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Hygiene Habits In The Wild West  

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Judy
 Judy
(@judy)
Micah Torrance Ranch Hand, Alumni

I periodically receive notifications from Pinterest regarding subjects I may be interested in. The other day I received one that caught my attention, because it had a picture of Olive Oatman in it, and since I have always been interested in her story, I had to check it out.

The article turned out to be one of the most interesting, fun filled and educational articles I have ever read. So, I want to share it with you, and get your comments. Hopefully no one has posted this article before, and if it has been posted before, then I apologize in advance for posting it again.

The article is 60 pages long (Don’t be turned off by the number of pages), and filled with information that you may or may not know about The Wild West. It may even bring back some memories that you are willing to share with us.

Here is the article: https://tinyurl.com/yaq2uflo

Following are some of the things that I found interesting:

On page 7: Outhouses. This page reminded me of my childhood. We didn’t have indoor plumbing until I was a Junior in High School. Believe me, the outhouse was not a place you wanted to spend a lot of time in. It was hot in the summer, and cold in the winter. In the summer time, it was a favorite place for spiders to make their webs in and for them to hang out in, not to mention it smelled year around. Toilet paper was unheard of, we used pages from The Montgomery Ward Catalog.

Page 8: I had no idea women used such odd things when washing their hair.

Page 10: Communal Towels. Oh, Yuck!!!

Page 15: Dental Hygiene. OUCH!

Page 27: The guy in the picture looks like John Wayne.

What do you all think?

In remembrance of my beloved son: "Vaya Con Dios" (Spanish, meaning "Go with God"), by Anne Murray ( https://tinyurl.com/y8nvqqx9 )“God has you in heaven, but I have you in my heart.” ~ by TobyMac ( https://tinyurl.com/rakc5nd )

Quote
Posted : 05/06/2020 1:56 pm
Cowgirl
(@cowgirl)
Lucas McCain/The Rifleman Admin

Hey Judy, This sound like an interesting topic. I often wonder about how they handled some of these things in the old west. I also wondered how some of these men and women could stand the smell of each other, some didn't bathe for weeks, months at a time. I thought maybe the ladies of the night might have put a lot of perfume on. It certainly wasn't like the TV Westerns.

I'm going to check it out later, heading out for the day to finally get to see my grandson.
On page 7: Outhouses. This page reminded me of my childhood. We didn’t have indoor plumbing until I was a Junior in High School. Believe me, the outhouse was not a place you wanted to spend a lot of time in. It was hot in the summer, and cold in the winter. In the summer time, it was a favorite place for spiders to make their webs in and for them to hang out in, not to mention it smelled year around. Toilet paper was unheard of, we used pages from The Montgomery Ward Catalog.
We didn't have an outhouse, but we did have an outside toilet built in a closet like room (a more sophisticated toilet). :sillycowboy: The seat was always up in the air and when use girls went you had to put the seat down. When you finished the seat went up and then it flushed itself.

We didn't have much, so I'm sure other places had a better system.Those were the days.

I will definitely check this out, thanks for sharing!


"Keep your 'sites' on The Rifleman"
"The Rifleman hits the 'Mark' every week on abc."
A cowgirl's work is never done.

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Posted : 06/06/2020 4:48 am
wildwest
(@wildwest)
Lucas McCain/The Rifleman Ranch Hand, Alumni

I too am anxious to read it later today. I grew up in the country but we did not have an outhouse and we had indoor plumbing, thank goodness

however there was a farmhouse next to our house that had an outhouse, wow was that an experience. they also had an indoor potty chair like an enamel bowl in the chair they would have to throw out after using. you're bringing back a lot of memories

:cowgirl: "For I know that my redeemer liveth, and He shall stand beside me later on." (Lucas in Home Ranch) :gunfightercowboy:
Ranch Hand Badge - Helper

Writers Corner

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Posted : 06/06/2020 8:59 am
Judy
 Judy
(@judy)
Micah Torrance Ranch Hand, Alumni

We didn't have an outhouse, but we did have an outside toilet built in a closet like room (a more sophisticated toilet). :sillycowboy: The seat was always up in the air and when use girls went you had to put the seat down. When you finished the seat went up and then it flushed itself.
Interesting. So, the guys didn't have to deal with putting the toilet seat down like they do today. I wonder if when a man leaves the toilet seat up, it is a taught habit that was carried over from the wild west days. Hmmm???

