Download After the West Was Won: Homesteaders and Town-Builders in by Paula M. Nelson PDF

By Paula M. Nelson

Western South Dakota 1900-1917

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Additional resources for After the West Was Won: Homesteaders and Town-Builders in Western South Dakota, 1900-1917

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The discovery of gold in Colorado in 1858 brought hordes of miners and merchants to the central plains. The discovery of gold in Montana in 1864 lured thousands more to the northern plains. They demanded supply lines and government protection, and the resulting roads and forts were of necessity located on hunting grounds treasured by the Lakota. This was the first real threat to the Lakota's hegemony. The tribe engaged the army in repeated conflicts until the federal government agreed to close the forts and the Bozeman Trail to the mines.

Elizabeth Henricksen's family took a claim because her five-year-old brother had died and her mother feared that her father would turn to drink to ease his grief in their old home in Iowa. In 1907, Edith Ammons and her sister, Ida Mary, full of happy anticipation at the adventure ahead, left their home in St. Louis to take up a homestead in Lyman County, South Dakota. The young women, aware of their father's financial troubles, had decided to strike out on their own in order to spare him the burden of their support.

1 For those individuals dissatisfied with the economic opportunity or social context of the urban world, a move to the last great frontier provided an appealing solution to the uncertainties of the new order. Many Americans shared a faith in the redemptive powers of the natural world. For them, agriculture was the highest possible calling. They Page 16 The land-hunger we can all understand, as we all share it, but what is there in it that inspires men to cross a continent and take their place in a line like that of last night for a chance in a hundred to draw a quarter section?

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