When South Dakota Was America’s Divorce Capitol

The state, particularly Sioux Falls, was a “divorce mill” more than a century ago

Postcard of the Minnehaha County Courthouse built in 1890 (South Dakota Digital Archives)

For decades, Reno, Nevada, proudly billed itself as the “divorce capitol of the word.” But as America transitioned from the 19th to the 20th century, the nation’s “divorce colony” was Sioux Falls, a town of 10,000–13,000 in southeastern South…

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Tim Gebhart

Tim Gebhart

Retired Lawyer. Book Addict. History Buff. Lifelong South Dakotan. Blog: prairieprogressive.com