The American Journey © 2007

Chapter 18: The Western Frontier

Student Web Activity

"Farmers' Lives in the Late 1800s"

In this chapter you have read about the rush to settle the western half of the United States. As farmers and ranchers moved into new areas they brought their cultures and dreams with them. Some families lived at great distances from others and endured loneliness as well as the hardships of farm life. In other areas newly settled land quickly grew into towns and cities. In this activity you will take a closer look at the lives of average farm families during the late 1800s.

Destination Title: Rural Life in the Late 19th Century

Note: Clicking on the link above will launch a new browser window.
Need help using your browser for this activity? Click here for tips.

Start at the Web site about Rural Life in the Late 19th Century.

  • Scroll down and read the material on the first page.
  • In the menu on the right, click on and read the links titled Home Remedies, People Were Frugal, and Shaken Loose and Moving.

After you have read the entries, answer the following the questions.

What brought many settlers to the Great Plains in the 1880s?
List three home remedies that people used for disease and illness during the late 1800s.
According to W.T. Ellis, how were bills usually handled at the store where he worked?
How did Rose Wilder Lane's mother feel about the food given to her by the Russian women?
Imagine that you and your family moved west in the late 1800s, as did Rose Wilder Lane's family. Write a letter to a friend that you left back in your old home. Describe the location, land, and weather of your new home as well as the chores and pastimes of your daily life.
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