Letter: Some history, honesty about Mitchell's growth
I heard it at least 10,000 times: “Sioux Falls gets everything.” No, Sioux Falls went out and got everything proactively, including new schools, education, businesses, and laborers.
To the Editor:
I read with great interest your opinion on Mitchell’s mentality to growth and expansion for another new high school. I graduated in 1960 from the really old high school on Fifth Avenue, now occupied by an apartment complex (circa 1970). As a junior at Mitchell High School, along with many seniors, we demonstrated, peacefully, of course, in front of most of the Main Street merchants that had campaigned very hard against a new high school that they thought we didn’t need after all the present one all those owners/managers graduated from was simply good enough for many more years.
Mitchell was known for being practical, just ask Main Street today where practically nothing is still in business. It all went to the interstate where all the traffic whizzes by for no reason to drive 20 blocks to see a decrepit Corn Palace vs. a new one that could have been just off an exit where businesses have a chance to grow. Why did Walmart build there and all the other new businesses go there? I wonder why!
But I can now list a few hundred good reasons why Sioux Falls has gone from under 60,000 residents to over 250,000 when Mitchell remains within a 1,000 of it 1959 population number. South Dakota has grown almost 200,000 (About 300% growth) in that same time. So why hasn’t Mitchell grown? Just ask all the industry efforts that had to fight to locate there and the leadership that made that an almost impossible survival because they were messing with the wage scale and going to take away all the cheap wages being paid.
Well, I’ve expounded far more than I planned and still haven’t even touched on any of the other reasons I chose to not move back to Mitchell after college and instead located in Sioux Falls. I heard it at least 10,000 times: “Sioux Falls gets everything.” No, Sioux Falls went out and got everything proactively, including new schools, education, businesses, and laborers.
Larry B. Ayres