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Frontier Children

  • Charles Wesley Wells describes his life as an eleven year old living on the Iowa frontier in 1852.
    Read his account
  • Later in life, Anna Howard Shaw would become an important leader in the women’s suffrage movement. In this excerpt from her autobiography, she describes her mothers’ reaction to moving to the Michigan frontier from Massachusetts in 1859.
    Read her account
  • Cotton and corn picking on the frontier was exhausting work, as Edna Matthews Clifton described.
    Read her account
  • This entry appears in the diary of a 12-year-old girl in Helena, Montana, in 1865.
    Read her account
  • A 15-year-old girl reacts to life on her west Texas ranch.
    Read her account
  • A British traveler, Isabella Bird, believed that children grew up far more quickly on the frontier than elsewhere.
    Read her account
  • Steel plows allowed relatively young children, like Percy Ebbutt, to plow the tough plains grass.
    Read his account
  • Edward Everett Dale grew up in Texas in the 1880s.
    Read his account
  • Frances I. Sims Fulton recounted her impressions of life in frontier Nebraska in 1883.
    Read her account
  • Agnes Morley Cleaveland grew up in Magdalena, New Mexico, in the 1880s.
    Read her account
  • Owen P. White describes an incident that occurred in frontier Arizona in the mid-1880s.
    Read his account
  • Fannie L. Eisele, who was 10 years old in 1897, describes her responsibilities on her families Oklahoma farm.
    Read her account
  • Nellie Carnahan Robinson taught school in Lavender, Colorado from 1897 to 1899.
    Read her account
  • Nebraska’s superintendent of schools describes sod schoolhouses.
    Read his account
  • Nearly 200,000 poor children were sent west on orphan trains and went to live with farm families. Margaret Braden described how the children were distributed to families.
    Read her account
Copyright Digital History 2016