There were (and are) a lot of reasons people make their way to Sioux Falls. The scenery, the opportunities, the friendly people, the ever-changing weather, and more. There really isn't any one 'main' reason.

But there used to be.

Sioux Falls kind of got its start in the late 1850s and 1860s. Thanks to the Falls and railroads, we became a...destination. You could create a new beginning by bringing your family to this part of the country and this new place by the beautiful Falls in particular.

KSOO-AM / ESPN Sioux Falls logo
Get our free mobile app

And, as it turns out, by the 1880s, you could create a new life pretty quickly here, too.

Thanks in part to a 90-day residency law and some pretty lax oversight of local judges, Sioux Falls became known as the 'Divorce Capital of the Country'. Thousands of people would make the trip to Sioux Falls, and in the 1880's any trip was a difficult trip. As a result, the Minnehaha County divorce rate was three times the national average.

Apparently, although local residents were reportedly not happy with the notoriety, the resulting construction and influx of these, uh, 'tourist' dollars were welcomed by the city fathers. In fact, Fargo, North Dakota got into the 'divorce' business as well, and also laid claim to 'Divorce Capital of the Country.'


But alas, all good things (or, if you prefer, bad things) must come to an end.

With the advent of statehood, divorce laws were tightened and by the early 1900s, and well, people went elsewhere to get that divorce.

But the water kept flowing, the railroads kept running and eventually, the Interstate Highways were built. And Sioux Falls has been growing ever since!

Wikipedia Contributed To This Article

Check Out This 1962 Listing of Sioux Falls Bars and Restaurants - Do You Remember Any?

Check out this collection of Sioux Falls bars and restaurants. We have Giovanni's Steak House, The Rainbow Bar, Harry's Hamburgers, Eagle Bar and Lounge, Pancake House, Nickel Plate, and more. Do you remember any of them? Or how long any lasted?

More From KSOO-AM / ESPN Sioux Falls