City of Brookings

City Site

Brookings is a city in Brookings County, South Dakota, United States. Brookings is South Dakota’s fourth most populous city, with a population of 23377 at the 2020 census. It is the county seat of Brookings County, and home to South Dakota State University, the state’s largest institution of higher education. Also in Brookings are the South Dakota Art Museum, the Children’s Museum of South Dakota, the annual Brookings Summer Arts Festival, and the headquarters of several manufacturing companies and agricultural operations.

The county and city were both named after one of South Dakota’s pioneer promoters, Wilmot Brookings. Brookings set out for the Dakota Territory in June 1857. He arrived at Sioux Falls on August 27, 1857, and became one of the first settlers there. He and his group represented the Western Town Company. After a time in Sioux Falls, Brookings and a companion set out for the Yankton area to locate a town in an area that was soon to be ceded by the Native Americans.