Our outhouse was a two-seater. (I never figured out why there were two seats. :thinking:) The inside of our outhouse looked similar to this:

In the following article the explanation for a two seat outhouse was that the two holes were different sizes; a larger one for adults and a smaller one for children. I don’t recall if our seats were different sizes or not. Here is the article: https://tinyurl.com/y9epbjg2

Oh, and another thing, our outhouse didn't have a half moon or star cutout on the door. Here is an article about that very subject: https://tinyurl.com/ycqyqgql

In remembrance of my beloved son: "Vaya Con Dios" (Spanish, meaning "Go with God"), by Anne Murray ( https://tinyurl.com/y8nvqqx9 )“God has you in heaven, but I have you in my heart.” ~ by TobyMac ( https://tinyurl.com/rakc5nd )

ReplyQuote
Posted : 06/06/2020 9:08 am
Judy
 Judy
(@judy)
Micah Torrance Ranch Hand, Alumni

I too am anxious to read it later today. I grew up in the country but we did not have an outhouse and we had indoor plumbing, thank goodness

however there was a farmhouse next to our house that had an outhouse, wow was that an experience. they also had an indoor potty chair like an enamel bowl in the chair they would have to throw out after using. you're bringing back a lot of memories

I also grew up in the country. We lived on a working dairy farm, and I went to a one room school house for 7 years. We had two outhouses in the back yard of the school; one for the boys and one for the girls. Both outhouses had a small window near the top of the roof. (I suppose those windows were for ventilation and sunlight.) I remember that when our teacher would go to the outhouse, one of us kids would climb on top of the building and throw a glass of water in on her. :yes: 😯

I hope they are good memories that I am bring back to you.

In remembrance of my beloved son: "Vaya Con Dios" (Spanish, meaning "Go with God"), by Anne Murray ( https://tinyurl.com/y8nvqqx9 )“God has you in heaven, but I have you in my heart.” ~ by TobyMac ( https://tinyurl.com/rakc5nd )

ReplyQuote
Posted : 06/06/2020 9:27 am
Judy
 Judy
(@judy)
Micah Torrance Ranch Hand, Alumni

Here is another article titled, The Godawful Hygiene Habits of the Wild, Wild West. This article is only 31 pages long, and although there is some overlaying of this article with the one I posted above, this one has additional information such as:

Page 19: Entry Into Drinking Club Came at a Hefty Cost

Page 26: The California Gold Rush

Page 27: Life of a Saloon Girl

Page 31: Mining

Here is the link: https://tinyurl.com/y8mb4d7v

In remembrance of my beloved son: "Vaya Con Dios" (Spanish, meaning "Go with God"), by Anne Murray ( https://tinyurl.com/y8nvqqx9 )“God has you in heaven, but I have you in my heart.” ~ by TobyMac ( https://tinyurl.com/rakc5nd )

ReplyQuote
Posted : 06/06/2020 9:29 am
Howard
(@howard)
Sodbuster Alumni

I grew up next my grandparents' farm..
There was an outhouse, inside of a shed, that was attached to the house at some point.
So you would, at that time, not have to walk outside to go.
Quite a luxury in the winter..
There were 3 seats. The third 'odd' one was about half as high as the other 2,
for the small kids. The two regular ones had hinged lids,
the kids' version had a like a pot cover with a handle on it.
I remember when they finally had indoor facilities built...

Dan

Q: What kind of shoes do frogs wear?Open toad.

ReplyQuote
Posted : 06/06/2020 3:34 pm
wildwest
(@wildwest)
Lucas McCain/The Rifleman Ranch Hand, Alumni

I am enjoying reading these articles! this is all great info. I love to know history and reminisce about the past. thanks to all for sharing

:cowgirl: "For I know that my redeemer liveth, and He shall stand beside me later on." (Lucas in Home Ranch) :gunfightercowboy:
Ranch Hand Badge - Helper

Writers Corner

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Posted : 07/06/2020 9:11 am
Cowgirl
(@cowgirl)
Lucas McCain/The Rifleman Admin

I remember we didn't have a furnace, just a coal stop that heated out small 2 story house.

One thing I miss that we had then, but don't know, is a pantry. I would love to have one of those today.


"Keep your 'sites' on The Rifleman"
"The Rifleman hits the 'Mark' every week on abc."
A cowgirl's work is never done.

ReplyQuote
Posted : 08/06/2020 5:11 am
Judy
 Judy
(@judy)
Micah Torrance Ranch Hand, Alumni

I grew up next my grandparents' farm..
There was an outhouse, inside of a shed, that was attached to the house at some point.
So you would, at that time, not have to walk outside to go.
Quite a luxury in the winter..
There were 3 seats. The third 'odd' one was about half as high as the other 2,
for the small kids. The two regular ones had hinged lids,
the kids' version had a like a pot cover with a handle on it.
I remember when they finally had indoor facilities built...

Dan

An outhouse inside a shed, now that was a luxury, for sure! I have seen pictures of 3-seater outhouses, and I'm glad I started this thread because I am finding out why there were outhouses with multiple seats.

