Great Plains Studies, Center for


Date of this Version



Published in GREAT PLAINS QUARTERLY 25:4 (Fall 2005). Copyright 2005 Center for Great Plains Studies, University of Nebraska-Lincoln.


W h e n she traveled to Kansas from New York in November 1875 to join a husband who had gone west six months earlier, Sarah Anthony faced bitter disappointment. Her daughter, who made the journey as well, remembered that her mother often cried during the first few months. "[T]hese pioneer women [were] so suddenly transplanted from homes of comfort in the eastern states," wrote the daughter, "to these bare, treeless, wind swept, sun scorched prairies - with no conveniences - no comforts, not even a familiar face. Everything was so strange and so different from the life they had always known and with nothing to encourage them, but the thought of duty and that in proving faithful to its demands." What caused Anthony's discontent, at least in part, was an unfamiliar and alien landscape, as yet untouched by the hand of domesticity. With dedication and fortitude, however, the place could be remade.