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History House Sample Pages II

Pioneer Life in Scott County Iowa

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Pioneer Life in Scott Co. Iowa
 Two reports
 Extracted from “History of Scott County Iowa 1882”, and “History of Davenport and Scott County – 1910”

Here are the topics

  • Early Manners and Customs
  • Weddings
  • Shakes
  • Wolf Hunting
  • Religion.
  • The Log Cabin
  • Sleeping Accomodations
  • Cooking
  • Womens Work
  • Hospitality
  • Prairie Fires
  • Spelling Schools
  • The Bright Side
  • What the Pioneers Have Done

     24 pages


  • ...begin sample page...

    hook" carried the boiling kettle or heavey iron pot.  The cooking was all done on the fire-place and at the fire, and the style of cooking was as simple as the utensils.  Indian, or corn meal was the common flour, which was made into "pone" or "corn-dodger," or "hoecake," as the occasion or variety demanded.  The "pone" and the "dodger" was baked in the Dutch oven, which was first set on a bed of glowing coals.  When the oven was filled with the dough, the lid, already heated on the fire, was placed on the oven and covered with hot embers and ashes.  When the bread was done it was taken from the oven and placed near the fire to keep warm while some other food was being prepared in the same oven for the forthcoming meal.  The "hoe-cake" was prepared in the same way as the dodger - that is, a stiff dough was made of the meal and water, and, taking as much as could conveniently be held in both hands, it was molded into the desired shape by being tossed from hand to hand, then laid on a board or flat stone placed at an angle before the fire and patted down to the required thickness.  In the fall and early winter, cooked pumpkin was added to the meal dough, giving a flavor and richness to the bread not attained by the modern methods.  In the oven from which the bread was taken, the venison or ham was then fried, and, in the winter, lye hominy, made from the unbroken grains of corn, added to the frugal meal.  The woods abounded in honey, and of this the early settlers had an abundance the year round.  For some years after settlements were made, the corn meal formed the staple commodity for bread.

    The simple cabins were inhabited by a kind domestic industry and happiness rarely elsewhere to be found.


    It is well for "Young America" to look back on those early days.  It involved a life of toil, hardship, and the lack of many comforts, but it was the life that made men of character.  Scott County to-day has no better men than the immediate descendants of those who built their cabins in the forest, and by patient endurance wrought out of the wilderness the landmarks for a prosperous commonwealth.  One of these writes that "the boys were required to do their share of the hard labor of clearing up the farm, for much of the country now under the plow was at one time heavily timbered, or was covered with a dense thicket of hazel and young timber.  Our visits

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