For sale: Small South Dakota town, bar included

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A businessman is selling his small, southeastern South Dakota town for $400,000.

Lance Benson is the sole owner of Swett, an unincorporated hamlet in Bennett County about two hours southeast of Rapid City. Benson, who owns a traveling-concessions business, put the town on the market last week.

Benson told the Rapid City Journal the town used to have a population of 40 people in the 1940's, as well as a post office, a few houses and a grocery store.

Now, the town is just a bar, workshop, three trailers and a house. The population currently stands at two -- Benson and his wife.

"And Daisy, that makes three," joked Wayne Witt, a friend of Benson's, referring to the couple's dog.

Benson said ownership of the town concentrated to a single person over the years. Benson bought it in 1998. He signed it over to his ex-wife in a divorce, but reclaimed the town around 2012, according to the newspaper.

Benson told the paper that while he would love to keep the town, he needs to sell it to focus on his business.

"Like I say, I hate to get rid of it," Benson told the paper. "If I don't sell it, if I don't sell it this first year, I would probably keep it."

Area residents say the town's tavern -- the only watering hole within a 10-mile radius -- remains a popular hangout.

Filled with local cowboys and wheatgrowers, the Swett Tavern is a place where, "the highway ends and the Wild West begins," Gerry Runnels told the paper.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

Click for more from the Rapid City Journal