Archive for the ‘South Dakota History’ Category

The national woman suffrage story ultimately became a success because of the success of suffragists at the state and local levels. Next year, as we celebrate a century since the ratification of the 19th Amendment, it is important to remember the significance of the state and local stories as well.

Simultaneously the most fun and most frustrating part of designing this display was choosing which items to include. The Jane Breeden, Mamie Pyle and Gladys Pyle papers contained a wealth of fascinating items. These collections worked well together to provide different perspectives of the suffrage movement. As a leading suffragist in South Dakota, Mamie Pyle’s papers provided an insight into the “business” end of the movement, while Jane Breeden’s papers gave a non-leadership perspective. Although active in the suffrage movement herself, Gladys Pyle’s papers were important to show that women were not just capable of using the vote, but they were more than capable of pursuing political office all the way to Washington D.C.

Organizing the display by theme seemed a much better way to put the items in conversation with one another. Highlighting the reoccuring elements of democracy, wartime, anti-suffragist and citizenship, it was clear that the history of the suffrage movement was not exclusively a women’s story. There were so many interesting and sometimes absurd pieces; I hope at the very least, those who are interested in the woman suffrage movement will take the time to visit the Archives and Special Collections at USD.

Although many of the items on display can be accessed through the Digital Library of South Dakota (DLSD), a trip to USD’s Archives and Special Collections is unparalleled. Sure, you can peruse these collections from the comfort of your own armchair, but the reading room has comfortable seating, a welcoming atmosphere and a superb staff waiting for you to bring in your research questions.

Interning at A&SC has been a rewarding experience. Honestly, it was a little like going on a treasure hunt, and every time I entered the stacks, I found something new. There were a few projects that I worked on through the semester, but the opportunity to put together a display on woman suffrage was by far my favorite.

My hope with this display is that it will encourage visitors to further explore these manuscript collections for the items that had to reluctantly be returned to the stacks and to contemplate how some of the issues presented in the display remain relevant today.

Information and items from:

Richardson Collection, Archives and Special Collections, the University of South Dakota

  • the Mamie Shields Pyle Papers
  • the Gladys Pyle Papers
  • the Jane Rooker Breeden papers

Chilson Collection, Archives and Special Collections, the University of South Dakota

  • Lahlum, Lori Ann and Molly P. Rozum. Equality at the Ballot Box: Votes for Women on the Northern Great Plains. Pierre, SD: South Dakota Historical Society Press, 2019.

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In recognition of Florence Nightingale’s 200th birthday and her contributions to health, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared 2020 as the “Year of the Nurse and Midwife”. This post is a continuation of another post that focused on midwives.

Nurses have gone from being regarded as a menial profession to a respected field of study. The three books detailed in this post examine two extraordinary women who lead the shift and one extraordinary local nursing school that educated future nurses.

Reminiscences of America’s First Trained Nurse is an autobiography written by Linda Richards, known as “America’s First Trained Nurse”. The book discusses very briefly her childhood but goes on to discuss her education and, then, her career in nursing.  Richards is considered the first trained nurse as she was the first nurse to enter and graduate a newly organized nursing school. She described the instruction at the school as limited and that the nurses weren’t even allowed to know what medicines were being used, as they were numbered. There were no textbooks nor exams. After her education, she travelled around the Eastern hemisphere, where she spent of her career in England and Japan.

Richards spent time overseas in England, where she met Florence Nightingale and other programs spread across the country. In Japan, she managed a nursing training school for Japanese women. What started in a cramped building expanded to multiple, more spacious buildings. During her time in Japan, she noticed the women made good nurses due to their patience, charm, compliance, and ability to copy what they were taught. As time passed, they also defied cultural norms and took charge with male patients. After 5 years in Japan, she returned to the United States to work in different schools for 20 years, including multiple mental health and state hospitals.  The first trained American nurse devoted her life to making sure others received the training they needed.

