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Dexheimer, Florence Chambers, 1866-1925 / Sketches of Wisconsin pioneer women
([1924?] )

Isham, Ruth Wales
Bethania Crandall Dunlap,   pp. 14-16 PDF (599.8 KB)


Page 15


of his individual opinions. It was often noticed with
smiles that as many as eight babies were asleep on the
same bed. They had little money to give but of the
necessities of life they gave with lavish generosity.
    A trip to town to purchase dry goods and other sup-
plies, made in a lumber wagon with a grasshopper seat,
as it was called, freshened the toilers on the farm. The
County Fair was a boom not only to the farmers, bound
to a rut in his methods, but to the busy farmer's wife it
brought a needed and healthful change.
    The work of these enduring spirits opened the way %
for churches, schools and other desirable and important
helps to society.
    As accessible markets were opened near their homes,
some of the openhanded generosity of the old times
changed to more careful attention to the yearly revenue.
The foot peddler who carried his stock tied up in a cou-
ple of bandanna handkerchiefs was no longer entertained
over night free of cost, that the familly might look over
his supply of needles, pins, thread, and other necessities,
buying carefully of him what they needed.
    The free off-hand speech of casual acquaintances
who saw in each other warm friends has changed to more
conventional greetings.
    Cultivation has done much to change the face of the
country, as well as to increase the fortunes of the tillers
of the soil. The rolling prairie and the adjacent wood-
land is as beautiful as ever to the practical eye, perhaps
more so, but the lovely wild flowers have disappeared.
The cattle that grazed over the pastures, together with
the plow and the drag have left hardly a vestige of the
painted-cup, the dainty fringed gentian, cardinal flower
and the lady slipper which have given place to the weeds
of scientific farming.
    The fiftieth anniversary of Mrs. Dunlap's wedding
finds many changes that time has wrought; the children
have each found his own station in the busy walks of
life; the neighbors in that pioneer life on the farm have
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