1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/South Dakota

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SOUTH DAKOTA, one of the North Central states of the American Union, lying between 42° 28' and 45° 57' N. Lat. and 96° 26' and 104° 3' W. long. It is bounded N. by North Dakota; E. by Minnesota and Iowa; S. by Nebraska; and W. by Wyoming and Montana. Lake Traverse and the Big Stone Lake separate the state in part from Minnesota; the Big Sioux River forms most of the boundary between South Dakota and Iowa; and the Missouri river separates the state in part from Nebraska. South Dakota has an extreme length, east and west, of 380 m., an extreme width, north and south, of 245 m., and a total area of 77,615 sq. m., of which 747 sq. m. are water-surface.

Topography.—With the exception of the Black Hills district in the south-west, the state is a wide rolling plain, with its eastern portion a part of the Prairie Plains region, and its western portion a part of the Great Plains. The surface of this plain, however, ranges from level river valleys in the east to irregular plateaus broken by buttes and scored by cañons in the west. The lowest part of the state is the surface of Big Stone Lake, about 970 ft. above the sea; the highest point is Harney Peak in the Black Hills, which rises to a height of 7216 ft. The state as a whole has a mean elevation of 2200 ft., with 270 sq. m. below 1000 ft.; 42,300 sq. m. between 1000 and 2000 ft.; 23,000 sq. m. between 2000 and 3000 ft.; 10,700 sq. m. between 3000 and 5000 ft.; and 1380 sq. m. between 5000 and 8000 ft.

In the extreme north-east there is a range of low hills known as the Coteau des Prairies, which crosses the state in a S.S.E. direction through Marshall, Roberts, Grant and Deuel counties and maintains an almost constant altitude of from 1950 to 2050 ft. It forms the divide between the headwaters of the Minnesota river on the east and of the James river on the west. To the south and west of the Coteau des Prairies lie vast stretches of plains, including the valleys of the Big Sioux and James rivers. This region presents no striking topographic features except the numerous small lakes which occupy the hollows created by the continental ice-sheet. The greater part of the James River Valley lies in the bed of the extinct Lake Dakota, which was once a very narrow body of water extending northward from about the latitude of the present town of Mitchell for a short distance into what is now North Dakota. West of the James River Valley lies an elevated table-land, known as the Coteau du Missouri, which marks the water parting between the James and the Missouri rivers, and has a general elevation of about 1800 ft. Along the west boundary of the state the general elevation of the Great Plains is about 3500 ft. As the part east of the river was once covered by the ice-sheet, its hills have been lowered and its valleys filled through the attrition of glaciers until the surface has a gently undulating appearance. West of the Missouri river the sheet of glacial drift is absent, and the lands everywhere show evidence of extensive stream erosion. The surface is broken by many clusters of small hills, such as the Fox Ridge in the central part of the state and the Cave Hills in the north-west, and in the vicinity of streams it is much cut up by deep ravines. In the south-west the results of this erosion are seen in an accentuated form in the region between the White river and the South Fork of the Cheyenne river, known as the Bad Lands or terres mauvaises. This area extends from the 101st meridian up the White river for about 120 m. and varies in width from 30 to 50 m. Here the land surface has been carved into forms in infinite variety. Many slender columns of clay, supporting masses of sandstone which have protected them from erosion, rise from the surface like gigantic toadstools. The sides of these ridges and pinnacles are bare of vegetation and display a variety of colours in buff, cream, pale green, grey and flesh. The most prominent features of the landscape rise from 150 to 300 ft. above the valleys; the latter and the flat tops of the mesas are sometimes covered with a scanty soil and a sparse growth of grass. These Bad Lands were once a fairly level plain, but intricate stream erosion produced the labyrinth of ravines and ridges for which the region is noted. The Bad Lands of the White river are also noted for their wealth of animal fossils, which have been found in such quantities as to cause geologists to believe that the vertebrates perished there in droves during a severe storm or flood. Other Bad Lands, on a less impressive scale, are found along the Grand and the Moreau or Owl rivers. North-west of the Bad Lands of the White river lie the Black Hills (q.v.), an irregular dome-shaped uplift, about 125 m. long and 60 m. wide, lying partly in Wyoming, and with the main axis trending almost north-west and south-east. The uplift is completely enclosed by a rim of hog-back ridges from 300 to 600 ft. above the plain, and between this rim and the hills proper lies the Red Valley, a tract about 3 m. wide and bordered on the inner side by the main mass of limestone and crystalline rocks which have in general a height of 4000 or 5000 ft. above the sea—some ridges and peaks rise higher still. Upon this limestone plateau there is a central area of high ridges, among them the rough crags of Harney, Custer and Dodge peaks. Between the ridges of the central area lie wide valleys and “parks.” The streams flowing from the central area have cut deep gorges and cañons, and among the ridges the granitic rocks have assumed many strange forms. Though rising from a semi-arid plateau, these mountains have sufficient rainfall to support an abundant plant growth, and have derived their name from the fact that their slopes are dark with heavy forests. Cathedral Park in the southern portion, Spearfish Cañon in the north, and the extensive fossil forest at the foot of Mattie's Peak are noteworthy; while the Crystal Cave, near Piedmont, and the Wind Cave, near Hot Springs, are almost unrivalled.

