The Divorce Colony

The morning of Monday, February 8, 1892, dawned clear and cold in the frontier town of Sioux Falls, South Dakota. The previous night’s snow had made the roadways treacherous for horse-drawn carriages, but the Baroness Margaret Laura De Stuers was undeterred. Just before nine o’clock, she approached the Minnehaha County courthouse. In the morning light, the imposing quartzite edifice shimmered purple against the white snow. Its tower—the clock faces still missing from the as yet unfinished building—rose 165 feet into the clear Dakota sky, a beacon visible from anywhere in the small town. It would soon become a landmark known nationwide by the nickname the Temple of Freedom. The baroness was here, 1,200 miles from her hometown of New York City, for a divorce, one that her husband, the law, and society had conspired to deny her.

role: Author
outlet: The Atavist Magazine
publication date: December 2015
category: History

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