Florence Nightingale, the inspiration behind next year’s theme, was not just the founder of modern nursing, but a social reformer and statistician. During her career, she rose to prominence for her management of medical care during the Crimean War, introduced higher standards of hygiene in medical care, workhouses, and homes, and helped establish the first secular school of nursing. The school, Florence Nightingale Faculty of Nursing and Midwifery, still stands today at the King’s College, London in England.

Notes on Nursing: What it Is and What it is Not was originally published in 1859, but this copy contains both the original work along with reflections of prominent nursing theorists nearly a century and a half later. Despite being sometimes regarded as a training manual for nurses, it was actually intended for those who were at-home nurses. It primarily covers advice for hospital environments/patient care. However, it focuses more on the practices than the patients themselves. Throughout the book Nightingale only refers to nurses by she/her or as women. In the margins, Nightingale has left short notes or annotations. Through this particular work and her work as a nurse, Nightingale will be known for bringing nursing into a modern age and bringing compassion into nursing.

In 1883, residents of Sioux Falls are determined to establish a hospital after tales of medical progress from the Chicago World’s Fair reached the city. It was in 1884 that they received their first patient—whose first choice had been the penitentiary, which was a safer option than a hospital at the time. Over the hospital’s history, the orthopedic department and children’s department rose in prominence due to patient care offered during the polio epidemic in the late 1940s. During the 50s, after a rise in demand for diploma education, the school re-established their three-year degree program. Today, the hospital exists as the Sanford USD Medical Center.

The Sioux Valley School of Nursing: 1898-1986 covers the entirety of the history of the Sioux Valley Hospital School of Nursing, from its inception in 1898 to its final graduating class. It is dedicated to Anna Haugan Berdahl, the first full-time, paid administrative staff member, and covers 7 distinct eras: “We Begin”, “Years of Change”, “Sioux Valley Hospital”, “New Horizons”, “The Three-Year Diploma”, “The Unsettled Years”, and “The Final Decade.” It contains many photos of students, uniforms, and buildings. Some chapter pages designating the covered era include excerpts from actual school and hospital rules or policies. The final pages have a timeline covering the span of the school’s existence. In total, the school graduated 2,120 nurses. As new doors opened for women in the job field, the doors to the Sioux Valley School of Nursing closed.

If you’d like to learn more about USD’s College of Nursing’s history, click here. For a list of recommended websites, visit USD’s Nursing Library Guide here


To find each work in our collection, click on the title in the following list of references:

Nightingale, F. (1992). Notes on nursing : What it is, and what it is not (First ed.). Philadelphia: Lippincott.

Richards, L., & Austin, A. (1949). Reminiscences of Linda Richards : America’s first trained nurse. Philadelphia: Lippincott.

Sioux Valley Hospital. School of Nursing. (1986). History of Sioux Valley Nursing School, 1896-1986. Sioux Falls, SD: Sioux Valley Hospital.

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Betty Turner Asher was the first woman president of any public higher education system in South Dakota. She served at USD from 1989-1996, resigning after seven years of service. At the time, her tenure was tied with two other presidents for the fourth longest term of any president at USD. Asher was previously the Vice President of Student Affairs for Arizona State University, and held three degrees: a bachelor’s in history, a master’s in counseling, and a doctorate in education.

Asher’s accomplishments while at USD are many, and some are listed here. Under President Asher:

-USD approved and began additions to the I.D. Weeks library

-Renovation was approved for the oldest building on campus, Old Main

-Construction was completed on the Health Sciences Center in Sioux Falls

-Funds were dedicated to expand the Lommen Health Sciences Library

-Enrollment hit a record high of 7,739 in 1989

-A record 1,118 degrees were conferred in May 1995

-USD Law rose to the top half of rankings in accredited institutions by the American Bar Association

-USD ranked in the top 5% of the nation’s colleges and universities, as reported by US News and World Report

-Psychology, Nursing, Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Administrative Studies, Counseling, Physician’s Assistant are just some of the programs that were added or experienced growth under her leadership

Asher was known to students and faculty for her open door policy, and made leaps and bounds in improving diversity at USD. In an interview with the South Dakotan in July 1996, she states: “But I am happy that our gay and lesbian students are comfortable enough to meet openly as a group…I have received all kinds of letters and notes from the Native American community. I have been deeply touched by their response.” Asher goes on to speak about how the students and faculty make USD a success, and that she appreciated the close relationships she had with USD and its faculty and students. She recalled students coming up to her home and inviting her to join them downtown, and said that USD is where she never woke up in the morning and did not want to go to work.