With the exception of the extreme north-east, the state lies within the drainage system of the Missouri river. This stream enters the state near the centre of the northern boundary, pursues a winding south-easterly course, and from its intersection with the 43rd parallel of N. lat. to its junction with the Big Sioux river separates South Dakota from Nebraska. The Big Sioux river rises in the Coteau des Prairies in the north-east and flows almost directly south for nearly 200 m., in the lower part of its course forming

the boundary between South Dakota and Iowa. To the west of this stream and almost parallel with it is the James or Dakota river, which rises in North Dakota and follows a general course southward until it joins the Missouri river near Yankton. From the west the Missouri receives the Grand, Moreau or Owl, Cheyenne and White rivers. Of these the Cheyenne is the most important, being formed by two branches, the Belle Fourche and the South Fork, which, after almost completely encircling the Black Hills, unite at a point nearly 350 m. from their sources. Many of the smaller streams in the Black Hills lose their waters in their lower courses through seepage and evaporation. The Minnesota river has its source in the north-east, and the Big Stone Lake, a body of water about 25 m. long and 3 m. wide, forms a connecting link between its headwaters and the rest of the stream. North of this lake lies Lake Traverse, 27 m. long and 3 m. wide, whose waters flow north into the Bois de Sioux river, whence they flow into the Red River (of the North). The portion of South Dakota east of the Missouri river is dotted with numerous lakes, ranging from small ponds to bodies of water from 10 to 15 m. in diameter. The plains, except in the south-east corner, are under laid by sheets of water-bearing sandstone, which carry a volume of water under such pressure that in the valleys of the James river and the Missouri river and its western tributaries a strong surface flow may be obtained from artesian wells. In 1905 over a thousand wells had been sunk east of the Missouri, and the flow was estimated at 7,000,000 gallons per day.

Fauna and Flora.—Large game within the state is practically extinct. The herds of bison, antelope and elk that once roamed the prairies have vanished, but a few mountain sheep still graze on the grass-covered mesas in inaccessible portions of the Bad Lands. There, too, the grey (or timber) wolf and the coyote are found. The species of small animals do not differ from those found in other parts of the Middle West.

The total woodland area has been estimated at 2500 sq. m., about 3.25 % of the land area, and of this amount 2000 sq. m. are in the Black Hills district. All the higher lands of this area are covered by forests; but the Red Valley, lying between the outer ridges and the main uplift, is treeless. Most of the forest consists of yellow pine, but the spruce, aspen, white birch, bur oak, box elder, red cedar, white elm and cottonwood are among the other varieties found. With the exception of narrow strips of woodland along the courses of the larger streams, the rest of the state consists of treeless prairie-lands, which are usually covered with valuable grasses. In the more arid regions the sage-brush and cactus make their appearance. Two national forests contained (1910) 2022 sq. m.

Climate.—The climate of South Dakota is of a continental type. Owing to the northern latitude, comparatively high altitudes, and the great distance from the ocean, there are great annual variations of temperature and a very small amount of rainfall. The state is coldest in the north-east and warmest in the region south of the Cheyenne and west of the Missouri river. The isothermal lines trend from south-east to north-west. The winters are long and marked by exceedingly low temperatures, but as they are the driest season of the year, the extremes are not so disagreeable as they would be in a more humid region. The mean winter temperature ranges from 13° F. at Aberdeen in the northern part of the James River Valley to 25° at Rapid City, in the Black Hills district. The absolute minima at these two places are respectively -46° and -29°; the absolute maxima, 111° and 106°, and the mean annual temperatures, 42° and 46°. At Brookings, in the extreme east, the mean annual temperature is 43°; the mean for the summer is 68° with an extreme recorded of 104°; the mean for the winter is 15° with an extreme recorded of -41°. At Ashcroft, in the extreme north-west, the mean annual temperature is 44°; the mean for the summer 68°; and for the winter 20°; while the highest and lowest temperatures ever recorded are respectively 114° and 44°.

