In Their Own Words, Farm-Ranch

By Herman Harris,2014-07-01 01:34
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In Their Own Words, Farm-Ranch




    Begins on Topic Page . . .

    Food, Clothing and Shelter

    2 ; Food

    7 ; Clothing

    9 ; Shelter

    12 ; Interiors

    Families, Children and Schools

    13 ; Families

    16 ; Children

    18 ; Schools

    20 ; Classrooms

    Farm Work and Tools

    21 ; Irrigated Farming

    23 ; Dryland Farming

    25 ; Harvesting Wheat

    27 ; Other Farm Crops

    29 ; Hazards of Farming

    30 ; Farm Women‘s Work

    Ranch Work and Tools

    32 ; Cattle Drives

    34 ; Cattle Ranches

    38 ; The Roundup

    41 ; Cutting Hay

    42 ; Ranch Women

     Market and Supply Towns

    45 ; Businesses

    49 ; Factories and Mills

    51 ; Fruit Packing

     Community Life

    53 ; Holidays and Celebrations

    57 ; Fairs and Festivals

    58 ; Churches and Religion

    60 ; Entertainment and Sports




    Begins on Topic Page . . .


    63 ; Horse-Drawn Vehicles

    65 ; Railroads

    68 ; Early Automobiles





     ―The food on a roundup was always of the best. A fat calf would be killed for meat and this with potatoes, canned tomatoes, beans, and bread baked in a dutch oven, would satisfy the appetite of the hardest riding cowboy. And one may be sure that after a hard day‘s ride with only a sandwich or two, and those eaten while riding, appetites were not lacking. And table cloths and napkins were a minus quantity. Each man‘s grub would be handed out to him by the cooks, dished up in a tin plate. He found a comfortable seat on a rock or the wagon tongue and ate. At night each man crawled into his own tent or slept out under the stars, rolled in a blanket.‖

    Source: Frank Loustalet (1934), CWA Interviews, Doc. 343/41, Colorado Historical Society.

    “WATERMELON DAY,” 1881

    ―This is the first occasion of these festivities and with ardor well becoming

    such a feast the people of that country went in and made for their guests a royal feast. Large tables were built in the public square, on which were piled hundreds of specimens of the crisp and juicy fruit. The guests were also provided with a free dinner, composed of the numerous other products of the Arkansas Valley. . . . The Santa Fe [Railroad] Company ran out several large excursion trains.‖

    Source: Denver Republican, September 15, 1888, quoted in Therese S. Westermeier, ―Colorado Festivals (Part III),‖ Colorado Magazine, 30 (July 1953): 194-95.


     "The first year there were but seven families in the settlement. . . . We managed to get in some garden: corn, melons, pumpkins, squash, Mexican beans and some hay, and cleared some ground of sagebrush. We raised quite a lot of chickens, ducks, and turkeys. By assisting each other we managed to raise and store away enough produce to run us part way through the winter, which was a very cold one."

Source: O. T. Jackson, quoted in Karen Waddell, "Dearfield . . . A Dream Deferred," Colorado

    Heritage, 2 (1988): 5.



     ―True, some canned foods were available [in 1900]. Dad bought crates (twenty-four cans) of peas, corn, and tomatoes. Most of our fruit came from our own orchard. Dad had set out apple trees that bore fruit from July on, and the long-lasting varieties kept until the next spring. We had currants, gooseberries, raspberries, cherries, plums, and pears. I can still see the glasses of jelly set up on the window ledge to catch and reflect the sun and be admired. Before the Mason jar, fruits were dried or preserved in sugar. Sugar and flour were bought in one-hundred-pound bags and lard in fifty-pound pails or tins. In the summer there was a large garden. . . . Meal preparations were always so much easier when the lettuce, onions, and radishes were big enough to eat. From then on there was a procession of vegetables to the cantaloupe and watermelon, and finally the parsnips.‖

Source: Hazel Webb Dalziel, "The Way It Was," Colorado Magazine, 45 (Spring 1968): 111.


     ―Dad had a unique arrangement for keeping milk and butter. An

    enclosed shed housed a long tank made of wood, which was insulated and lined with zinc. Two or three large cakes of ice were dug out of the cinders in the ice house, washed, and put in the tank. The milk was strained into tall cans and let down into the icy water. Fresh meat and butter were kept in it too. A tight lid, also zinc lined, kept the heat and dust out. Many a tasty dish resulted from this convenience: ice cream, lemonade, iced tea, pitchers of thick cream and milk, and pounds of sweet butter.

     ―The ice was "harvested" in the winter. Our lake was a reservoir for irrigation water brought from the mountains via a canal. . . . The water then was fresh and clean and the ice was cut from it when it attained a thickness of six to twelve inches. It was sawed out in blocks, loaded into wagons, stored in a deep hole, and covered with cinders. A house was built over the pit for protection from rain and sun. There was always enough ice to last all summer.‖

Source: Hazel Webb Dalziel, "The Way It Was," Colorado Magazine, 45 (Spring 1968): 111-112.


     ―Several families came from Eastern Kansas to Colorado to homestead

    that same year, and we had lots of good times together. We would all gather at one home for Sunday dinner. The men usually played cards while the women cooked and tended the children. The menu might be pinto beans, fried rabbit, roasting ears from the corn field and wonderberry pie for dessert.... We always danced until daylight so we could see the wagon trails across the prairie to go home, as there were no fences or roads.‖

Source: Clara Watson," Homesteading on the Plains," Colorado Magazine, 38 (1961): 142.



     ―Bread was made two or three times a week. Yeast was sold in packages of small dried cakes and, after soaking in warm water to which a little sugar had been added, was turned into a "sponge" and was always made up the night before baking day. After breakfast enough flour was added to make a firm dough and it was set out to raise. About mid-morning a piece of the dough was made into rolls and baked for dinner. The bread was baked in the afternoon. Nothing every tasted quite so good as a heel of fresh warm bread spread with butter and honey and eaten in the middle of a long afternoon.‖

Source: Hazel Webb Dalziel, "The Way It Was," Colorado Magazine, 45 (Spring 1968): 116.


     ―We milked cows, churned our own butter, sometimes molding it into rectangular cubes, especially if we sold some of it. We made cottage cheese. We also baked bread and sometimes ground wheat for cereal. We butchered our own beef and pork during the winter, canned or cured the meat for use in warmer weather. . . . We had no refrigeration. We build an ice house which was a rectangular hole in the ground in which blocks of ice were placed in straw and then covered with straw then a board cover placed over it.‖

Source: Ivalee Barnes, ―Memoirs of Towner,‖ in Roleta D. Teal, Kiowa County (Kiowa Co.

    Bicentennial Commission, 1976): 21.


     ―Mother raised chickens and Father had a garden. We always had lots of butter. The cowboys enjoyed Mother‘s home cooking....‖

Source: Nola G. Kasten, "Early Days in Southwestern Colorado," Colorado Magazine