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Irene Irene Irene, South Dakota is a small hometown community with a population of 421, organized in 1893. It is located on SD Highway 46 southwest of Sioux Falls, SD by a short 55 miles and northeast of Yankton SD by approximately 30 miles. Area: .26 sq. mi. Elevation: 1,371’ Founded: 1895 Population: 421 (2016) Zip code: 57037 Area code: 605 Irene offers a small town atmosphere with low crime and family friendly neighborhoods. Irene town offers churches, parks, golf course, public school, community center, insurance agencies, gas/convenience stores and a full service bank, as well as many other businesses. Also known as “The Village in the Valley”. At one time, the FOR ALL YOUR AUTOMOTIVE, TRUCK AND TRACTOR PARTS COME TO... “Get the good stuff!” Bearings • Batteries • Filters Automotive • Truck • Agricultural • Marine COX AUTO SD • 605-665-4494 SUPPLY 1007 Broadway, Yankton, 10vYANKTON COUNTY GUIDE 2019 name Pete Aggergaard was well known throughout eastern South Dakota because he was considered the largest Danishborn landowner in the United States. He also had a considerable influence on farming back in the early days of this area. The mausoleum in Hillcrest Cemetery, at the top of the hill just west of Irene on Highway 46, is an ongoing reminder of the influence Aggergaard had on the Irene community and the surrounding area. In Denmark, Aggergaard worked on the railroad, making $80 a month. A careful steward, he had $9,000 by the time he came to the United States. He raised sheep, cattle and goats and had successful crops of corn and oats. Aggergaard encouraged immigrants to work through the hardships of establishing a farm because he believed the rich land would provide bountiful harvests. The man came to Dakota Territory in 1872 and homesteaded near Daneville, living in a dugout until he could construct a house. He brought his wife, Elsine Nielsen, to Dakota Territory in 1878. By 1900, Aggergaard owned more than 15,000 acres of land (over 25 square miles). He purchased all or parts of 32 sections of school land between DeSmet and Vermillion that were sold by the state of South Dakota. Because the Danish society was monarchal and people were accustomed to having a king that provided encouragement, advice and/or financial advice, the term “King” was unofficially bestowed on Aggergaard. Because farming was so labor-intensive during Aggerggaard’s day, his wife Elsine managed her family of 10, a hired girl, and 16 to 18 hired men. She was cooking, baking, cleaning and washing clothes for about 30 people. When the railroad came across his land, Aggergaard managed to have a spur line added and built a grain elevator along the spur. He was also able to use the spur to load cattle without driving them to the nearest station. He also allowed neighbors to use the elevator. In the later years of his life, Aggergaard and his wife lived in a large home which still stands north of the cemetery where they are buried. While there are no written descriptions of the home, it
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