The average annual amount of rainfall for the state is about 20 in., ranging from 13.9 in. at Ashcroft to 25.9 in. at Aberdeen. It is usually greatest in the valleys of the James and Big Sioux rivers and least in the extreme north-central and north-western parts of the state. The average amount of rainfall for the spring is 6 or 7 in.; for the summer, 8 or 9 in.; for the autumn, 3 or 4 in.; and for the winter, 1 or 2 in. The snows are generally light, and cattle may graze on the prairies during most of the winter; but there are occasional severe “blizzards,” which are accompanied by intense cold and high winds.

Soils.—The glacial drift east of the Missouri river, unlike that of the New England states, is remarkably free from boulders and gravel, except in a few morainic belts. It is often locally enriched by vegetable mould, and is well adapted for wheat-growing. West of the Missouri river the drift gives place to a fine soil of sand and clay, with deposits of alluvium in the vicinity of streams. Though lacking in vegetable mould, these soils are generally capable of producing good crops where the water-supply is sufficient. The larger valleys of the Black Hills district contain fertile alluvial deposits washed from the neighbouring highlands, but in the plains adjoining these mountains the soils consist of a stiff gumbo suitable only for pasture land. There are throughout the state occasional tracts in which, owing to deficient drainage, an excess of alkali has accumulated, and which require special treatment before they can be made again productive.

Irrigation.—South Dakota in 1889 had only 15,717 acres of irrigated land. Ten years later this area had increased to 43,676 acres. Of the total, 38,453 acres were irrigated by streams and 5,223 acres by wells. The area irrigated by streams was confined largely to the Black Hills region, the water being supplied by the North Fork and the South Fork rivers, which are tributaries of the Cheyenne. The artesian basin of the east part of the state is fairly well developed, several wells having a flow of from 2000 to 4350 gallons per minute and a pressure of 150 ℔ to the square inch. Under the Reclamation Act passed by Congress in 1902 the irrigation of 100,000 acres in the Belle Fourche Valley adjacent to the Black Hills region was provided for. It provides for a dam across Owl Creek 6500 ft. long and 20 ft. wide on top, and for two main canals from this distributing centre, one the north canal supplying water for the irrigation of 66,857 acres north of the Belle Fourche river and east of Owl Creek, and the other the south canal for the irrigation of 28,240 acres south of the Belle Fourche. Lateral canals are provided from the main canals to each farm.

Agriculture.—Agriculture is the leading industry in South Dakota; in 1900 out of 137,156 persons engaged in occupations, 82,857 followed agricultural pursuits. In 1890 the total acreage devoted to farming was 11,396,460, which in 1900 had increased to 19,070,616. The percentage of improved acreage, however, fell during the same period from 61.1% in 1890 to 59.2% in 1900. This was due largely to the opening up of land which had formerly not been utilized. The average size of farms (excluding farms under 3 acres with products valued at less than $500) was 227.2 acres in 1890 and 364.1 acres in 1900. The value of all farm property increased from $145,527,556 in 1890 to $297,525,302 in 1900. The average farm value also rose during these ten years from $2901 to $5654, and the value per acre advanced from $12.77 to $15.60. Fewer farms were worked by owners in 1900 than in 1890, the percentage in the former year being 78.2 and in the latter year 86.6. In 1900 share tenants worked 18.4% of the farms and cash tenants, 3.4%. The total value of farm products in 1899 was $66,082,419 as against $22,047,279 in 1889. Of the total product value in 1899, 78.3% was represented by cereals, South Dakota ranking sixteenth among the states in cereal production. Wheat constituted 60.7% of the total for all cereals, Indian corn 21.1%, oats 11.9% and barley 5.8%. A considerable area was devoted to the cultivation of apples, plums and cherries. The total acreage of spring wheat, the state's leading crop, in 1909 was 3,375,000 with a yield of 47,588,000 bush. valued at $42,829,000, South Dakota ranking third among the states. Next in importance in 1909 came Indian corn with an acreage of 2,059,000 and a product of 65,270,000 bush. ($32,635,000). Oats had an acreage of 1,450,000 and a product of 49,600,000 bush. ($14,790,000). Barley was cultivated on 1,021,000 acres, the product amounting to 19,910,000 bush. ($8,960,000). In the quantity of barley produced the state ranked fifth. In its output of flax, grown almost entirely for the seed, the state held second rank with a product of 5,640,000 bush. ($8,516,000). The hay acreage was 536,000 and the production, 804,000 tons. Wheat grows chiefly in the east and north-east parts of the state, especially in Brown, Spink, Roberts, Day and Grant counties, the largest crop in 1899 being that of Brown county, 3,320,570 bush., or about 011e-twelfth of the state's product. Corn grows throughout the western half of the state, and especially in the south-western parts, in Lincoln, Clay, Union, Yankton and Bonhommie counties, the largest crop in 1899 being that of Lincoln county, 3,914,840 bush., nearly one-eleventh of the state crop. Oats has a distribution similar to that of corn, the largest crop in 1899 being that of Minnehaha county, 1,666,110 bush., about one-nineteenth of the state crop. Barley grows principally in the eastern and southern parts of the state—Minnehaha, Moody, Lake and Brookings counties—the largest crop in 1899 being that of Minnehaha county, 932,860 bush., more than one-seventh of the state.

