Life in the wild 19th century Midwest was demanding at best. Men slogged through waist deep snow in search of a home. Women lugged barrels of flour over rugged roads to supply meals for families. Five year old boys herded cattle all day to sustain the family homestead. Yet the westward call thrived. A veteran can homestead as much as a hundred sixty acres, it was said. Anyone can set up claim stakes on an eighty-wonderful country-good farm land-beautiful-a railroad coming through soon from the south. And so the people came-hardy souls with the strength to face the perils of pioneer life. Some who came were unable to stand the strain of work and weather, and after a few seasons they moved on to fairer fields. But where they had been, they left a rude cabin, a cleared field or a small orchard to provide a better foothold for those who inevitably followed. These then were the men and women who built our nation, their stories preserved in early Midwest style for future generations in this volume.