In remembrance of my beloved son: "Vaya Con Dios" (Spanish, meaning "Go with God"), by Anne Murray ( https://tinyurl.com/y8nvqqx9 )“God has you in heaven, but I have you in my heart.” ~ by TobyMac ( https://tinyurl.com/rakc5nd )

ReplyQuote
Posted : 08/06/2020 1:33 pm
Judy
 Judy
(@judy)
Micah Torrance Ranch Hand, Alumni

I am enjoying reading these articles! this is all great info. I love to know history and reminisce about the past. thanks to all for sharing

I also enjoy reminiscing about the past. You're welcome for the shares. :happycowboy:

In remembrance of my beloved son: "Vaya Con Dios" (Spanish, meaning "Go with God"), by Anne Murray ( https://tinyurl.com/y8nvqqx9 )“God has you in heaven, but I have you in my heart.” ~ by TobyMac ( https://tinyurl.com/rakc5nd )

ReplyQuote
Posted : 08/06/2020 1:45 pm
Judy
 Judy
(@judy)
Micah Torrance Ranch Hand, Alumni

I remember we didn't have a furnace, just a coal stop that heated out small 2 story house.

One thing I miss that we had then, but don't know, is a pantry. I would love to have one of those today.

We didn’t have a furnace either. We lived in a 2 story, 2 bedroom, house. During the winter months, my parents had a stove that was placed directly beneath a vent which was in the floor of the largest bedroom. That stove was left to burn out during the night, and by morning we could literally see our breathe and sometimes we had ice icicles on our eye lashes. I remember pulling our clothes under the covers to warm them up a bit before putting them on. I really can’t say ‘those were the good ole days’!

We also had a pantry. I don’t know why pantries have more or less been abandoned, since they were so handy!

In remembrance of my beloved son: "Vaya Con Dios" (Spanish, meaning "Go with God"), by Anne Murray ( https://tinyurl.com/y8nvqqx9 )“God has you in heaven, but I have you in my heart.” ~ by TobyMac ( https://tinyurl.com/rakc5nd )

ReplyQuote
Posted : 08/06/2020 1:45 pm
wildwest
(@wildwest)
Lucas McCain/The Rifleman Ranch Hand, Alumni

we had a huge coal burning furnace in the basement. I remember every spring my parents had to wash the walls because of the coal soot it put out. my Mom made jam and also put up home grown vegetables. food tasted better back then

:cowgirl: "For I know that my redeemer liveth, and He shall stand beside me later on." (Lucas in Home Ranch) :gunfightercowboy:
Ranch Hand Badge - Helper

Writers Corner

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Posted : 09/06/2020 7:38 am
Judy
 Judy
(@judy)
Micah Torrance Ranch Hand, Alumni

We had a cast iron Warm Morning wood and coal burning stove in the kitchen. The stove in the attachment looks so uncannily like it, I had to take a double take when I first saw it. Even the bucket, for ashes, on the left side of the pic, is similar to the pail we had!!!

(Click on the image to enlarge so that you can see the stove better.)

Anyway, every morning, including Sunday, after breakfast, the entire family would sit around the Warm Morning Stove and have a Bible study. Then we would take what was referred to as 'a spit bath' or some called it ‘a sponge bath’; you wash your entire body, except your hair, by using a wet soapy wash cloth, then rinse in clean water, and dry off with a clean towel. After bathing, we got dressed in our Sunday best and went to our little country church.

Wildwest: I agree, the food I grew up on was the best, probably because it was home grown! We had a huge garden which we grew vegetables, squash, potatoes and sweet corn in. My parents farm had wild black raspberries, which we hand picked (Of course, more berries went me and my sibling's mouths than in our buckets! :yes: ) Our farm also had apple trees, black walnuts and hickory nuts. My mother, sister and I canned a lot peaches, pears, apples and black raspberries. We also froze corn, peas, green bean and beets. We would take the outside halls off of the black walnuts and hickory nuts, then crack the shells open, and get the goodies out. The shelled nuts were then stored in Ball or Mason canning jars in the basement.

The Warm Morning Stove, going to a country church and canning are some of the things I really miss about my childhood. I can truly say these things, along with riding our horses and the attending a one room schoolhouse were a part of ‘the good ole days’!!!

In remembrance of my beloved son: "Vaya Con Dios" (Spanish, meaning "Go with God"), by Anne Murray ( https://tinyurl.com/y8nvqqx9 )“God has you in heaven, but I have you in my heart.” ~ by TobyMac ( https://tinyurl.com/rakc5nd )

ReplyQuote
Posted : 09/06/2020 1:31 pm
wildwest
(@wildwest)
Lucas McCain/The Rifleman Ranch Hand, Alumni

Judy it sounds like you had a wonderful childhood!!! you have some precious memories.

did u ever eat corn on the cob without cooking it first? I went to a Farmers Mkt a few years ago and was talking to the vendor about which of his corn options was the sweetest. he pulled some corn out and pulled the husk back and said....here try it. I had never done that but I did and it was wonderful, just like eating candy. My husband grew up on farms and said he did that all the time.

never too old to try something. but I would have to say the corn must be sweet and tender not like so many we get in the groceries

:cowgirl: "For I know that my redeemer liveth, and He shall stand beside me later on." (Lucas in Home Ranch) :gunfightercowboy:
Ranch Hand Badge - Helper

Writers Corner

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Posted : 10/06/2020 8:19 am
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