The state is especially well adapted for grazing, and during 1890-1900 there was a large increase in the number of farm animals. The gain was chiefly confined to cattle, but the number of horses, sheep and swine also showed substantial increases. The value of all livestock in 1890 was $29,689,509 and in 1900, $65,173,432. The number and value respectively of the various farm animals on the 1st of January 1910 were as follows: horses, 612,000 ($64,260,000), dairy cows, 656,000 ($21,648,000); other cattle, 1,341,000 ($28,832,000); swine, 805,000 ($8,936,000); and sheep, 829,000 ($3,316,000).

Mining.—The minerals of South Dakota, of which gold is the most important, are chiefly found in the Black Hills region. This section covers about 3500 sq. m. in the south-east part of the state and includes the counties of Lawrence, Custer, Meade, Pennington and Fall River. Silver follows gold in importance, but the other minerals met with, including gypsum, mica, petroleum, natural gas, granite, marble and tin are not found in paying quantities.

Gold was first discovered in French Creek, Custer county, on the 27th of July 1874 by miners who were with Custer's expedition. Gold was also found later in Lawrence county north of Custer.

and the Homestake Belt in the former county has ever since been the chief producer in the state. For ten years after the Black Hills were thrown open little gold was mined because of the lack of railway facilities. Cement deposits were discovered in the Black Hills region in 1876 and in the same year the first quartz mill was set up in Deadwood. In 1889 a cement plant was built at Yankton, and it is still worked although the output is small. Mica-mining was also carried on for a time but was soon abandoned. The first natural gas-well in the state was drilled at Pierre in 1892.

The total value of all mineral products in 1902 was $6,769,104, of which $6,464,258 were represented by gold and silver, $110,789 by sandstones and quartzites and $86,605 by limestones and dolomites; in 1908 the total value was $8,528,234, which was an increase of more than $3,500,000 over the value in 1907. This increase was due almost entirely to the gain in the gold output which advanced in value from $4,138,200 in 1907 to $7,742,200 in 1908. The total amount of gold mined in 1908 was 374,529 fine ounces, the greater part coming from the Homestake Mine. In 1908, 197,300 oz. of silver were obtained, valued at $105,500 as against $70,400 in 1907 and $101,086 in 1906.

Manufactures.—Manufacturing in South Dakota is of little importance and is confined chiefly to articles for home consumption. Between 1890 and 1900 the number of establishments increased from 499 to 1639, the capital invested from $3,207,796 to $7,578,895 and the value of products from $5,682,748 to $12,231,239. Under the factory system there were 624 establishments in 1900 and 686 in 1905; the capital invested in 1900 was $6,051,288 and in 1905 $7,585,142; and the value of the, products was $9,529,946 in 1900 and $13,085,333 in 1905. Both in 1900 and 1905 flour and gristmill products ranked first in value, the figures for 1900 being $3,208,532 and for 1905 $6,519,364. The second industry was the manufacture of cheese, butter and condensed milk, and the third, printing and publishing. Sioux Falls is the principal industrial centre.

Transportation.—The railway mileage of Dakota in 1870 (before the present states of South and North Dakota were erected) was only 75 m., and in 1880, 1225 m. In 1890 the mileage of South Dakota was 2610 m., in 1900, 2961 m., and in 1909, 3776 m. The rincipal systems are the Chicago, Milwaukee & St Paul, the Great Northern and the North-western. The principal waterway is the Missouri River. whose channel has an average depth at low water of about 2% ft. between Sioux City and Fort Denton, Montana, but the constant shifting of the channel makes navigation uncertain.

