Sod and Stubble: The Story of a Kansas Homestead

Sod and Stubble: The Story of a Kansas Homestead

Sod and Stubble: The Story of a Kansas Homestead

Sod and Stubble: The Story of a Kansas Homestead

Excerpt

A FEW years ago, as I listened one night to my mother telling incidents of her life pioneering in the semi-arid region of Western Kansas, it occurred to me that the picture of that early time was worth drawing and preserving for the future, and that, if this were ever to be done, it must be done soon, before all of the old settlers were gone. This book is the result -- an effort to picture that life truly and realistically. It is the story of an energetic and capable girl, the child of German immigrant parents, who at the age of seventeen married a young German farmer, and moved to a homestead on the wind-swept plains of Kansas, where she reared eleven of her twelve children, and, remembering regretfully her own half-day in school, sent nine of them through college, and some of them afterward to Harvard, Yale, Columbia, Stanford, the University of Chicago, and the University of Zurich, Switzerland. It is a story of grim and tenacious devotion in the face of hardships and disappointments, devotion that never flagged until the long, hard task of near a lifetime was done.

It seemed proper and necessary to take a few liberties with the literal truth. I have changed the names of most of the characters, and have even changed the characters in many episodes; but I do not believe that the fundamental accuracy of the picture has suffered. In general, I have tried to tell the story as it was told to me, truly and without exaggeration. I spent a summer in the vicinity of my mother's old home, talking with the few pioneers still living, checking up details of my mother's story. I went through local newspaper files covering the early years, in a further effort to verify important points in the narrative. My sister, Mrs. F. E. Lindley, and her husband, who . . .

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