Go West: U.S. Westward Expansion - WESTERN TOWNS

WESTERN TOWNS (Illustration) Famous Historical Events Social Studies Geography Nineteenth Century Life American History

People who settled on land in the Great Plains sometimes used sod to build their homesteads. This image depicts such a sod house. The image is online via the University of Tampere, in Finland.


Many towns, some with large populations today, had inauspicious beginnings as westward migration continued:

  • Cheyenne, Wyoming, on the Oregon Trail (1876).
  • Deadwood, a South Dakota Territory gold rush town, in 1876.
  • Oklahoma City (Indian Territory), by 1889, had U.S. government buildings, a railroad station, a water tank, and soldiers from the 13th Infantry guarding lumber and an uncompleted cemetery.
  • Midland, Texas experienced severe sandstorms like the one which obscured windmills and houses on February 20, 1894.
  • In 1895, children studied in a sod schoolhouse in Woods County (Oklahoma Territory).
  • Lamon's Log Cabin was the first one built in Yosemite Valley (California Territory) in 1895.
  • Flagstaff (Arizona Territory) had a post office as well as other buildings by 1899.
  • Oil was discovered in Cleveland (Oklahoma Territory) in 1904. A year later, the town had been transformed into a city of oil derricks.
  • The mountain valleys of Idaho sprouted tent towns as westward movement continued in 1909.
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Author: Carole D. Bos, J.D. 5190stories and lessons created

Original Release: Aug 01, 2005

Updated Last Revision: Nov 10, 2015

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"WESTERN TOWNS" AwesomeStories.com. Aug 01, 2005. Feb 19, 2020.
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