Population.—The total population of South Dakota in 1890 (the date of the first Federal census taken since its separate existence as a state) was 328,808, and in 1900 it was 401,570; the increase from 1890 to 1900 being (exclusive of persons on Indian reservations) 16.8%. In 1910, according to the U.S. census, the total was 583,888. Of the population in 1900, 380,714 were whites, 88,508 were foreign-born, 465 were negroes, and 20,225 were Indians. Of the Indians 9293 were taxed. The population on Indian reservations in 1890 was 19,792; in 1900, 17,683. The Indians on reservations and in Indian schools include members of the Yankton, Yanktonai, Oglala, Brulé, Sisseton, Wahpeton, Flandreau, Sioux, Blackfeet, Miniconjou, Sans Arc and Ute tribes, on the Standing Rock and Cheyenne River reservations in the north of the state, the Lower Brulé and Crow Creek reservations in the central part, and the Pine Ridge and Rosebud reservations in the south. The figures for inhabitants born in the United States but not within the state show a preponderance of immigration from neighbouring states, there being, in 1900, 31,047 natives of Iowa, 24,995 natives of Wisconsin, 18,565 of Minnesota and 16,145 of Illinois, out of a total of 313,062. Of the total foreign-born population of 88,508, 19,788 were Norwegians, 17,873 Germans, 12,365 Russians, 5906 English Canadians, 5038 Danes, 3862 English and 3298 Irish. Of the total population 245,383 were of foreign parentage—i.e. either one or both parents foreign-born—and of those having both father and mother of foreign birth there were 44,516 of German parentage, 44,119 of Norwegian, 25,113 of Russian and 11,222 of Irish parentage. From 1890 to 1900, on the basis of places having 4000 inhabitants or more, the urban population increased from 10,177 in 1890 to 28,743 in 1900; so that there was the remarkable increase of 182.4% in urban population against an increase of 16.8% in the total population. In 1900 there were seven cities having 3000 or more inhabitants: Sioux Falls with 10,266; Lead, 6210; Yankton, 4125; Aberdeen, 4087; Mitchell, 4055; Deadwood, 3498; and Waterton, 3352.[1]

In 1906 the total number of communicants of different religious denominations in the state was 161,951, of whom 61,014 were Roman Catholics, 45,018 Lutherans, 16,143 Methodists, 8599 Congregationalists, 7055 Protestant Episcopalians, 6990 Presbyterians and 6198 Baptists.

Administration.—The state is governed under its original constitution of 1889, with amendments of 1896, 1898, 1900, 1902, 1904 and 1909. The suffrage is granted to all males[2] resident in an election precinct for ten days, in the county for thirty days, in the state for six months, in the United States for one year, and 21 years of age, except those under guardianship or insane, and those convicted of treason or felony, unless restored to civil rights. The legislature may propose amendments to the constitution by a majority vote of all members elected to each of the two houses, or may issue a call for a constitutional convention by a two-thirds' majority. In either case the proposition must be ratified by popular vote at the next general election.

The chief administrative officers are a governor, secretary of state, auditor, treasurer (not eligible for more than two consecutive terms), superintendent of public instruction, attorney general, and commissioner of school and public lands, all elected biennially by direct popular vote. The governor and lieutenant-governor must be citizens of the United States, qualified electors of the state, at least thirty years old, and residents of the state for two years preceding the election. The governor may remit fines and forfeitures, and grant reprieves, commutations and pardons, but in the more serious cases only on the recommendation of a board of pardons, composed of the presiding judge, the secretary of state, and the attorney-general. He has a veto power extending to items in appropriation bills, which may be overcome by a two-thirds vote in each house. A lieutenant-governor, chosen biennially, presides over the senate.

The legislative department consists of a Senate (with not fewer than twenty-five and not more than forty-five members) and a House of Representatives (with not fewer than seventy-five and not more than 135 members) chosen biennially. Senators and representatives must be qualified electors, citizens of the United States, at least twenty-five years old, and residents of the state for two years next preceding election. The sessions of the legislature are biennial and are limited to sixty days. Bills may originate in either house, and either house may amend the bills of the other house. A constitutional amendment providing for minority representation in the House of Representatives was rejected in 1889 by a large popular vote. South Dakota was the first American state to adopt the initiative and referendum. Under a constitutional amendment, adopted by popular vote on the 8th of November 1898, 5% of the legal voters of the state may require the legislature to submit to popular vote at the next general election measures which they wish enacted into law, or measures already passed by the legislature which have not yet gone into force. Exceptions to the referendum are made in the case of laws necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, or safety, or the support of the state government or the various state institutions. In practice the legislature has interpreted these exceptions so freely that nearly all important laws are passed with emergency clauses. The governor's veto does not apply to measures passed by popular vote.

