Pioneer Women

Time Frame: 1800's

The pioneer woman had many responsibilities and led a hard life in the 1800s.
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“The Prairie Pioneers,” The Iowa Heritage: Program # 4, Iowa Public Television, 1977.

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Life for the pioneer woman revolved around the cabin. She prepared the food, made candles and clothing, raised and cared for a large family and if they were fortunate enough to keep a cow she did the milking and the churning. It was the woman who tended the family garden. Along with such garden crops as onions, carrots, beans, melons and pumpkins she might add wild berries, crabapples and nuts to provide a welcome change from the monotony of corn dishes and salt pork. Methods had to be found to keep these foods for a long period of time. Some vegetables were stored in dark, cool places; while fruits were dried and placed in sealed crocks. It was the women who made the quilts, the comforters and the clothes from scratch at home. Much clothing was made from raw wool. Pioneer women carted it, spun it into yarn and wove it into cloth. It was the women who stood over steaming caldrons for hours transforming a fowl smelling of mass of grease, fat and eye-watering lye into soap.


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