Great Plains Studies, Center for


Date of this Version



Published in Great Plains Quarterly [GPQ 8 (Summer 1988): 145-157].Copyright 1988 Center for Great Plains Studies, University of Nebraska—Lincoln.


What is in store for the homesteader's wife? Nothing but to deteriorate ... the homesteader can do nothing but make a scanty living while his wife and family go unclad and scarely fed, with no conveniences in the home, no society, no preaching ... when you live where you can see sad-faced women, with their children crying about their skirts for things to eat, eager for even a drink of sour milk-good, pretty women, whose hair turns gray in a few weeks· of worry over where the work is coming from to buy flour-we then wonder if Uncle Sam couldn't dam the [streams] in western Kansas and supply not only work but water for many who have to haul water 3, 4, and 5. miles ... and the women have most of that to do the year around .... This is not a complaint, but a statement of true conditions in western Kansas.1