The judicial department consists of the supreme court, circuit courts, county courts, justices of the peace, and police magistrates. The supreme court consists of five judges chosen for six years—the term for the first judges elected under the constitution of 1889 was four years. The state is divided into five districts and one judge is chosen from each district, although the election is made by the voters of the state at large. The court has appellate jurisdiction only, except for the power to issue writs of mandamus, quo warranto, certiorari, injunction and other original and remedial writs. The state is divided into ten circuits, and one judge is elected by the voters of each circuit for a period of four years. The legislature may, by a two-thirds' vote of each house, increase the number of circuits or the number of judges. The circuit courts have original jurisdiction of all actions and causes, both at law and in equity and such appellate jurisdiction as may be conferred by law. In each county there is a county court with a county judge who is elected by popular vote for two years. The court has original jurisdiction in probate cases, in civil cases involving $1000 or less, and in criminal cases below the grade of felony. Under an act of 1893 three-fourths of a jury may render a verdict in lesser civil cases in county and circuit courts. The jurisdiction of justices of the peace is determined by law, but it is restricted by the constitution to cases involving $100 or less.

For the administration of local government the state is divided into counties (64 in 1910) and these in turn are subdivided into townships and municipal corporations. Although the township exists throughout the state, in many cases it is organized only for school purposes and in many others its jurisdiction is so restricted as not to extend to the villages and boroughs within its limits. The county authority is a board of commissioners elected on a general ticket, the township authority a board of supervisors or trustees. For each county there are a judge, clerk of the court, sheriff, auditor, registrar of deeds, treasurer, state's attorney, surveyor, coroner and superintendent of schools, all elected biennially.

Miscellaneous Laws.—A primary law enacted in 1905 authorizes the county convention of any party to provide for the nomination of candidates for county offices and the state legislature by direct vote. The state has had a varied experience in dealing with the liquor problem. A constitutional ordinance forbidding the manufacture, importation and sale of intoxicants was adopted on the 1st of October 1889 by a vote of 40,234 to 34,510. The decision of the United States Supreme Court in the case of Leisy v. Hardin in 1890 (see North Dakota), and the lax enforcement of the ordinance in the larger towns soon resulted in an active movement for repeal. A state dispensary, similar to that of South Carolina (q.v.), was established in 1898 by a vote of 22,170 to 20,557, but it proved ineffective and was superseded in 1900 by the licence system. An attempt to introduce county local options was defeated in the election of 1908.

South Dakota long bore a notorious reputation for the laxity of its divorce laws. The grounds for action are still numerous. An act of 1907, ratified by popular vote in the election of 1908, raised the term of residence under which a person could apply for divorce from six months to one year, and provided that all cases should be tried openly at the regular term of court; and since the passage of this law Sioux Falls has ceased to be notorious for its divorce colony from other states. Neither husband nor wife has any interest in the separate property of the other and the wife may convey her real estate, other than a homestead, without her husband's consent, but the husband must support his wife out of his property or by his labour if he is able, and if he is unable the wife must support him so far as possible out of her property. The one may enter into contract with the other respecting property, and they may hold property as joint tenants. The descent of the estate of a husband dying intestate is the same as that of a wife dying intestate; if there is only one child, or the issue of only one child, the surviving spouse is entitled to one-half of the estate; if more than one child, to one-third of the estate; and if no children, father, mother, brother or sister, to the whole of the estate. The homestead of any family in the state is exempt from attachment, lien or forced sale, except for taxes or purchase money, provided it has been properly recorded; but it can embrace only one dwelling house, cannot include gold or silver mines, and is limited in value to $5000 to one acre if within a town plat, to 40 acres if it is in the country and was acquired under the laws of the United States relating to mineral lands, and to 160 acres of other land in the country. If the owner is married the homestead cannot be sold or mortgaged without the concurrence of both husband and wife. Upon the death of either husband or wife the exemption may be continued for the benefit of the surviving spouse, and upon the death of both husband and wife the exemption may be continued until the youngest child is of age.

Education.—At the head of the public-school system is a superintendent of public instruction chosen for two years. In each county there is a county superintendent, and in each school district a board of directors. When the state was admitted into the union two sections of land (1280 acres) in each township were set aside for educational purposes. The permanent school fund amounted to $4,852,567 on the 1st of July 1907. In 1908 the total expenditures for public schools were $3,152,006 ($1,633,594 being for teachers' salaries) and the total receipts were $3,853,695 of which $2,283,038 was from district taxes. In 1910 the total permanent school fund was $7,725,583 and the estimated value of the unsold lands held for the common schools and other educational endowments was $3,068,172. The schools are open to all pupils between the ages of six and twenty-one, and attendance for twelve weeks each year, eight of which must be consecutive, is compulsory for those between the ages of eight and fourteen. In the school year 1907-1908 77% of all persons of school age were enrolled in the public schools. The educational institutions of the state are all under the management of a board of regents of five members, who are appointed by the governor, with the approval of the senate for terms of six years. The leading state institutions are the state university (1882) at Vermilion, the agricultural college (1884) and the agricultural experiment station at Brookings, the state school of mines (1886) at Rapid City, and normal schools at Spearfish, Madison, Aberdeen and Springfield. The state university is under the control of the board of regents, and is maintained by the state and is the beneficiary of 86,000 acres of land grants from the Federal government. The city of Vermilion and Clay county and private persons have contributed largely to its support. It has a geological and mineralogical museum and under its supervision is carried on the state geological and natural history survey, the state geologist being head of the department of geology and mineralogy of the university. The university includes a college of arts and sciences, a school of commerce, an art department and colleges of law, music and engineering. The university (1910) had 51 instructors and 385 students. Denominational colleges are Yankton College (1882) and Redfield College (1887), both Congregational; Huron College (1883, Presbyterian), and Dakota Wesleyan University (1885; Methodist Episcopal) at Mitchell. The Norwegian Lutherans have a normal school at Sioux Falls, and the Roman Catholics have schools of higher grade at Sioux Falls, Deadwood and Aberdeen.

