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in the South Dakota Badlands: 1912 "The Last Best West"
by Ernest G Bormann Snr.
In 1912, one of the last frontiers in the United states remained
in western South Dakota. As a young lad, just turned 21, Ernest
G. Bormann, later a retired banker, homesteaded south of Wall
in the edge of the Badlands.
Five of six Bormann brothers, all South Dakotans, filed on
and proved up homesteads in the west: Henry, in Roger Mills
County, Oklahoma, in 1904; Charles in Haakon County, South
Dakota, in 1906; Fred G., in Perkins County, South Dakota,
in 1909; Ernest G., in Pennington County, South Dakota, in
1912; and John, also in Pennington County, in 1915.
Ernest has written here of some of his interesting experiences,
living for a year and a half by himself, in a tarpaper clad
shanty on his claim, in what he calls "The Last, Best
He knew Wall when Wall was young. He toured the Badlands
- on foot - before there were any roads, and before his claim
and a big area south of it became a national monument.
The author of this book lived in South Dakota all of his
life, the last forty years in Stickney, where the Bormann
brothers transferred a bank in 1933, which they had founded
in Beardsley, in 1919. Ernest's first banking experience was
gained at Wall, after he had finished homesteading and country
school teaching (all in Pennington County). He passed away
in February of 1986 at the age of 95, his wife preceding him
in 1985. Of their three children, two sons and a daughter,
Ernest, Jr., is a professor at the University of Minnesota;
Dennis is a professor at the University of Nebraska; Grace
(Unruh) lives in Seal Beach, California.