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Charles Badger Clark

Charles Badger Clark

South Dakota’s first Poet Laureate, Charles Badger Clark, was born in Albia, Iowa in 1883. Traveling to South Dakota to attend Dakota Wesleyan University in Mitchell, South Dakota, Clark quickly fell in love with moving westward. Throughout his travels, he worked as a cowboy on Arizona and South Dakota ranches, where he began to write poetry about his life and experiences as a working cowboy in the last days of the open range. While living near Custer, South Dakota, Governor Leslie Jensen named Charles Badger Clark as South Dakota’s first Poet Laureate in 1937. He died at the age of 74 in 1957 and is remembered for such poems as, “A Cowboy’s Prayer,” “Spanish is the Loving Tongue,” and “Ridin’.”

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