Yankton is a city in, and the county seat of, Yankton County, South Dakota, United States. The population was 14,454 at the 2010 census. Yankton was the original capital of Dakota Territory. It is named for the Yankton tribe of Nakota (Sioux) Native Americans. Yankton is located on the Missouri River just downstream of the Gavins Point Dam and Lewis and Clark Lake and just upstream of the confluence with the James River. The Human Services Center was established as a psychiatric hospital in 1882 and is on the National Register of Historic Places. Yankton is commonly referred to as the "River City", due to its proximity to the Missouri River and the importance that the river played in the city's settlement and development.
Yankton is served by the Yankton Public School District (K-12), Sacred Heart Catholic School (pK-8), and Mount Marty College. Yankton was once home to Yankton College; founded in 1881, it was the first liberal arts college in the Dakota Territory. The college closed in 1984. The campus was acquired by the Federal Bureau of Prisons in 1988 for use as the Federal Prison Camp - Yankton.
The Yankton School District has a variety of extracurricular activities including athletics and non-athletics. The athletic teams are universal on all levels of education including the Yankton Middle School and the Yankton High School. The boys' athletic teams are known as the Yankton Bucks and the girls' teams are known as the Yankton Gazelles. Yankton's debate team is the host of the annual Lewis and Clark Debate Tournament, held on the last weekend of the month of January.
The city is served by Chan Gurney Municipal Airport. Highway transportation across the Missouri River to Nebraska is provided by US Route 81 via the Discovery Bridge, which replaced the Meridian Highway Bridge in 2008.