August (Gus) Buche
|When Gus Buche came to South Dakota from Wisconsin in 1903 at the age of 22, the state was a scant 14 years old. Along with many other South Dakotans, Gus had the opportunity to help shape the future of this state. He did so in the world of business, starting in 1903, when he went to work for the Crimm General Store in Parkston. A year later, he was offered a working partnership in the Moneke General Store in Lake Andes. When the Moneke brothers decided they didn't like the mercantile business any longer, Gus bought them out in 1905.
After incorporating his business under the laws of SD, Gus began an expansion of his operation leading to as many as 17 general merchandise stores in SD, Iowa and Nebraska, with as many as 14 stores in operation at one time. Headquarters for the company remained in Lake Andes until 1938 when Gus moved the main office along with his family to Mitchell. <p>The depression and drought of the 1930's brought many hardships including losses due to bank failures in nearly every town where there was a Buche Store. Carrying customers on credit also contributed to some of the losses. In spite of these adversities, Gus could always say that he never had to miss a payroll or failed to pay his other obligations. Buche's integrity in his business dealings, his tireless energy and his self-taught wisdom must have had a great deal of influence on business development in southeast South Dakota. <p>Gus carried that personal philosophy with him to the SD Legislature where he represented Charles Mix County as a Democrat in the State Senate in 1933 and 1935. Aware that South Dakotans were not able to pay real estate taxes during the Depression years of the 1930's and were losing their property, Gus sponsored a sales tax law. This law would bring much needed revenue to the state treasury so that South Dakota, too, could pay it's obligations. <p>Gus served on the Advisory Board of the US Chamber of Commerce and the Board of Directors of the Greater South Dakota Association. He was also a member of the Mitchell Chamber of Commerce, Knights of Columbus, and Rotary International.
|Home Town (Darlington, WI)|