Asher is the first in a short list of female leadership at South Dakota public universities. Only seven women have served as university presidents in South Dakota since Asher’s term. They are:

Peggy Gordon-Miller, South Dakota State University, 1998-2006

Kay Schallenkamp, Black Hills State University, 2006-2015

Laurie S. Nichols (interim), Northern State University, 2008-2009

Heather Ann Wilson, South Dakota School of Mines, 2013-2017

Maria Ramos (interim), Dakota State University, 2014-2015

Jose-Marie Griffiths, Dakota State University, 2015-Present

Sheila K. Gestring, University of South Dakota, 2018-Present

Betty Turner Asher’s papers are held at the Archives and Special Collections at USD.


Betty Turner Asher, from USD’s Past President’s website, sourced below


South Dakotan, July 1996 Issue

Karl Mundt Library, Dakota State University






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The Chilson Collection of Western Americana has many Dakota Territory and South Dakota books and journals and a few surprises. I found this early South Dakota chronology in The Monthly South Dakotan, March 1899, vol. 1 no. 11, pages 191-193.

May contain offensive language.




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GLO -1-crop-rotate

The Archives and Special Collections has a small collection of General Land Office maps. The Black Hills maps are supplemental plats, extension surveys, and dependent resurveys with dates between 1927 and 1932. They show mineral surveys, mine names, homestead entry surveys, homesteader names, forest reserves, sections with subdivisions, surveyor names and sometimes relief. The Cheyenne River Reservation maps are dependent resurveys with dates between 1929 and 1931. They show allotments with serial numbers, and sections with subdivisions.


Does anyone know the location of the surveyors’ notes connected with the resurveys? Does anyone know the meaning of the serial numbers on the allotments?

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USMC Lapel Pins

USMC Lapel Pins

The Archives and Special Collections invites you to view our display featuring military-related pieces from the William J. Janklow Papers. Items now on display include:

•       Marine Corps Jacket, two USMC lapel pins,

and business cards from Governor and Congress

•       Longlive Friendship Plaque, gifted to Janklow by the Republic of China

•       Corning/Foss Award Plaque

•       Photograph of South Dakota Air National Guard A7Ds over Mount Rushmore

•       South Dakota World War II Memorial

(Framed Color Picture, Framed Belt Buckles, and Engraved Stone)

•       Fallen Sons and Daughters of South Dakota in WWII books

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I recently attended the South Dakota State Historical Society 2013 History Conference. There were many great papers, but the one that stands out in my mind used maps plus a diary as primary resources. Graham Callaway talked about G.K. Warren’s 1856 maps of the Missouri River. These maps were only available at the National Archives, but are now published in the book by W. Raymond Wood and Graham Callaway from the State Historical Society of North Dakota. Hutton, a member of the expedition, also kept a journal of the expedition to map the river. Information from the diary helped the authors to interpret some of the symbols on the maps. There are 39 maps depicting the Missour River from what is now the Kansas-Nebraska border to the confluence of the Missouri and Yellowstone Rivers. Of special interest to me was the map showing the Vermillion area.

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Preliminary List of USD Campus Projects 1997-2011

For my first project as a volunteer at the University of South Dakota archives, I compiled a list of building projects that occurred from 1997-2011. This list will be added to for use in the Buildings, Other Structures, and Utilities collection at the archives. The main resource for my research was editions of the USD alumni magazine, The South Dakotan, since the fall of 1997. This directory to USD campus projects will be added to as others look through the Volante. Hopefully past editions of the Volante  will help us learn the names of the architects who were employed to build these projects. It was a fun assignment to be a part of, and I look forward to my next project.

