By Duane A. Smith
The Nineties have been a tumultuous decade in American heritage, with monetary melancholy, battle, heated politics, and exertions conflicts surrounding America?‚?’s emergence as an international strength. in contrast chaotic heritage, lifestyles within the rowdy western mining city of Durango, Colorado, and the quiet agricultural hamlet of Sandwich, Illinois, worlds aside. In A story of 2 cities, historian Duane Smith takes a comparative examine Durango and Sandwich so as to be sure what existence was once like in those small groups. His attention-grabbing research, in accordance with a detailed exam of papers, municipal documents, and private correspondence, bargains a special portrait of way of life in those cities. A story of 2 cities exhibits how small city lifestyles a century in the past in those groups used to be fairly related, and hauntingly prevalent to lifestyles in every one city this day.
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Additional resources for A tale of two towns: a mining and a farming community in the 1890s
No historian researches and writes in isolation. Many people need to be thanked, not the least of whom are the people of the 1890s, who hardly expected to share their lives with me. In addition, Roger Peterson, Barbara Hoffman, and Gary Moss helped a complete stranger find photographs of Sandwich, and librarian Joanne Johnson aided in a variety of ways, as did my mother and father, both natives of Sandwich. W. Dean Holdeman motivated me to get started, and Dorothy Hecathorn shared her historical resources and love of local history.
At this early date, the future of the small family farm was already a matter of serious concern. Although in 1890 farming still prevailed as Illinois's number one industry, in the last thirty years of the nineteenth century there was a steady drop in the farm population. 8 Although the populations of the two towns were of similar size, other aspects differed markedly. For example, males outnumbered females in Durango throughout the 1880s. The gap later narrowed, but men still represented fifty-nine percent of the 1890 population.
In other words, Sandwich had everything a progressive, prosperous village with a promising future should have-churches, schools, businesses, industry, and an intelligent citizenry. Unfortunately, the People's Press suffered the fate of many a pioneering newspaper. After six months, it ceased publication and, as one writer quaintly described its fate, the "editor and publisher, having got deeply in debt, left the country, without bidding his friends and patrons an affectionate good-bye" (Portrait and Biographical Album, 795).
A tale of two towns: a mining and a farming community in the 1890s by Duane A. Smith