The Ways of Life on the Plains

By: Andria and Kelly

Homesteaders (KN)

When the homesteaders arrived in the 19th century they had to start building their homes right away. They started a new life out on the plains, but they faced many problems doing it. Living away from the rest of the country they had to adjust to not having access to as many things as they did when they lived out east. There weren't doctors around, if they had neighbors they were miles away, there were more diseases, and the weather was dangerous. The 19th Century homesteader experienced many economical and environmental hardhips. The homesteaders had to face farming, climate, droughts, staying health and finding food.

Farming

As an economic issue (AR)

  • Farming was hard for homesteaders because of the over priced equipment and the labor put in for minimum income. The first dilemma farmers would have was they had to walk about ten miles to plow just one acre of land.(13) Another trouble was farming the crops could take anywhere from 21 hours to bale loose hay and 351 hours to cut down sugar cane.(14) Also equipment in 1897 were a lot for homesteaders, you could spend $.75 to $14.00 just on equipment. (11) Lastly, sod was very hard to cut through if you didn't have a steel plow. (12)

Providing Food

An economical and environmental hardship AR

  • Today we make sure to eat the right things, but in the 19th century they would worry about getting food to eat because of the high prices. A couple ways the families could receive food would be growing veggie gardens and kitchen gardens. This was very popular in this Era! In fact many families grew two gardens a year! Although keeping a garden was hard work. (15)The families would have to fight insects, deer, bears, and crows. When the family did receive food by gathering and hunting they would have to salt the meat, can and dry the fruit and veggies, and stock the food. (16)

Climate

An economical concern AR

  • In the Plains the winters would be long with cold temperatures. (4) It was hard to stay warm because it was hard to find wood, and hard to get fuel. (5) The summers were very hot, and made the plains extremely unpleasant and a dangerous location to live in. (4) It was hard to keep cool because there wasn't much wind or shaded areas. Dust storms were very common in the Plains, and tornadoes because of the vast open space. Homes and equipment had much damage due to the weather.(6)
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An example of the different season they would encounter. KN

Trying to Stay Healthy

Health is a big concern AR

People lived hard and tiring lives, constant struggles to keep themselves clean, warm and fed the toll of their health as often great. They would rely strongly on their own medicine. (1) They would apply warm manure to the arm for a snakebite, eat a roasted mouse for measles and pouring warm urine into their ear for an earache. Women would work together in a community when a sickness would presented itself. (3) Back then diseases were common if you lived in a sod house, especially among the children. There weren't opportunities to visit a doctor being fit and healthy was very hard to maintain. (2)

The Thirst was real

Water was a big part of their lives AR

Homesteaders were very lucky if they lived a short distance away from a river or lake. Most people lived a long walk from the nearest water source. Water was a precious source. Water was needed for washing their clothes and washing their bodies and had to be used wisely. The people couldn't dig a well because water may be 30 to 120 feet deep to hard to dig by hand. (9) Most people walked to a local water in a small bucket by hand.(10)

Indian Attacks

Social and Political Problem AR

The Homesteader's knew that there was a risk of indian attacks when they moved into the Great Plains. Although at this time many tribes moved into reservations there were still some who stayed. There were some wars between the Homesteaders and the Indians between the times of 1860 and 1870, including the Little Crow's War. (7)The wars between these two got so bad that the US Army had to help the Homesteader's fight. The Army was lead by General Sheridan and Sherman, they defeated the Indians eventually. (8)
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A look of the land and where the Indians would have lived in. KN
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Thanks to the homesteaders ( KN )

Living on the homestead was a rough life. There were many challenges the homestaders had to face. They wanted a better life and more freedom and with more freedom comes challenges. They knew there was a huge chance of dying because there weren't doctors around and having a house made of dirt caused a lot of sicknesses. They also had to learn how to deal with the Indians, they realized that it was better if they were friends instead of enemies. Also farming was much better because they had more land to farm which meant more money. The homesteaders put their lives on the line just so they could have a better life. With out the homesteaders we would not be where we are now.

Notes Page AR

  1. Homesteaders Living On the Plains, ShareSlide, September 23rd, 2014, http://www.slideshare.net/DHUMPHREYS/homesteaders-living-on-the-plains, Slide 7.

  2. Homesteaders Living On the Plains, ShareSlide, September 23rd, 2014, http://www.slideshare.net/DHUMPHREYS/homesteaders-living-on-the-plains, Slide 8.

  3. Homesteaders Living On the Plains, Shareslide, September 23rd, 2014, http://www.slideshare.net/DHUMPHREYS/homesteaders-living-on-the-plains, Slide 9.

  4. Homesteaders Living On the Plains, Shareslide, September 23rd, 2014, http://www.slideshare.net/DHUMPHREYS/homesteaders-living-on-the-plains, Slide 10.

  5. Homesteaders Living On the Plains, SlideShare, September 23rd, 2014, http://www.slideshare.net/DHUMPHREYS/homesteaders-living-on-the-plains, Slide 11.

  6. Homesteaders Living On the Plains, SlideShare, September 23rd, 2014, http://www.slideshare.net/DHUMPHREYS/homesteaders-living-on-the-plains, Slide 12.

  7. Homesteaders Living On the Plains, SlideShare, September 23rd, 2014, http://www.slideshare.net/DHUMPHREYS/homesteaders-living-on-the-plains, Slide 18.

  8. Homesteaders Living On the Plains, SlideShare, September 23rd, 2014, http://www.slideshare.net/DHUMPHREYS/homesteaders-living-on-the-plains, Slide 19.

  9. Homesteaders Living On the Plains, SLideShare, September 23rd, 2014, http://www.slideshare.net/DHUMPHREYS/homesteaders-living-on-the-plains, Slide 23.

  10. Homesteaders Living On the Plains, SlideShare, September 23rd, 2014, http://www.slideshare.net/DHUMPHREYS/homesteaders-living-on-the-plains, Slide 24.

  11. Homesteading in the 19th Century, National Park Service, September 23rd, 2014, http://www.nps.gov/home/forteachers/upload/Math%20booklet.pdf Page 3.

  12. Homesteading in the 19th Century, National Park Service, September 23rd, 2014, http://www.nps.gov/home/forteachers/upload/Math%20booklet.pdf Page 5.

  13. Homesteading in the 19th Century, National Park Service, September 23rd, 2014, http://www.nps.gov/home/forteachers/upload/Math%20booklet.pdf Page 7.

  14. Homesteading in the 19th Century, National Park Service, September 23rd, 2014, http://www.nps.gov/home/forteachers/upload/Math%20booklet.pdf Page 9.

  15. Homestead History, PBS, September 21st, 2014, http://www.pbs.org/wnet/frontierhouse/frontierlife/essay6.html Page 1.

16. Homestead History, PBS, September 21st, 2014, http://www.pbs.org/wnet/frontierhouse/frontierlife/essay6.html Page 2.