By Paula M. Nelson
Western South Dakota 1900-1917
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Extra resources for After the West Was Won: Homesteaders and Town-Builders in Western South Dakota, 1900-1917
Ten inches is the lowest possible amount for any crop at all. Twelve inches will produce a light crop, and fourteen may double the normal yield. Farm families in Page 12 western South Dakota could not depend on nature to supply enough moisture for their crops. 14 Temperature, humidity, and wind were also important climatic factors. Temperatures west of the river could go as high as 115 degrees in summer and as low as 57 degrees below zero in winter. Humidities were low year-round compared to the eastern half of the nation, making heat and cold easier for people to bear but also causing increased danger to plants from summer scorching or damaging frosts in late spring or early fall.
The Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul and Pacific, commonly known as the Milwaukee Road, announced its plans for expansion first. Chamberlain, on the east bank of the Missouri River, had been its terminus since 1880. The company planned to build to Rapid City from that point. The Chicago and North Western line took up the competitive challenge shortly thereafter, announcing its decision to build west from Pierre to Fort Pierre and beyond, with Rapid City its ultimate destination. The routes of both lines passed through the territory ceded by the Lakota in 1889.
At the University of Iowa, where this book began as a doctoral dissertation in the history department, I would like to thank three members of my dissertation committee: my advisor, Professor Malcolm J. Rohrbough, and Professors Stephen J. Pyne and Linda K. Kerber. Professor Rohrbough, especially, spent considerable time and effort on the project and I would like to extend a warm thank-you to him. I would also like to acknowledge the Department of History's assistance in granting me a dissertation research fellowship to finance a trip to Pierre, and for its extension of financial aid, which allowed me to teach while completing the dissertation.
After the West Was Won: Homesteaders and Town-Builders in Western South Dakota, 1900-1917 by Paula M. Nelson