Charitable Institutions, &c.—The state maintains a school for the blind at Gary, a school for deaf mutes at Sioux Falls, a tuberculosis sanatorium at Custer, a general hospital for the insane at Yankton, a school for the feeble-minded at Redfield, a soldiers' home at Hot Springs, a reform school at Plankinton, and a penitentiary at Sioux Falls. All penal and charitable institutions are subject to the control of a state board of charities and corrections composed of five members appointed by the governor. A children's home at Sioux Falls is partly under state control. There is a Federal hospital for insane Indians at Canton.

Finance.—The general property tax is the chief source of revenue for state, county and local purposes. There is a local board of assessment and equalization in each county and a general board for the state at large. Corporations are reached through the general property tax, but there is a small levy on fire insurance companies for the support of the local fire departments. An inheritance tax was adopted in 1905 which progresses in proportion to the distance of relationship and the amount of the inheritance.[3] Poll taxes are levied by the counties and townships for school and local purposes. The current revenues of the state for the year ending on the 1st of July 1909, including cash on hand at the beginning of the year, were $4,148,734; for the same year the expenditures were $3,358,847. There is a small nominal indebtedness, less than the cash surplus in the treasury. The constitution fixes the debt limit at $100,000 over and above the share of the territorial debt assumed at the time of the formation of the state. The first national bank within the present limits of the state was organized at Yankton in 1872.

History.—The first authentic explorations in what is now South Dakota were made by the Lewis and Clark expedition in 1804 and 1806. The “Yellowstone,” a steamboat sent out by the American Fur Company, ascended the Missouri to Fort Pierre in 1831 and to the mouth of the Yellowstone river in 1832. Among the passengers on the second trip was the well known painter and ethnologist, George Catlin, who spent several weeks at Fort Pierre studying the manners and customs of the Indians. Explorations were also made by Prince Maximilian of Neuwied in 1832, by John C. Frémont in 1838, by Edward Harris and John J. Audubon in 1843, and by various others. Fort Pierre, which was founded by the American Fur Company about 1832, was sold to the United States government in 1855, and was converted into a military post. A settlement was made at Sioux Falls in 1856, but was abandoned about six years afterwards. In the meantime several small colonies had been established east of the Missouri River, but growth was much hampered by the Civil War and by Indians. Although it was not the centre of operations, the south of the territory suffered considerably in the various uprisings under Spotted Tail, Red Cloud and Sitting Bull in 1863-65, 1867, and 1875-76 (see North Dakota and Custer, George Armstrong). A railway (part of the Chicago, Milwaukee & St Paul system) was built from Sioux City to Yankton in 1872-1873, and in 1874 General Custer led an exploring expedition into the Black Hills, which resulted in the discovery of gold and the rapid settlement of a considerable portion of the west of the territory. A movement was at once begun to break up the great Sioux reservation, partly because it cut off this region from the older settlements east of the Missouri and partly because it contained a large amount of land which was very valuable for farming and grazing purposes. In 1876 the Indians ceded their title to lands in the Black Hills. Under the Dawes Allotment Act of February 1837, and a special statute of March 1889, an agreement was made with some Indians, and about 11,000,000 acres, or about half of the reserve, was thrown open to settlement on the 10th of February 1890. This included, roughly speaking, all of the land between the Missouri River and the Black Hills and between the White River and the Big Cheyenne and a strip extending north from the Black Hills to the North Dakota line between the 102nd and 103rd meridians. The remainder was divided into six smaller reservations, Standing Rock, lying partly in North Dakota, and Cheyenne River, Lower Brulé, Crow Creek, Rosebud, and Pine Ridge in South Dakota. Angered by this sacrifice of their lands and excited by prophecies of the coming of the Messiah, a considerable number of the Indians went on the warpath, but after a short campaign they were defeated by General Nelson A. Miles in the battle of Wounded Knee on the 29th of December 1890, and were compelled to make their submission. Since that time the whites have steadily encroached on the reservations. About 56,560 acres of Lower Brulé lands were opened for settlement in 1889, about 1,600,000 acres of Sisseton and Wahpeton lands[4] in 1892, 168,000 acres of the Yankton Sioux lands in 1895, 416,000 acres of the Rosebud lands in 1904, and 800,000 acres in 1908.

