Friday, February 8, 2008

Intersting Bits of History - Civic and Episcopal

Yesterday's Sioux Falls Argus Leader had a fascinating bit of local history. Early in its existence, Sioux Falls was America's divorce capitol. Taking advantage of a ridiculously short residence requirement in the territorial law, rich folks from the East came out here to undo their marriage vows.

Who was one of the most vocal critics of this practice? The missionary Bishop of South Dakota, William Hobart Hare. In a 1912 biography of the Bishop, M.A. de Wolfe Howe wrote that Hare mounted "an elaborate critical and argumentative dissertation on divorce law in South Dakota..." Hare was known to reject large "donations" from people seeking his complicity in their divorce and remarriage plans.

Finally (at the "biography" link above, which is a pdf file), there are fascinating statistics of the growth of the Diocese, both among Indians and Whites, during Hare's episcopate.

1 comment:

Alice C. Linsley said...

When the people have a bishop of integrity and faith, they prosper.