The New Student's Reference Work/South Dakota
South Dako′ta, a north-central state of the Union, familiarly styled the Coyote State. Its entire area is 77,650 square miles; length, 245 miles: extreme breadth 380 miles. Forming a rectangle, the state is bounded on the north by North Dakota, on the south by Nebraska, on the west by Montana and Wyoming and on the east by Minnesota and Iowa. It is traversed about its center from north to southeast by the Missouri, the chief settled and more fertile portion lying to the east of this river; while west of it are the Indian reservations and the mining region known as the Bad Lands together with the Black Hills. The population in 1900 numbered 401,570; in 1910 it was 583,888. Capital: Pierre (3,656). The other chief towns are Sioux Falls (14,094), Lead City (8,392), Yankton (3,787), Mitchell (6,515), Watertown (over 7,000); Aberdeen (10,753); and Huron (5,791).
Surface and Climate. The state has a dry, bracing climate, with a mean annual temperature of 44.3° F., the warm chinook winds tempering the extreme cold and blizzards of winter. It has a light snowfall in winter and an average annual rainfall, especially in the settled and fertile eastern section, where farming is chiefly carried on. In the west much of the state is not only treeless, save in the region of the Black Hills, but is infertile, being for the most part covered with igneous rocks and coarse gravel.
Natural Resources. The state in its agricultural statistics does not attain the rank of North Dakota in production of the chief cereals. It does far better, however, than its northern neighbors in raising Indian corn. In 1910 its corn-yield amounted to 54,050,000 bushels, while wheat yielded 46,720,000 and oats 35,075,000 bushels. Potatoes, barley and flaxseed are important crops, as is also the yield of hay. Stock-raising is an important industry, the number of farm animals in 1910 being dairy-cows 369,764; neat cattle 1,165,512; horses, 669,362; swine, 1,009,721; and sheep, 611,264. The wool-clip of 1911 was 3,543,750 pounds. In minerals the state makes a fair showing; the yield from gold in 1910 was $5,380,200 in amount; silver yielded $65,100; while there were fair returns from lead, copper and tin. The other products include sandstone, limestone, clay, cement, mica, natural gas and granite.
Manufactures. South Dakota is fast developing into a manufacturing state, having in 1909 over 1000 industrial establishments, with an aggregate capital of $13,018,000, the wage-earners numbering 3,602 and the total value of products being $17,870,000, a third of which was yielded by the flour and grist mills, in addition to the output of factory-made butter. The value of the latter in 1909 was about $2,200,000, and the value of the printing and publishing industries was $1,976,000. Sioux Falls is one of the chief industrial centers.
Commerce and Transportation. In 1910 the mileage of the state's railroads exceeded 3,947 miles, the chief lines on the east side of the Missouri being the Chicago, Milwaukee and St. Paul, the Chicago and Northwestern and the Great Northern. The Black Hills region, in the southwest, with its principal mining towns of Lead City, Deadwood and Rapid City, is reached from railroads extending northward from Nebraska. The Missouri also is a chief artery of transportation. Banking facilities are good, there being 102 national banks in 1911, with an aggregate capital of over four million dollars and individual deposits exceeding 27 millions. There were, besides, 502 state banks, with a combined capital of nearly $7,000,000, and over 43 millions of deposits. The assessed valuation of property (both realty and personal) in 1911 was close upon 338 millions, showing an increase of over one hundred millions in five years. In 1911 the state had no bonded debt.
Education. In 1910 the total expenditure for public schools in South Dakota exceeded four millions, nearly two millions being expended for teachers salaries. Of the 167,020 of school population in 1910 about 126,253 were enrolled, though the average daily attendance was but 80,032. Besides state normal schools located at Madison, Springfield, Aberdeen and Spearfish, there are an agricultural college at Brookings and a school of mines at Rapid City. In the larger towns there are high schools. Higher education is represented by the following universities and denominational colleges: the University of South Dakota at Vermilion; Dakota Wesleyan University (Meth. Epis.) at Mitchell with 27 instructors and 375 students; Yankton College (Cong.) with 23 instructors and 224 students; Huron College (Presb.); Redfield College (Cong.); Sioux Falls College (Baptist); and Mennonite College at Freeman. Besides these institutions there are reformatory and penitentiary schools maintained by the state, schools for the blind and for deaf-mutes and asylums and hospitals for the insane.
History. (For the early annals and for the history of the Dakotas see North Dakota). In 1828-30 a fort was erected at Pierre, which was subsequently sold to the Federal government. Late in the fifties settlement began at Sioux Falls and in the territory to the eastward, while Yankton became the territorial capital in 1863, which was removed 20 years later to Bismarck and, in 1889, to Pierre. An impetus was given to settlement by the construction of railroads, begun about 1872, and by the Custer discovery of gold in 1874 in the Deadwood district and the region of the Black Hills. The movement for statehood dates about from 1883, though it was not until 1889 that the state, and with it North Dakota, was admitted into the Union with a constitution of its own. Indian reservations were further opened to settlement in the nineties. Consult Child's South Dakota; Hagerty's The State of South Dakota; Beadle's Dakota; and Todd's Hydrographic History of the State.