Preliminary List of USD Campus Projects 1997-2011

Academic Commons

  • Ribbon Cutting January 2011[i]

Akeley Science Center

  • Rededicated Akeley Lawrence 10 December 2001[ii]

Al Neuharth Media Center

  • First mentioned in Freedom Forum speech Sept. 24, 1998[iii]
  • Al Neuharth Media Center dedicated 25 September 2003[iv]

Beacom School of Business

  • Business building preview: initially was going to be named after Walter A. Buhler who gave lead gift in 1998[v]
  • Groundbreaking set for early 2008[vi]
  • Beacom School dedicated to Mr. Miles Beacom  9 October 2009[vii]

Beede Hall

  • Renovations made, July 2007[viii]

Burgess Hall

  • Renovations to Burgess, August 2005[ix]

Coyote Statue

  • Unveiling scheduled for Fall 2012[x]

Coyote Village

  • Ground breaking Sept. 21, 2009[xi]
  • Ribbon cutting ceremony Sept. 2, 2010[xii]

DakotaDome roof

  • Replaced Spring of 2001 [Constructed by USD alum Roger “Bo” Harris’s company Harris Construction][xiii]

Dean Belbas Center

  • Dedication and ribbon cutting Oct. 1, 2004[xiv]

Lee Medical Building [The Andrew E. Lee Memorial Medicine and Science Building]

  • Fundraising begins for medical sciences school[xv]
  • Closer to goal for breaking ground[xvi]
  • Ground breaking June 25, 2004[xvii]
  • $20 million benefit from Sanford, Dec. 27, 2005[xviii]
  • 2nd of 2 phase construction on med school nearly finished[xix]
  • Dedicated to donor of land Andrew E. Lee and ribbon cutting on Friday Sep. 5 2008[xx]

McFadden Hall

  • Converted and renovated from apartments added to USD during the fall of 2003[xxi]

Mickelson Hall

  • Renovations to Mickelson, July 2006[xxii]

Muenster University Center

  • Tuition increase approved  [$4.95 more per credit hour][xxiii]
  • Old Coyote Student Center demolished in early 2006[xxiv]
  • Finished Feb. 17, 2009[xxv]
  • Monsignor James Doyle room dedicated Sept. 29, 2009[xxvi]
  • Hoy room dedicated Oct. 9, 2009[xxvii]

Multicultural Center [Unity House]

  • Dedicated at 423 N. Pine St. on 16 November 2006[xxviii]

Norton Hall

  • Renovations to Norton, March 2005[xxix]

Old Main [University Hall]

  • Constructed Oct. 16, 1882[xxx]
  • First occupied 1883[xxxi]
  • Burned 1893/ Rebuilt 1899[xxxii]
  • Closed in 1973[xxxiii]
  • Rededicated Oct. 4 1997 [Coincided with Pres. Abbot’s appointment to president][xxxiv]

Olson Hall

  • Renovations to Olson, December 2005[xxxv]

Redwood Hall

  • Renovations to Redwood Court from family to sophomore housing, August 2005[xxxvi]

Richardson Hall

  • Renovations to Richardson, August 2004[xxxvii]

Slagle Auditorium [now Aalfs Auditorium]

  • Renovation project begins, cost 6.8 million[xxxviii]
  •  $2.3 Million donated to project as of April 10, 2007[xxxix]
  •  Chandelier campaign conducted by student philanthropy[xl]
  •  Slagle Auditorium officially re-opened on 16 March 2011[xli]
  •  Ribbon cutting and rededication of Slagle to Aalfs on Oct. 7, 2011[xlii]

Wagner Alumni/ Foundation Center

  • Expansion announced $528,000 set aside for it.[xliii]
  • Rededicated 30 September 2000[xliv]

USD Observatory

  •  Original dome of USD observatory donated to school in hopes of another observatory being built[xlv]

USD Wellness Center

  • Groundbreaking 26 October 2009[xlvi]
  • Ribbon cutting Feb. 1, 2011[xlvii]

[i] ”Academic Commons Opens.” The South Dakotan. Vol. 6, No. 1, 2011, 11.

