Sioux Falls in Minnehaha County, South Dakota — The American Midwest (Upper Plains)
Between 1870 and 1920, Phillips Avenue was the center of a thriving cigar manufacturing industry. An average of four or five small cigar factories operated within a few blocks of this spot. Because the typical smoker consumed three or more cigars a day, more than 1,000,000 cigars were produced annually to meet local demand.
Cigar manufacturing was considered a highly respectable business since the public viewed cigars as a healthful product that conveyed pleasure and status. City leaders lured cigar makers to locate here. They believed that the presence of cigar makers labeled Sioux Falls as progressive and attractive to settlers.
Cigar factories opened and closed with every boom-and-bust economic cycle. Most factories were short-lived. The most durable cigar companies in Sioux Falls belonged to Phillip Goehring, George Sproesser, and the Kleinheinz Brothers. Each of these companies lasted over a decade in nearby buildings along Phillips Avenue.
While cigar factories usually had large windows to provide natural light, the windows were never opened. Any breeze would
Cigars sold for a penny, dime, nickel or a quarter depending on the quality and size. Most of the cigars sold in Sioux Falls were nickel smokes and were sold locally at the factories to walk-in downtown businessmen and through saloons and tobacconists. Manufacturers imported tobacco and had skilled artisans roll the leaves into shape using their hands, a knife, and a press. “Rollers” were mainly male immigrants who learned their difficult trade over a five-year apprenticeship. They received roughly $10 for every 1000 cigars rolled, so it paid to be fast. Seasoned rollers equated themselves with doctors since both professions provided a desired and skilled service.
The local cigar industry ended in 1920's when the large Eastern cigar companies introduced expensive rolling machines that made hand labor obsolete. Following World War I, consumer tastes changed to the cigarette and Prohibition ended the most important retail outlet, the saloon. By 1930 not a single cigar factory remained in Sioux Falls.
Location. 43° 32.909′ N, 96° 43.599′ W. Marker is in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, in Minnehaha County. Marker is at the intersection of North Phillips Avenue and East 8th Street, on the right when traveling north on North Phillips Avenue. Touch for map. Marker is located along the sidewalk, at the southeast corner of the intersection, near a fountain and benches. Marker is at or near this postal address: 140 North Phillips Avenue, Sioux Falls SD 57104, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Fort Dakota, D.T. (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Illinois Central Depot (about 700 feet away); Orpheum Theater (about 700 feet away); Early Sioux Falls (approx. 0.2 miles away); Urban Renewal (approx. 0.2 miles away); Recreation (approx. 0.2 miles away); Flooding (approx. 0.2 miles away); Quarries (approx. 0.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Sioux Falls.
Categories. • Industry & Commerce •
Credits. This page was last revised on October 5, 2018. This page originally submitted on October 1, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. This page has been viewed 55 times since then and 10 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on October 3, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. 5. submitted on October 4, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.