Andover. Since there was another Andover in the state, the name of the new town was changed to Kimball. When the people of Kimball City (Turner County) discovered that their town’s name had been appropriated by the Brule County town, they obligingly renamed Kimball City to Parker. A slightly different version is that Mr. Kimball objected to the use of his name so his wife’s maiden name, Parker, was substituted. The town was incorporated in 1883. With the arrival of the railroad, the question of moving the county seat from Swan Lake City started and what is known as the “County Seat War” followed. Parker, Marion Junction, Hurley and Swan Lake City were the contestants, and a long and bitter fight began. With the assistance of the lobbyists and the Territorial Legislature it was moved to Parker in 1885. The Courthouse was completed in 1902.

General Office Information:
Voter Registration/Commission Agenda: Auditor
Motor Vehicle Titling/Licensing & Taxes: Treasurer
Vital Records, Plats, Deeds & Liens: Register of Deeds
Judgements & Court Issues: Clerk of Courts
Assessed Valuation & Zoning: Director of Equalization
Rural Addressing: Sheriff