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Life as a Pioneer

 


Traveling West

Pioneer settlers traveling to Iowa used many different kinds of transportation.

One man, named William Buxton, settled in Carlisle, Iowa in 1851. In 1853, he traveled back to England to claim an inheritance. While on his return trip to Iowa he kept a journal telling of his travels. The Journal of William Buxton gives specific details about how he traveled.

Read the journal. Make a list of all the ways William Buxton traveled. How many did you find?


Transportation in Frontier Iowa

Transportation in Iowa changed very rapidly during the 19th century. The first settlers arrived by wagon often pulled by oxen. Later, settlers might travel by wagon, steamboat or stagecoach.

In 1853, at the end of William Buxton's trip from England he traveled by stagecoach from Dubuque to Carlisle, Iowa. Twenty years later he would have taken a train.

Railroad lines were constructed in eastern Iowa during the 1850s. By 1895, there were five major railroad companies operating in Iowa.

Five major railroad lines - Iowa 1895

But these railroad lines weren't laid all at once. Railroads gradually began in the 1850s.

Before Iowa railroads construction

 

The development of railroads in Iowa changed the state permanently.

  • People now had a dependable means of transportation in all kinds of weather.
  • Iowans were connected to major cities throughout the United States.
  • Iowa's farm products could be transported and sold across the country.

It was said that by 1900 there was no location in the state more than 8 miles from a railroad station.


Life as a Pioneer Continued...

 

 
   
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Introduction Quick Facts Pioneer Homes
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