[ii] “Symposium Honors Science Legacy of USD Graduates Ernest and John Lawrence.” The South Dakotan.                      Vol. 98, No. 1, 2002.

[iii] “Freedom Forum Announces Expansion of Neuharth Center at USD.” The South Dakotan. Vol. 94, No. 3, 1998. 2.

[iv] “Al Neuharth Media Center Dedicated.” The South Dakotan. Vol. 99, No. 3, 2003. 1.

[v] “Business Building Preview.” The South Dakotan. Vol. 99, No. 2, 2003.

[vi] “New School of Business Building Dedicated.” The South Dakotan. Vol. 4, No. 2, 2009. 5.

[vii] “New School of Business Building Dedicated.” The South Dakotan. Vol. 4, No. 2, 2009. 5.

[viii] “University Housing Undergoes Major Renovation.” The South Dakotan. Vol. 2, No.1, 2006. 9.

[ix] “University Housing Undergoes Major Renovation.” The South Dakotan. Vol. 2, No.1, 2006. 9.

[x] “Student Philanthropy Project: Winning Coyote Statue Selected.” The South Dakotan. Vol. 6, No.2, 2011/12.

[xi] “Coyote Village.” The South Dakotan. Vol. 4, No. 2, 2009. 6.

[xii] “The Suite Life: Coyote Village.” The South Dakotan. Vol. 5, No. 1, 2010. 21.

[xiii] “Roger ‘Bo’ Harris ’69 to Lead DakotaDome Roof Project.” The South Dakotan. Vol. 97, No. 1, 2001.

[xiv] “Belbas Center Dedicated.” The South Dakotan. Vol. 100, No.3, 2004.

[xv] “New Medical Sciences Building Will Enhance Several Departments.” The South Dakotan. Vol. 98, No. 2, 2002.

[xvi] “Medical Science Building Moves Closer to Reality.” The South Dakotan. Vol. 100, No. 1, 2004.

[xvii] “Groundbreaking Ceremony of new Medical Science Building.” The South Dakotan. Vol. 101, No. 2, 2004.

[xviii] “$20 Million Gift to Benefit School of Medicine: School Renamed in Sanford’s Honor.” The South Dakotan,             Vol. 1, No.1, 2006. 29.

[xix] “Building for the Future: Medicine, Health Sciences.” The South Dakotan. Vol. 3, No. 1, 2008. 8-9.

[xx]“USD to dedicate Lee Memorial Medicine and Science Building.” Marketing Communications and University. Online.

[xxi] “McFadden Hall Gives Students a New Housing Option.” The South Dakotan. Vol. 99, No. 3, 2003. 3.

[xxii] “University Housing Undergoes Major Renovation.” The South Dakotan. Vol. 2, No.1, 2006. 9.

[xxiii] “New Coyote Student Center Planned.” The South Dakotan. Vol. 100, No. 1, 2004.

[xxiv] “New Coyote Student Center Planned.” The South Dakotan. Vol. 100, No. 1, 2004.

[xxv] “Muenster University Center.” The South Dakotan. Vol. 4, No. 1, 2009. 18.

[xxvi] “Rooms Dedicated: Monsignor Doyle Room/ Hoy Room.” The South Dakotan. Vol. 4, No. 2, 2009. 4.

[xxvii] “Rooms Dedicated: Monsignor Doyle Room/ Hoy Room.” The South Dakotan. Vol. 4, No. 2, 2009. 4.

[xxviii] “New Multicultural Center Opens at the U.” The South Dakotan. Vol. 2, No. 2, 2007. 10.

[xxix] “University Housing Undergoes Major Renovation.” The South Dakotan. Vol. 2, No.1, 2006. 9.

