Chuckwagon – Red Bean Pie

Red Bean PieBeans were a staple of the cowboy’s food, particularly when he was on the trail.  Beans could be easily stored and they were inexpensive.  And although it probably wasn’t known, Red Bean Pie is also nutritious.

Here is yet another way the cook could feed cowboys beans.

1-cup cooked and mashed pinto beans.
1-cup sugar.
3-beaten egg yokes.
1-teaspoon vanilla.
1-teaspoon nutmeg.

Place combined ingredients in an uncooked piecrust.  Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.  Make a meringue with the leftover egg whites.  Spread over baked pie and return to oven to brown.

Old West Book Review: Victorian Wedding Dress

Victorian Wedding Dress Victorian Wedding Dress in the United States; A History Through Paper Dolls, Norma lu Meehan and Mei Campbell, Texas Tech University Press, (800-832-4042), 32 Pages, $12.95, Paperback.

This unusual book is a wonderful collectors’ item for anyone interested in vintage clothing, in particular the wedding dress.  Back in 1850, the Godey’s Lady’s Book featured a bridal gown on the cover, and that seemed to spark an unending fascination for brides in our country that continues today.  The authors point out that in the United States, wedding gowns are a $160 billion dollar annual business.

This book uses paper dolls as models, and shows some magnificent wedding gowns designed and worn by American brides between the years 1859 to 1899.  The authors point out that white was not always the chosen color for wedding dresses.  It was Queen Victoria of Britain who wore a white satin gown when she wed Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg in 1840.  While the queen chose white, thereby setting a fashion trend, it would be many years before most women would wear the white gown because their wedding dresses were to be worn for numerous occasions after their wedding as a matter of frugality.

Co-author Meehan is a fashion illustrator who volunteers as costume curator at the Northern Indiana Center for History. Co-author Campbell is curator of ethnology and textiles at the Museum of Texas Tech University.  Combining their talents and expertise, they have chosen twenty wedding dresses selected from both collections to give readers a unique opportunity to marvel at the lovely designs and intricate workmanship of these gowns.

Dresses in this collection are carefully sketched from the original garment; some photographs are included adding a personal touch showing the brides themselves.  Each dress is unique not only in color, workmanship and design, but a brief history of the bride, and, or the wedding is included.

For instance, in 1871 Maggie Knott married Dr. Samuel L. Kilmer in South Bend, Indiana.  She wore a two-piece, ice-blue silk-brocade gown.  In 1882, Florence Miller married Frank Dwight Austin in Leavenworth, Kansas.  The bride’s dress was made in Paris, France and cost an astonishing five hundred dollars.  It became an Austin family heirloom worn fifty-five years later by a granddaughter.  In 1893, Alice Rhawn wed Mr. Clement Studebaker, Jr., one of the founders of the Studebaker Corporation.  Their wedding was a society event in Philadelphia social circles.  The mansion the Studebakers occupied after the wedding is now on the National Register of Historic Places.

On and on, readers get to examine twenty gowns while reading about the women who wore them.  Descriptions include satin panniers, full bustles, pleated hems, long-trained skirts, pointed front bodices, sleeve ends trimmed in Spanish blonde lace, flounces and peplums.  Wool, alpaca, satin, ivory brocade silk, chiffon, crepe, velvet, ostrich feathers, beadwork, Chantilly lace and bands of pearls delight the eye.

Not every bride in the Old West had such wealth and opportunity.  Thus, we usually read about lugging water, milking the cow, rattlesnake bites, Indian attacks, hog ranches and saloon shootouts.  However, this book reminds us that there has always been wealth and privilege; not all women were ranch girls, dance hall queens or homesteaders.  Writers seem to depict women in hardship roles and poverty as a source of Old West entertainment, but here we see that refinement, manners, delicacy and careful attention to detail also had its place in our American Western experience.  The history of these magnificent gowns reminds us about the other side of life.

You can get you copy of Victorian Wedding Dress HERE.

Editor’s Note: The reviewer, Phyllis Morreale-de la Garza is the author of many published books, including Silk and Sagebrush: Women of the Old West, published by Silk Label Books, P.O. Box 700, Unionville, New York 10988 (845-726-3434) www.silklabelbooks.com

*Courtesy of Chronicle of the Old West newspaper, for more click HERE.

Trailing Louis L’Amour in Southeast Arizona

LOUIS L’AMOUR IN SOUTHEAST ARIZONA

John Slaughter

Trailing Louis L’Amour in Southeast Arizona – Louis L’Amour chose to give his last look at Southeast Arizona in The Burning Hills.  It is a romance and adventure novel that acknowledges the Arizona pioneer ranches.  The novel occurs after 1891.  That was the year John Slaughter moved permanently to the San Bernardino Ranch.  The old Arizona was beginning to close, but the frontier still survived.  The novel begins in the New Mexico boot heel, travels through northern Mexico’s Embudo Canyon and concludes at and near the vicinity of Slaughter’s San Bernardino ranch.

