By Paula M. Nelson
Western South Dakota 1900-1917
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Western South Dakota 1900-1917
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Additional info for After the West Was Won: Homesteaders and Town-Builders in Western South Dakota, 1900-1917
In Dakota the grass was lush and the markets plentiful. The development of towns in the Black Hills brought miners hungry for beef, and the reservation annuities system provided another opportunity, since the government purchased large quantities of beef for the Lakota. Overhead remained low because few ranchers tried to get actual title to the lands their cattle grazed. Instead they used the free grass and free water of the public domain. Low overhead, together with the natural increase of the herd, promised to lead to big profits with a minimum of risk, as it had in other areas of the Great Plains as the open range pushed northward.
The workplace for the majority was no longer the farm or the general store in a crossroads town. The office, the factory, and the department Page 15 The young man who has the nerve to leave the drudgery of the mill and factory and strike out for himself will succeed in the west. If he works earnestly in his new home, within a few years he will find that he has a place in the community and has a recognized individuality which the factory hand or the small clerk can never know. Murdo Coyote, January 18, 1907 store, where men and women were employees rather than entrepreneurs, dominated the new world.
In the years following Turner's address, hundreds of thousands of latter-day pioneers poured into the interior of the Great Plains. While Turner and other academic nostalgics worried about the future direction of the nation in the context of the closed frontier, a new migration poured westward to fill in the vast regions that remained unsettled after the West was supposedly won. They came fortified with nineteenth-century notions of progress, success, and the opportunities provided by free land and were supported by twentieth-century technology.
After the West Was Won: Homesteaders and Town-Builders in Western South Dakota, 1900-1917 by Paula M. Nelson