[xxx] “Rededication of Old Main.” The South Dakotan. Vol. 93, No. 3, 1997.

[xxxi] “Rededication of Old Main.” The South Dakotan. Vol. 93, No. 3, 1997.

[xxxii] “Rededication of Old Main.” The South Dakotan. Vol. 93, No. 3, 1997.

[xxxiii] “Rededication of Old Main.” The South Dakotan. Vol. 93, No. 3, 1997.

[xxxiv] “Rededication of Old Main.” The South Dakotan. Vol. 93, No. 3, 1997.

[xxxv] “University Housing Undergoes Major Renovation.” The South Dakotan. Vol. 2, No.1, 2006. 9.

[xxxvi] “University Housing Undergoes Major Renovation.” The South Dakotan. Vol. 2, No.1, 2006. 9.

[xxxvii] “University Housing Undergoes Major Renovation.” The South Dakotan. Vol. 2, No.1, 2006. 9.

[xxxviii] “Renovation of Slagle Auditorium.” The South Dakotan. Vol. 1, No. 1, 2006. 27.

[xxxix] “Campaign South Dakota: Slagle Auditorium Restoration Update.” The South Dakotan. Vol. 2, No. 2, 2007. 27.

[xl] “Let There Be Light.” The South Dakotan. Vol. 5, No. 1, 2010. 24.

[xli] “A Site to Behold.” The South Dakotan. Vol. 6, No.1, 2011.

[xlii] “A Site to Behold.” The South Dakotan. Vol. 6, No.1, 2011.

[xliii] “USD Alumni and Foundation Center to Expand.” The South Dakotan. Vol. 95, No. 2, 1999.

[xliv] “The USD Alumni Association and Foundation Building: New Look, New Name.” The South Dakotan.                           Vol. 96, No. 3, 2000.

[xlv] “USD’s ‘Other’ Dome.” The South Dakotan. Vol. 97, No. 1, 2001.

[xlvi] “Wellness Center.” The South Dakotan. Vol. 4, No. 2, 2009. 6.

[xlvii] “Wellness Center.” The South Dakotan. Vol. 6, No.1, 2011.

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Portrait of Jolley after the Civil War in 1865. Jolley was 25 years old.

“John Lawlor Jolley was born to James and Fraces Jolley in Montreal, Canada on July 14, 1840.  In 1857, he moved to Poratage Wisconsin to study law and he was later admitted into the Wisconsin State Bar in October of 1861.

In 1862, Jolley enlisted with Comapany C, Twenty-third Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry.  Jolley would eventyally rise to the rank of second lieutenant.  He was honrably discharged from service on July 4, 1865.

In, 1866, he moved to Vermillion, South Dakota Territory and set up his law practice.  He became the first mayor of Vermillion in 1877 and he served as mayor again in 1885.  Jolley was elected to the Territorial House of Representatives in 1867 and 1868, and after South Dakota declared statehood in 1889, he served in the State Senate from 1889-1890.  In 1891, he was elected to the U.S. Congress to fill the seat left vacant by the death of John Rankin Gamble.  Jolley served in Congress until 1893, when he returned home to resume his law practice.  John L, Jolley died on Dec. 14, 1926 and was buried at Bluff View Cemetary in Vermillion, South Dakota.” –John Lawlor Jolley Collection Finding Aid

–Information and photograph gathered from the John Lawlor Jolley Collection, Richardson Collection

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Constructed from native materials, the South Dakota Building was located near the 57th Street entrance to the World's Fair.

Also known as the Chicago World’s Fair, the World’s Columbian Exposition was a World’s Fair held in Chicago in 1893 that commemorated the 400th anniversary of Columbus’s arrival in the New World.  The Fair was located on 630 acres, encompassing Chicago’s Jackson Park and Midway Plaisance.   Over its six month run, the Fair drew approximately 26 million visitors, played host to exhibitions and participants from 46 nations, and featured attractions that included the White City, the Fair’s elaborately designed neo-classical exhibition buildings, a full-size replica of a Viking long ship, the world’s first Ferris Wheel to be opened to the public, and a myriad of other wonders of 19th century technology, art, and agriculture.  For promoters, the overall goal of the Fair was to present America as an empire at the apex of its power to the rest of the world.  As Karen P. Zimmerman states in “Promoting the Prairie Cornucopia:  South Dakota at the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition,”  “…they (the Fair’s promoters) hoped to demonstrate the great industrial power of the United States and symbolize the passing of leadership from the Old World to the New.”

