ONE REASON for the ebullience of life and rollicky carelessness on the frontiers of the West was the lack -- temporary -- of women. The men, mostly young, had given no hostages to fortune. They were generally as free from family cares as the buccaneers. This was especially true of the first ranches on the Great Plains, of cattle trails, of mining camps, logging camps, and of trapping expeditions. It was not true of the colonial days in Texas, of ranch life in the southern part of Texas, of homesteading all over the West, of emigrant trails to California and Oregon, of backwoods life.
Various items listed under "How the Early Settlers Lived" contain material on pioneer women.
ALDERSON, NANNIE T., and SMITH, HELENA HUNTINGTON
A Bride Goes West, New York, 1942. Montana in the eighties. OP.
BAKER, D. W. C.
A Texas Scrapbook, 1875; reprinted, 1936, by Steck, Austin.
BROTHERS, MARY HUDSON
A Pecos Pioneer, 1943. OP. The best part of this book is not about the writer's brother, who cowboyed with Chisum's Jinglebob outfit and ran into Billy the Kid, but is Mary Hudson's own life. Only Ross Santee has equaled her in description of drought and rain. The last chapters reveal a girl's inner life, amid outward experiences, as no other woman's chronicle of ranch ways -- sheep ranch here.
Golden Fleece, Houghton Mifflin, Boston, 1942. Hughie Call became wife of a Montana sheepman early in this century. OP.
CLEAVELAND, AGNES MORLEY
No Life for a Lady, Houghton Mifflin, Boston, 1941. Bright, witty, penetrating; anecdotal. Best account of frontier life from woman's point of view yet published. New Mexico is the setting, toward turn of the century. People who wished Mrs. Cleaveland would write another book were disappointed when her Satan's Paradise appeared in 1952.
The Life of An Ordinary Woman, 1929, and Plain Anne Ellis, 1931, both OP. Colorado country and town. Books of disillusioned observations, wit, and wisdom by a frank woman.
Desert Wife, 1934. OP. Desert loneliness at a Navajo trading post.
HARRIS, MRS. DILUE
Reminiscences, in Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Vols. IV and VII.
"Early Experiences in Texas," in Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association (initial title for Southwestern Historical Quarterly), Vols. I and II.
MAGOFFIN, SUSAN SHELBY
Down the Santa Fe Trail, 1926. OP. She was juicy and a bride, and all life was bright to her.
MATTHEWS, SALLIE REYNOLDS
Interwoven, Houston, 1936. Ranch life in the Texas frontier as a refined and intelligent woman saw it. OP.
MAVERICK, MARY A.
Memoirs, San Antonio, 1921. OP. Essential.
PICKRELL, ANNIE DOOM
Pioneer Women in Texas, Austin, 1929. Too much lady business but valuable. OP.
POE, SOPHIE A.
Buckboard Days, edited by Eugene Cunningham, Caldwell, Idaho, 1936. Mrs. Poe was there -- New Mexico.
RAK, MARY KIDDER
A Cowman's Wife, Houghton Mifflin, Boston, 1934. The external experiences of an ex-teacher on a small Arizona ranch.
RHODES, MAY D.
The Hired Man on Horseback, 1938. Biography of Eugene Manlove Rhodes, but also warm-natured autobiography of the woman who ranched with "Gene" in New Mexico. OP.
RICHARDS, CLARICE E.
A Tenderfoot Bride, Garden City, N. Y., 1920. OP. Charming.
STEWART, ELINOR P.
Letters of a Woman Homesteader, Boston, 1914. OP.
WHITE, OWEN P.
A Frontier Mother, New York, 1929. OP. Overdone, as White overdid every subject he touched.
WILBARGER, J. W.
Indian Depredations in Texas, 1889; reprinted by Steck, Austin, 1936. A glimpse into the lives led by families that gave many women to savages -- for death or for Cynthia Ann Parker captivity.
"Pioneer Folk Ways," in Straight Texas, Texas Folklore Society Publication XIII, 1937. Excellent.