The South Bottoms Memorial was created in 1997 to honor the pioneers, immigrants and families who made the South Bottoms area of Sioux City their home. This area of the Floyd River Valley was bounded on the north by Third Street and on the south by the Missouri River. The east edge was the Floyd River and the west edge neared Nebraska Street.Despite regular flooding by the Floyd and Missouri Rivers, the South Bottoms was home to many poor working families. Many immigrants, including Bohemian, Irish, Scandinavian, and Mexican families made their homes in the area along with Native Americans and African Americans. Most did not have transportation and lived close to the factories and packing plants where they worked.
Many homes in the South Bottoms area were destroyed during the construction of Interstate 29, and most of the remaining homes were sacrificed during the construction of the new Floyd River Channel in 1962. Nearly five hundred families were forced to relocate during the rechannelization project.
The South Bottoms Memorial was created from stones from the Combination Bridge. Most of the memorial funds were donated, and the labor was done by volunteers.