Divorce Capital
Posted by: Groundspeak Regular Member wildernessmama
N 43° 33.147 W 096° 43.772
14T E 683397 N 4824670
Quick Description: The lenient residency laws and multiple divorce grounds in Sioux Falls were changed by the state legislature in 1908 to dispel the city’s reputation as the “Divorce Capital of the Nation.”
Location: South Dakota, United States
Date Posted: 12/8/2010 11:22:43 AM
Waymark Code: WMA9HP
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member MNSearchers
Views: 11

Long Description:
Between 1877 and 1909, Sioux Falls was known as the “Divorce Capital of the Nation.” Lenient residency laws and multiple divorce grounds were available in Dakota Territory and South Dakota. Wealthy men and women from the East were attracted by speedy divorces with short residency requirements of three and later of six months. A paid receipt from a hotel or boarding house, even if only for hanging garments in a closet or leaving luggage behind, was accepted as evidence of residency. Notice to an unsuspecting spouse was given by publication in a local newspaper. Hearings were held in closed courtrooms.

Disturbed by the notoriety brought upon Sioux Falls, Bishop William Hobart Hare of the Episcopal Diocese of South Dakota, described the situation as a “scandalous divorce mill.” He urged the state legislature to increase the residency requirements to one year. A divorce reform law to that effect was upheld by a 1908 referendum. About 6000 divorces were granted in South Dakota between statehood in 1889 and the effective date of the reform law. Two-thirds of those obtaining decrees promptly left the state.
Marker Name: Divorce Capital

Marker Type: City

Marker Text:
Same as above.

Visit Instructions:
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Recent Visits/Logs:
Date Logged Log User Rating  
stlee visited Divorce Capital 10/28/2011 stlee visited it
5-4-Fun visited Divorce Capital 10/28/2011 5-4-Fun visited it
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