South Dakota Stories

Travel to another time with stories about, and written by, South Dakotans.

The South Dakota Humanities Council published five collections of stories written by and about your friends, family and neighbors who call South Dakota home. The most recent edition, What Makes A South Dakotan?, was published in the fall of 2012 and released at the 2012 South Dakota Festival of Books.

The stories in these books were born in various chapters of our state's history, and each collection documents a large theme of life in South Dakota.

Mail order: Purchase books by mail with this order form.

Bulk Orders/Retail Sales: To purchase 10 or more copies of South Dakota Stories editions, call (605) 688-6113 or email for wholesale rates. 

Buy single titles

One-Room Country School

1998. 146 pp. Edited by Norma C. Wilson & Charles L. Woodard

One Room Country School.JPG
$8 (includes tax &shipping)



Country Congregations

2002. 150 pp. Edited by Charles L. Woodard.

Country Congregations.JPG
$8 (includes tax & shipping)



On the Homefront

2007. 111 pp. Edited by Charles L. Woodard

$8 (includes tax &shipping)



Life on the Farm & Ranch 

2009. 2015 pp. Edited by John E. Miller

$10 (includes tax & shipping)



What Makes A South Dakotan? 

To commemorate 40 years of humanities programming in South Dakota with the SD Humanities Council.
2012. 297 pp. Edited by John E. Miller and Lenora Hudson

$15 (includes tax & shipping)






Selected Excerpts:

From What Makes A South Dakotan?:

"Ideally, this sense of being a South Dakotan isn't tied to a street address or occupation.

It stems from a succession of experiences that foster familiarity and make you feel right at home, regardless of where you started." - Stu Whitney (Sioux Falls Argus Leader)

From One Room Country School:

"The School Board should have warned me that I needed to come to my job with an axe because one was not provided. They did well to fill the coal bin with good, big chunks of coal and scrap lumber for kindling. But neither coal nor wood would fit in the stove. I solved this problem by taking the coal out to huge rocks in the yard and dropping it on the rocks and ducking quickly so I wouldn’t get coal splinters in my eyes. I propped the wood against the cement step and jumped on it several times to get it small enough for kindling. I tried banking the fire to keep a little heat in the stove till morning, but oh, oh, those cold, cold Monday mornings."   - Winifred Bertrand Fawcett

From Country Congregations:

"The wedding service I recall the most was the one that had to be delayed a half hour because a herd of sheep was being moved. The bride lived across the street from the church and she was unable to get through the flock moving slowly down Main Street. The bride and groom who were married that day are still together after 70 years, so I guess it was worth the wait!"  - Pearl Lundquist

From On the Homefront:

"My buddy from home and I, stationed in different places, wrote letters to the same girl, each not knowing the other was writing. One day I got letters from each of them, wrote responses, and put the letters in the wrong envelopes, mistakenly sending her letter to him and his letter to her. When I got home to Pine Ridge, I saw my buddy, who said: "Hello, Sweetheart""  - Syd Byrd

From Life on the Farm & Ranch:

"The birds and their singing, the curious cows and new calves in an adjacent pasture, distant farm noises riding the breeze, and the sun's warmth all conspire to transform the moment. I experience an epiphany; I "get it."...I comprehend that [the Pasque flowers] are emblematic of spring and the end of a long, dark, cold winter. They are new growth, claiming victory for what will be another season of abundant growth. These flowers are a link between a hardy and trusting people to a land that is both harsh and gracious."  - John T. Capone