The first family of De Smet was that of Charles P. Ingalls. He was the timekeeper for the railway construction crew at his camp on the Shore of Silver Lake, a mile east of where De Smet was to be built.
As construction work ceased in the fall of 1879, he and his wife and four daughters remained in the timekeeper’s building through the winter and spring and built what was to become Ingalls store. By 1883, De Smet was a typical early prairie town. De Smet had about 60 buildings including grocery and provision stores, wagon shops, lumber yards, banks, a drug store, newspaper companies, a flour mill, a church, a school, an elevator, two attorneys, a harness shop, one hotel and two real estate dealers.
On November 2, 1889, President William Harrison issued a proclamation announcing the admission of South Dakota as a state of the great republic of the United States of America. The late 1890s were years of progress, which brought about the passing of the sod shanty. With the 29th century came the telephone, rural mail routes and the automobile. Progression also brought electric lights by 1910 and the radio by 1920. De Smet was among the early ones to have cement sidewalks and the surfaced streets by the 1950s