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TAG : Good Old Days

Christmas Program: Priorities on North Dakota Homestead

In the early 1900s my family, with its two small boys, lived on a farm on a North Dakota homestead. Spending our first vacation in Iowa with our parents in the old farm home at Christmastime was a great joy to us. We arrived the day before Christmas, so we could be present for the Christmas ...

Simple Pleasures on a South Dakota Homestead

Born in Europe, Grandpa Henry Boese came to America with other Mennonites. He and his wife homesteaded between Freeman and Marion, South Dakota. That South Dakota homestead was a source of much simple joy and fulfillment. They lived in an unusual house – a house joined to a barn. The ...

Rodeo Fair on a Western Colorado Homestead

A neighbor came by our farm telling us, newcomers to a western Colorado homestead, about the county fair. We fixed a picnic dinner and went. All the families spread their dinners together. People came up and introduced themselves and shook hands. No strangers-it was wonderful. There were ...

The Mystic Medicine Show on the Homestead

A medicine show came to our town often in a wagon with gaudy painted sides and a back that let down to form a stage. The medicine man always had entertainers who sang, danced and played musical instruments, but all he did was hawk his wares. He always put on a good spiel; his medicine, he ...

Baby Swap on the Homestead Near Marysville, Kansas

The Hutchinson Mill on the east side of the Big Blue River near Marysville, Kansas, was replaced with a new and larger mill in 1867. And that new mill was to be the scene of one of Marshall County Kansas most memorable nights, a night when a homestead prank involved a baby swap. Plans were ...

Early Church Services in Baileyville, Kansas

In the early '80s before any church had been built in Baileyville, Kansas, the people met in the schoolhouse for worship. Methodists, Presbyterians and Baptists took turns.One time the Baptist pastor could not come so sent a layman to hold services. When the meeting opened there wasn't a Bible ...

Fourth of July on Homestead Logging Roads

One glorious Fourth of July early in this century will alwaysremain in my memory. We lived in a sawmill town where the log trains brought the big pine logs from the forest to be sawed into lumber, which was stacked to dry, planed, then loaded into boxcars for shipping. This was a company-owned ...

Homesteading in the Shadow of the Famous Miller Brothers

The 160 acres my father leased in 1899 in the vicinity of Ponca City, Oklahoma, were surrounded by the large pasture of the Miller brothers' 101 Ranch. We had to fence all sides of that quarter section to keep the Millers’ cattle out. I attended the Miller brothers' first rodeo in 1905. It ...

Husking Bee During the Homesteading Era

A husking bee was quite an event in the homesteading days. In the fall the farmer went out to the cornfield with a corn knife and a shocking horse, which was a 10-foot pole with two legs on one end, about 3 feet tall. He would lean the corn fodder on each side of this horse until the amount was ...

Fourth of July Celebration in Nebraska Homestead Days

In our first summer in McPherson County, Nebraska, we attended a Fourth of July celebration at a store and post office which was close to us. A dance platform with seats around the edge had been built there. It was roofed with new lumber, but was not watertight. People came in wagons and ...

Homestead Dating Competition in Rooks County, Kansas

I've heard my daddy tell how he enjoyed the contests and dances which were favorite forms of entertainment in Rooks County, Kansas, in the 1880s. The story that amused us most took place at a dance held in a home where there were two charming young ladies. A dude from another community ...

Debates Held at Homestead Gatherings

We called them meetings of the literary society, those gatherings held on Friday evenings at the schoolhouse in the days when we lived on a 40-acre farm near Kossuth, Kansas.The program began with a debate, mostly for the entertainment of the adults. They would choose a subject, usually a funny ...

Wedding Traditions on a Nebraska Homestead

Grandmother grew up on her father's Stanton County, Nebraska homestead, where the family settled in 1866. When she was a young woman and was planning to marry, she followed a local custom in the manner in which she invited relations and friends to the wedding.The custom decreed that the ...

Woman Locked in Outhouse on Roadtrip

A few years ago my husband and I and two of our teenage daughters decided to take a trip to the Black Hills of South Dakota.Since we had been there twice before, we wanted to take a different road or trail that was scenic. We drove for many miles through valleys and gullies, amongst the ...

Woman Almost Spends Night in Outhouse

I thought I was going to have to spend the night in the outhouse, and I didn't have my pillow or toothbrush, or any room service or telephone.Our outhouse was far enough away from the house that no one could hear my calls when I got locked in.Our four-year-old, unbeknownst to me, had snuck up ...