The territory included within the present limits of the state was a part of the district of Louisiana from 1805 to 1805, of the territory of Louisiana from 1805 to 1812, and of the territory of Missouri from 1812 to 1820. After the formation of the state of Missouri in 1820 it remained unorganized, the section east of the Missouri River until 1834, and the section west until 1854. The eastern section was successively a part of the territories of Michigan 1834-1836, Wisconsin 1836-1838, Iowa 1838-1849 and Minnesota 1849-1858, and the western section a part of the territory of Nebraska 1854-1861. On the admission of Minnesota into the Union in 1858, the eastern section was again left unorganized until the 2nd of March 1861, when the territory of Dakota was created, including the present Dakotas and portions of Wyoming and Montana. With the organization of the territory of Idaho in 1863 and the settlement of the southern boundary in 1870 and 1882, the Dakotas acquired their present territorial limits (see North Dakota). The inhabitants of the south of the territory held a convention at Sioux Falls in 1885, adopted a state constitution on the 3rd of November, and applied for admission into the Union. A proposition to divide the territory into two states at the forty sixth parallel was sanctioned by popular vote in the election of November 1887. In accordance with the Enabling Act, which received the President's approval on the 22nd of February 1889, a convention met at Sioux Falls on the 4th of the following July and re-adopted, with some slight verbal changes, the constitution of 1885. This was ratified at the polls on the 1st of October, together with a separate prohibition clause, which was carried by a vote of 40,234 to 34,510 (see Administration). On the 2nd of November 1889 President Harrison issued a proclamation declaring South Dakota a state. Subsequently, notwithstanding a temporary set-back due to the panic of 1893, there was a rapid increase of population and wealth. The immigrants came mainly from the northern states and from Scandinavia. In national politics South Dakota has been consistently Republican, except in the election of 1896, when, as a result of the hard times which followed the panic, the Populists and Democrats were able to form a coalition and carry the state for William J. Bryan.

Arthur C. Mellette  Republican  1889-1893
Charles H. Sheldon  1893-1897
Andrew E. Lee Populist 1897-1901
Charles N. Herreid  Republican 1901-1905
Samuel H. Elrod 1905-1907
Coe I. Crawford 1907-1909
Robert S. Vessey 1909-

Bibliography.—For physical description see the Bulletins of the South Dakota Geological Survey (Vermilion, 1894 sqq.); N. H. Darton, Geology and Underground Waters of South Dakota (Washington, 1909), Water Supply Paper 227 of the U.S. Geological Survey; James Edward Todd, “The Hydrographic History of South Dakota” in vol. xiii. of the Bulletin of the Geological Society of America (Rochester, 1902). And for administration and history see Hagerty, The Territory of Dakota (Aberdeen, 1889); E. L. Grantham, (ed.) Statutes of South Dakota (2nd revised ed., 2 vols., 1901); Doane Robinson, A Brief History of South Dakota (New York, 1905); J. F. Kelly, Manual of the Township and Road Laws of South Dakota 1907; the state constitution, biennial reports of the auditor, secretary of state and superintendent of public instruction, and annual reports of the railway commissioners, insurance department and treasurer.

EB1911 South Dakota.jpg
Emery Walker sc.
  1. In 1905, according to a state census, there were nine cities with 3000 or more inhabitants, showing some changes in order of size: Sioux Falls, 12,283; Lead, 8052; Aberdeen, 5841; Mitchell, 5719; Watertown, 5164; Deadwood, 4364; Yankton, 4189; Huron, 3783; Brookings, 3265. Pierre, the capital, had a population of 2794.
  2. The constitution provided for the submission to the people in November 1890 of the question whether the word “male” in Article vii. of the constitution as adopted be omitted, but the popular vote in 1890 and again in 1898 did not favour this change. In the original constitution it was provided that any woman having the qualifications as to age, residence and citizenship might vote at any election held solely for school purposes and “hold any office in this state except as otherwise provided in this constitution.”
  3. The rate for direct heirs and brothers and sisters is non-progressive.
  4. Part of this tract was situated in North Dakota.