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category: Waypoint, date: 2016-11-01, by Otto Bochman
THE 100th MERIDIAN
EAST EDGE of the Great American DesertEAST EDGE of the Great American Desert

Historically that meridian is significant. For two generations the Insurance Companies and other world-wide lending agencies would not, as a matter of agreed policy, lend a shiny dime west of this line. Their reason was that some geographer had labeled it the EAST EDGE of the Great American Desert. Neither the geographer nor the Insurance Companies had been west of 100o. Today, more than a quarter of America's new animal wealth alone, is produced from that misnamed desert. This unrealistic, geographically limited loan policy forced South Dakota into the farm loan business. Our Rural Credit business cost us plenty and was a splendid illustration of why a State should not be in the loaning business. But South Dakota has paid all its debts in full. The 100th Meridian is just another bad memory. Historically however the 100o Meridian was a most important one in Western economy.

ERECTED 1955 BY HYDE HOLDING CORPORATION, PIERRE AND STATE HIGHWAY COMMISSION

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