As the county seat of Lincoln County, Canton plays an important role in providing services, entertainment, employment and education to residents, visitors and businesses. Take a few minutes to read through the Canton Visitor and New Resident Guide to learn about the great services, parks, amenities and fun things to do while you are here.
One of the oldest communities in the Dakota Territory, the City of Canton was organized in 1861 when permanent settlers first came to Canton. The name Canton was chosen because it was believed that the town site was located directly opposite of Canton, China. Organizers thought the Chinese spelling meant “gateway,” and Canton was known as Gate City for many years. In 1868, many Norwegian immigrant families moved to Canton to settle, which more than doubled the population of Lincoln County.
Only 11 years after the establishment of Canton, in August of 1872, initial issues of one of the first newspapers in the Dakota Territory, The Sioux Valley News were published. Col. Arthur Linn owned the original printing press and transported it to Canton by wagon. The railroads in Canton have always been key to our successful agricultural business. Still in use today, they continue to be critical to agricultural in Canton. The original depot building has been restored and is home to the Canton Visitor Center and Chamber of Commerce, open Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Our community’s welcoming atmosphere and rich 150-year history will make you feel at home.
The City of Canton has a rich history. Its settlers were hard working, visionary and had a pioneering spirit that left its mark on the city, and continues to move Canton forward today. The city has many historical homes and buildings dating back to the late 1800s. The Kennedy Mansion on Dakota Street is a must-see as is the Historical Society House built in 1886. The original depot building has been restored and is a standing reminder to the importance of the railroad to Canton’s history. The city’s rail freight service is still active today.
City Government & Taxes
Residents of the City of Canton take an active part in governing their city by voting for city commissioners. The mayor of Canton is then selected by the city commission. A city manager is appointed as the city’s chief executive, responsible for the day-to-day operations of the city. The City Commission consists of nine elected commissioners, including the mayor, each serving a term of three years. The city staff consists of the city manager, finance officer, three full-time and two part-time staff, and 11 full time city employees. The projected 2010 budget is $3.67 million.
The 2009 levy for the City of Canton is as follows:
Total: $27.30/1000 valuation
Surrounding by natural beauty, Canton is a flourishing city with many active organizations and recreational options.
Residents of Canton enjoy the benefit of living in a secure community where public safety is always a priority.
Emergency Services Snapshot
One of the important components contributing to the high quality of life in the Canton area is the Canton school system.
Residents of Canton have access to a variety of health care options providing state-of-the-art care.
Canton is home to six industries and provides and attractive site to establish new commercial enterprises.
When it comes to dining out or just relaxing, Canton has a variety of options. Guests can enjoy everything from Black Angus steak and seafood to home cooking from our locally-owned café.
The Canton area has ten churches and a very active Ministerial Association that meets once a month. This association is comprised of local pastors and youth directors working together to spread the word of God. Several times a year the group provides opportunities for people of all faiths to meet and worship together at a Unity Service, Thanksgiving Eve Service, National Day of Prayer and Baccalaureate. They are also responsible for the local food pantry and care for those in need in our community.