A couple new items for my wall

Sioux Falls for capMy scan quality could be a little better, but I didn’t feel I wanted to take them out of the case. Friday, I received these ribbons (off of eBay from a Sioux Falls seller) declaring the desire of Sioux Falls and Huron to host the State Capitol.

According to the National Park Service:

The quest proved to be a long and brutal ordeal. In all, six cities earnestly vied to be the capital: Pierre, Huron, Mitchell, Sioux Falls, Redfield, and Watertown. Pierre won the 1889 capital election with 27,096 votes compared to Huron’s 14,944. Although Pierre won, the quest to be the State capital was far from over, because the 1889 election only made Pierre the temporary capital. Article XX of the South Dakota Constitution stated that voters must decide on the location of the permanent capital in the November 1890 election. Pierre and the 1889 runner-up Huron fought hard in the 1890 campaign.  Pierre easily won the capital race once again with 41,969 votes to Huron’s 34,610.

The 1890 election did not settle the issue either.  Legislators introduced bills to move the capital in 1893, 1895, 1897, and 1899, but each failed. In 1904, Pierre’s opponents gained enough support and organization to force another vote.  Among Mitchell, Huron, and Redfield, a caucus of the whole legislature selected Mitchell as Pierre’s opponent. In the final vote, Pierre again won the capital fight with 58,617 votes to Mitchell’s 41,155.

Read it all here.

So, while Mitchell and Huron can officially eat Pierre’s dust, we get to enjoy these relics of our state’s past political battles as they pop up from time to time.

2 Replies to “A couple new items for my wall”

  1. Troy Jones

    Maybe it is true in the rest of the state, but in Pierre the State Capitol fight was a major part of my high school SD History class.

    If I really it correctly, when centrally located Pierre was selected the first time for two reasons:

    1) It had been a few rainy years so migration to the central part of the state was strong.

    2) The homesteaders west of the James River were ranchers as the cattle companies had been broken up.

    3) Southcentral SD had gotten the Universities and prison and they didn’t want to repeat the Iowa choice which put everything in close proximity to Des Moines.

    After 1890, the state entered into a drier period and the migration slowed to the central part of the state. It really had slowed thus the change of the alternative to Mitchell vs. Huron.

    Final comment, if I recall correctly is what saved Pierre as the choice West River went over 85% for Pierre to be the capitol and, besides agriculture, mining was the largest growing industry in the state at the time.