State Historical Society website includes 1898-1899 South Dakota Brand Book

The South Dakota State Historical Society-Archives recently added an online index listing more than 1,500 names of brand owners listed in the "South Dakota State Brand Book, 1898-1899."

This undated postcard is titled, “Branding on the Plains.”
(Photo courtesy of the South Dakota State Historical Society-Archives)

Volunteers created the database from the brand book index.

"We are always thankful for the help volunteers provide to the State Archives," said Chelle Somsen, State Archivist. "This website will be a useful tool to our researchers."

The Sioux Stock Journal Press, owned by John Hayes in Fort Pierre, published the book. The book is in the State Archives – Special Collections Library at the Cultural Heritage Center in Pierre. The State Archives has two copies of the brand book – one of which is a copy Hayes presented to former State Historian Doane Robinson on Oct. 19, 1900.

As the book notes, "The South Dakota State Brand Book contains all the brands and marks for which certificates have been issued in the state, and now on file in the office of the State Board of Brand and Mark Committee …"

Information includes last and first name (or company name) of brand owner, town address, and page number for their brand. The website is an index only, and does not include an image or description of the brand itself.

Visit the State Archives website at and link to the "For Genealogists" website. The website lists the "SD Brand Book, 1898-1899" index, as well as other searchable databases available on the State Archives website. 

To donate items relating to the history of South Dakota, please contact Matthew Reitzel, manuscript archivist, at (605) 773-3615; or Dan Brosz, curator of collections, at (605) 773-6013.

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