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Women Helped Tame The West

 

They weren’t extraordinary women, but they became extraordinary by their deeds in helping to conquer and settle new territory. They were women of the western frontier. They did it by bringing determination and respectability to an area that had none before and creating a home in the midst of nothing. They did it by stepping outside their comfort zone, and learning to shoot, ride horses and “make do,” without the comforts they were used to “back east.” These were the pioneer women who came before us and settled the western frontier. Their stories are many and well worth reading

Photo Courtesy of Amazon, Item is available for purchase on this page

Women Were Also Pioneers

When we think of pioneers who settled and tamed the west, we often think of the men who moved in, found ways to support their families, and carved out a new way of life. But if those men were pioneers, so were their women who moved and worked alongside them. These women were tough, determined and strong, who bore the hardships the western frontier imposed and survived. They had the mettle and endurance to do what needed to be done to make a home in the west. Without these women, the west may never have been “won.”

This Pioneer Woman Statue, shown above, is located in Ponca City, Oklahoma at the Pioneer Woman Museum. The plaque placed on it reads:

“This monument was erected by E. W. Marland in appreciation of the heroic character of the woman who braved the dangers and endured the hardships incident to the daily life of the pioneer and homesteader in this country.”

 — Patrick J. Hurley, as part of his written speech for the dedication of the statue made this statement:

“Woman has never been given her just place in history as a pioneer, an educator, a builder, or as a leader. This is probably due to the fact that most of the pages of history are written by men about men.

Historians have been so busy with the lives of great sons that they have not stopped to immortalize the mothers who produced them. The characters of men are molded by women.”

 Stories From and About Pioneer Women

Some of them were just youths when they came to the area as new brides, and they had to learn on their own how to live in a hostile place. They put up with loneliness, fear and a lack of amenities. They birthed their children, often without any help, and they persevered through it all. Their stories are burned into our history, but not as often told as those of the men who settled the west.

Pioneer Women: The Lives of Women on the Frontier (Oklahoma Paperbacks Edition)

I have read and highly recommend this book if you like reading about how the settlers moved across our nation, and made a new life without the niceties of life back east. It goes into detail about their daily lives and their hardships. These are the women who had the courage to enter the unknown realm of the west and who helped to prepare it for those to come after them.

 

 Part of the Pioneer Courage Monument- Omaha, Nebraska

Compare the women pioneers of the west to women pioneers of space. – Would you be willing to pioneer in an unknown world?

These women took part in something that was a complete mystery to them. The ways they had always done things weren’t the way they had to do them now. It was like being in a different world.

If you were to travel to another world where you had to learn how to survive, say for instance,  outer space, how would you handle it? Would you adapt or just give up and return to your original home? Would you refuse to be assimilated into the new world? Or would you take advantage of being able to be part of something no one had ever done? Tell me your thoughts on these questions in the comments section.

 

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Indiana historical marker of a pioneer woman

They Had So Much To Learn In A New World

 

The women who helped settle the west had to learn new ways. As they moved across the country, the landscape changed. They had to learn what plants were edible, which were poisonous and which could be used for illnesses. They learned to do without the niceties that they took for granted in their homes in the east. They began to be innovative, finding new uses for items on hand to accomplish what needed done. They learned about sorrow, having lost children or husbands on the trek across the land. There were no highways, no restaurants, no local doctors as we’ve come to expect these days. As a matter of fact there was nothing except bleak and dangerous miles stretched out before them. Imagine that kind of life. How would you handle it? They simply put their grit and determination into it, and made a home and raised their children the best they could, never dreaming someday they’d be known as courageous pioneers.

Below is another book about the daily life of the Pioneer Woman and the ways in which she helped to tame the wild west.