Death Was Common on Southeast Colorado Homesteads

Life was not a given, and not easy, for early settlers on southeast Colorado homesteads.

| Good Old Days

We came to southeast Colorado, my mother and six children, to homestead eight miles northeast of the Two Buttes mountains.

We had lots of good neighbors. Our fun centered at the schoolhouse where we had spelling bees, ciphering matches, literary meetings, card games, ball games, and, of course, dances. My oldest brother played the violin, and my younger brother and I played the guitar and organ.

Funerals were held in the schoolhouse, too. Many children died. I remember a 12-year-old boy who died of a ruptured appendix, a 10-year-old girl who died of a rattlesnake bite, and a 2-year-old child who died of summer complaint.

The men would all come to dig the grave, and our minister would preach the funeral service.

My mother gave five acres of land for a cemetery where many of the old homesteaders are buried.

Mrs. Louella Canfield Perkins
Lamar, Colorado

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