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Letters of a Woman Homesteader by Elinore…
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Letters of a Woman Homesteader (1914)

by Elinore Pruitt Stewart

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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Written in a warm chatty style, Letters of a Woman Homesteader paints an interesting picture of homesteading in Wyoming in the early 1900’s. The author, a widow with a young child, takes on the role of housekeeper on a ranch while at the same time files her own claim on land that adjoins this ranch. To prove her claim she plants and grows vegetables and makes some basic improvements on the property. She marries the rancher and all the while continues to write letters to her friend in Denver describing her life.

With both humor and insight she describes her day to day activities and that of her neighbours. This isn’t an easy life, they are miles from any town or railroad and have to learn to be self-sufficient in many areas, including medicine. Even going to a neighbours for a dinner party means a long overnight camping trip to get there. Yet even while living such an isolated life, her letters portray her love of life and nature. Her prose is simple and heartfelt, and her descriptions of the natural world that surround her allow the reader to feel part of that world as well.

Eleanor Pruitt Stewart was a strong, independent woman, as I imagine most women who homesteaded had to be. When there wasn’t a minister available for a funeral service, she went ahead and conducted the services for her new-born son herself. But beyond having this core of steel, she was a woman who found the place she was meant to be. “I love the flicker of an open fire, the smell of the pines, the pure, sweet air, and I went to sleep thinking how blest I was to be able to enjoy the things I love most.” An enjoyable read. ( )
  DeltaQueen50 | Jul 16, 2014 |
An excellent audiobook -- adventurous and touching. ( )
  Jillian_Kay | Feb 4, 2014 |
This is an interesting read showing an upbeat look at life as a woman homesteader. The book is a series of letters from Mrs. Stewart to a friend back east. ( )
  magnolia2 | Jan 28, 2014 |
Thoroughly enjoyable tale told in letters. A plucky widow moves west with her infant. With humor, wit and optimism she writes of her riveting life. Hard work doesn't daunt her. ( )
  Clueless | Jul 8, 2013 |
Letters of a Woman Homesteader is just that, letters written by a young widow who left Denver in 1909 with her two year old daughter to try and make a better life. She had been working as a "daily domestic" and moved to Wyoming to become the live-in housekeeper for a Scottish cattleman. She decides to try homesteading and claims the plot next to her employeer's land. The letters chronicle her life in Wyoming through 1913. It's a heart-warming story of early 20th century life in the west. ( )
  RebaRelishesReading | May 25, 2013 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Elinore Pruitt Stewartprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Wyeth, N.C.Illustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Dear Mrs. Coney,--
Are you thinking I am lost, like the Babes in the Wood? Well, I am not and I'm sure the robins would have the time of their lives getting leaves to cover me out here.
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To me, homesteading is the solution of all poverty’s problems, but I realize that temperament has much to do with success in any undertaking, and persons afraid of coyotes and work and loneliness had better let ranching alone. At the same time, any woman who can stand her own company, can see the beauty of the sunset, loves growing things and is willing to put in as much time at careful labor as she does over the washtub, will certainly succeed; will have independence, plenty to eat all the time, and a home of her own in the end.
Did you ever eat pork and beans heated in a frying-pan on a camp-fire for breakfast? Then if you have not, there is one delight left you. But you must be away out in Wyoming, with the morning sun just gilding the distant peaks, and your pork and beans must be out of a can, heated in a disreputable old frying-pan, served with coffee boiled in a battered old pail and drunk from a tomato-can.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0395321379, Paperback)

In a rich blend of memoir and meditation, Abbott focuses her graceful and witty attention on mothers and daughters of the South. Theirs is a world of red dirt and backbreaking chores and roof-raising revival meetings - a far cry from the magnolias and mint juleps of Gone with the Wind. "The South of the backwoods, hillbilly plain folk has at last found its true and inspired interpreter," says C. Vann Woodward.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:31:13 -0400)

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Contains a collection of letters written by the author to a former employer in Denver over the course of several years, in which she describes her frontier life homesteading in Burnt Fork, Wyoming.

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