A lifetime of questions led us to discover that the grandfather we never knew had led a surprisingly interesting and varied life, having occupied himself as a farmer and a Populist, a town builder and a merchant, a Freethinker and a pioneer of the Great Dakota Boom. He and his contemporaries lived through the panics of 1873, 1893, 1907 and 1921, the root cause for which they correctly determined to be traceable to the manipulations of the monetary system then in play. Somewhat counterintuitively, in 1922, our grandfather, together with his son and brother-in-law, became majority shareholders in Security State Bank of Dante, South Dakota. Less than a year later our grandfather and his son were dead and the estates they had worked so hard to build disappeared bit by bit under the weight of debt and a deteriorating rural economy. Our grandfather's story, like so many it mirrors, is the forgotten story of the Northern Plains and how that story figured into the severe economic and political crisis of postbellum America. It is a story that is now repeating itself across America, for much the same reasons.