Special to Reflector-Chronicle
Although most Kansas women in the 1800s tended children and managed the homestead, some also supplemented the family income by bartering agricultural products in nearby towns.
Isaias McCaffery will discuss these women, as well as others who worked as domestics in the city or taught in the one-room schoolhouses that dotted the prairie.
The Abilene Public Library will host “19th-Century Rural Kansas Women at Work,” a presentation and discussion at 2 p.m. Saturday, March 30 at the library, 209 NW 4th St. Members of the community are invited to attend the free program. Contact Abilene Public Library at 785-263-3082 for more information. The program is made possible by the Kansas Humanities Council.
McCaffery is a history professor at Independence Community College and is past president of the Kansas Association of Historians. His collection of “909 Mennonite Low German Proverbs from Kansas” was published in 2008.
“The sheer physical endurance and the range of skills that rural women needed in order to fulfill their daily obligations was phenomenal, but often taken for granted,” McCaffery noted. “My appreciation of my mother and grandmother’s versatility and expertise continues to grow, as does my realization of how easy and pampered our modern lives have become in comparison.”
“19th-Century Rural Kansas Women at Work” is part of the Kansas Humanities Council’s The Way We Worked Speakers Bureau, featuring presentations and discussions examining the theme of work and working in Kansas and how these stories help define us.
The Kansas Humanities Council conducts and supports community-based programs, serves as a financial resource through an active grant-making program, and encourages Kansans to engage in the civic and cultural life of their communities. For more information about KHC programs contact the Kansas Humanities Council at 785-357-0359 or visit online at www.kansashumanities.org.