It was during a lecture at the Fair that Fredrick Jackson Turner announced that the United States’ Western frontier had been tamed.  This notion held particular relevance for the young state of South Dakota, which had just achieved statehood four years prior to the opening of the Fair.   As if constructed with Turner’s announcement in mind, South Dakota’s exhibitions at the Fair ephasized the prosperity and the signs of “highly civilized society” that could be found in state.  South Dakota’s promoters hoped that the evidence of the efficiency of the state’s educational system, the quality of work produced by its mining industry,  and the numerosity of the crops yielded by it’s farmers on display at the Fair would prove South Dakota equal to its fellow states in the East.

Furthermore, for South Dakota, exhibiting at the Fair was more than just a matter of pride, it was a necessity.  In the 1890’s, South Dakota was in dire straights; it had lost most of its crops to drought during its first year of statehood, which caused the state’s economy to crash and forced many South Dakotans to leave the state or accept outside aid.  Zimmerman notes that promoters “saw the Chicago fair as an opportunity to counter the image of South Dakota as a poor place to live.  These optimists believed the adversity was a stort-term problem and that good advertising could offset the effects of the drought and boost the numbers of people will to move to the state.”

South Dakota’s poor economic state also made it difficult for the state to raise money for the Fair exhibitions.  When Governor Arthur Mellette first appealed to State Legislature for an appropriation of funds to be put towards South Dakota’s exhibitions at the World’s Fair, he was denied.  Luckily, several citizen groups took up the cause of fund raising, forming the World’s Fair Commission and the Women’s Commission.  It was not until two months before the opening of the World’s Fair that the State Legislature made any move to financially support South Dakota at the Fair.  On February 16, 1893, the legislature provided 60,000 dollars to aid in the cause.  Combining these funds with private donations, the World’s Fair Commission and the Women’s Commission, were able to build a State Building, and organize argricultual, industrial, educational, and craft exhibits.  See below for images and additional information about South Dakota and World’s Columbian Exposition.

A view of the White City from a vantage point behind Daniel Chester French's Statue of the Republic.

Buffalo Bill at the Troy Liberty Bell: Originally snubbed by the World's Fair Committee, Buffalo Bill set up his Wild West Show right next to one of the Fair's entrances. Buffalo Bill and his performers were present for the dedication of the South Dakota Building.

South Dakota boasted some of the largest guest registers at the World's Fair.

Interior of the East Indian Building: 46 nations performed and constructed pavilions at the World's Columbian Exposition.

The South Dakota Pavilion in the Mines and Mining Building was constructed out of stone quarried in the Black Hills. The exhibit featured large deposits of tin ore and gold ore shaped into pyramids. South Dakota's mining exhibits eared 22 awards at the World's Fair.

Interior of the Palace of Electricity.

Ruins of the South Dakota Building: Most of the buildings constructed for the Fair were meant to be temporary, however, materials from the South Dakota Building were put to another good use. Joseph W. Mauck, the head of South Dakota's education display and the President of USD at the time, salvaged materials from the South Dakota Building to help reconstruct Old Main, which had been destroyed by a fire during the run of the World's Fair.

–Information gathered from: Zimmerman, Karen. “Promoting the Prarie Cornucopia: South Dakota at the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition.”  South Dakota History, Vol. 23, No. 4., and Report of the South Dakota World’s Fair Commision, Chilson Collection.  Photographs: A Portfolio of Photographic Views of the World’s Columbian Exposition, Chilson Collection; Views of the World’s Fair, Chilson Collection

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