John Slaughter came to Arizona in 1877 but did not establish his headquarters on the San Bernardino until 1891.  Slaughter had led a life of adventure as a Confederate soldier, Texas Ranger, and pioneer rancher before coming to Arizona.  His first wife died while coming west to meet him in New Mexico.  Slaughter married Cora Viola Howell, the daughter of a southeast New Mexico rancher.  It was a life-long love affair.  In later life as a Cochise County Sheriff, Slaughter cleaned up Southeast Arizona.  He may be numbered with Milton, Mossman and Tilghman as the last of the great, old, frontier lawmen.

L’Amour had told of the Apache reservation emeute of 1882 in Shalako.  The story occurs in the New Mexico boot heel just east of the Mesa.

The Spanish-American War of 1898 took many Cochise County men into the Rough Riders.  The Mexican Revolution had the people of Douglas hunting cover.  Poncho Villa raided Columbus to the east in the New Mexico boot heel in 1916.  The Mesa again was manned by troops.  The stone corrals are still there, probably built up again from the Apache wars and Mexican and Spanish redoubts.  The U. S. Army Signal Corps’ new aviation section would fly their first combat missions from the nearby New Mexico Boot heel.  Their underpowered Curtis JN-3 Jennies demonstrated that the U. S. needed better warplanes.  These underpowered scout planes probably looked down on or dropped dispatches to the Mesa outpost.

Doc Holliday Obituary

Doc Holliday obituaryDoc Holliday Obituary, originally published in the November 12, 1887 edition of the Ute Chief, Glenwood Springs, Colorado J. A. Holliday died, in Glenwood Springs, Colorado Tuesday, November 8, 1887, about 10 o’clock a.m., of consumption.

J .A. Holliday, or “Doc” Holliday as he was better known, came to Glenwood Springs from Leadville last May, and by his quiet and gentlemanly demeanor during his short stay and the fortitude and patience he displayed in his last two months of life, made many friends.  Although a young man he had been in the west for twenty-five years, and from a life of exposure and hardship had contracted consumption, from which he had been a constant sufferer for many years.

Since he took up his residence at the Springs the evil effects of the sulphur vapors arising from the hot springs on his weak lungs could readily be detected, and for the last few months it was seen that a dissolution was only the question of a little time, hence his death was not entirely unexpected. From the effects of the disease, from which he had suffered probably half his life, Holliday, at the time of his death looked like a man well advanced in years, for his hair was silvered and his form emaciated and bent, but he was only thirty-six years of age.

Holliday was born in Georgia, where relatives of his still reside.  Twenty-five years ago, when but eleven years of age, he started for the west, and since that time he has probably been in every state and territory west of the Mississippi river.  He served as sheriff in one of the counties of Arizona during the troublous times in that section, and served in other official capacities in different parts of the west.  Of him it can be said that he represented law and order at all times and places.  Either from a roving nature or while seeking a climate congenial to his disease, “Doc” kept moving about from place to place and finally in the early days of Leadville came to Colorado.  After remaining there for several years he came to this section last spring.  For the last two months his death was expected at any time; during the past fifty-seven days he had only been out of his bed twice; the past two weeks he was delirious, and for twenty-four hours preceding his death he did not speak.

He was baptized in the Catholic Church, but Father Ed Downey being absent, Rev. W.S. Rudolph delivered the funeral address, and the remains were consigned to their final resting place in Linwood cemetery at 4 o’clock on the afternoon of November 8th, in the presence of many friends.  That “Doc” Holliday had his faults none will attempt to deny; but who among us has not, and who shall be the judge of these things?

He only had one correspondent among his relatives – a cousin, a Sister of Charity, in Atlanta, Georgia.  She will be notified of his death, and will in turn advise any other relatives he may have living.  Should there be an aged father or mother they will be pleased to learn that kind and sympathetic hands were about their son in his last hours, and that his remains were accorded Christian burial.

Fourth of July in the Old West

Celebrating the independence of our country was important even in the Old West.  And, as we shall see, people putting on the Fourth of July in the Old West ran into the same problems as today.Fourth of July in the Old West

In 1868 the Nevada mining camps of Hamilton and Treasure Hill comprised of a few hardy miners and even fewer women.  However, it was decided that they would have a 4th of July celebration.

They formed the flag committee, the music committee and the dance committee.  The music committee’s job was simple, yet complicated.  Therewas only one man in town who had a musical instrument, a violin.  The complication was that he tended to get drunk.  So, they had to regulate the flow of whiskey to the musician.

The dance committee comprised of all the women in town…a total of two.  Like volunteer committees sometimes do, the flag committee waited until the last minute to get a flag.  And then it was to late to travel the 120 miles to the nearest store.  So, good ol’ American ingenuity took place.  They found a quilt with a red lining, and some white canvas material.  A traveling family camped nearby had a blue veil.  This was doubly good because the family included a mother and four girls…more women for the dance.  But the girls didn’t have shoes, making it impossible to dance on the rough planked floor.  So, a collection of brogan shoes was taken up among the miners.

On the 4th of July, a parade formed at Hamilton and with the makeshift American flag proceeded to Treasure Hill.  Speeches were made.  Sentiment ran high.  They decided to form a new town called the White Pine Pioneers, and that the flag should go into the town’s archives.  Unfortunately, the town disappeared and the flag ended up being used as a bed sheet.

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