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Civilizing the Great Plains (Paperback) (Don Wilbur)

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The Great Plains of America have become the breadbasket of the world, producing wheat and corn and beef for a market that spans the globe. It wasn’t always that fertile a place to farm. What attracted early settlers to the area between Montana and the Dakotas to Texas, and from western Nebraska and Oklahoma to eastern Iowa and Missouri was opportunity. A government with new western lands offered promising homesteads to the many newcomers to the land. They neglected to inform them of the perils of land already occupied by native Indian tribes. Yet, the Europeans fleeing their own terrors came and took up the challenge. These brave farmers and ranchers stood their ground against savage threats and held onto what would become their heritage for generations that followed. The story of these hardy pioneers is told with candor by one of those whose heritage comes from the Great Plains of the Dakotas. Early families braved hostile Indian attacks, dust storms that ruined crops, freezing winters that wore down the families, lost crops, and government interference. What has resulted is a land well irrigated that grows massive crops of grains, planted, maintained, and harvested by modern equipment, and families of the 21st century living life never imagined by their predecessors 200 years ago. The author and his wife motored through the Great Plains to research this book, taking photos and making notes of the past and present history of the civilizing of the Great Plains.

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