Thu May 7, 2009
Correcting the Historical Record: Women Homesteading in the American West.
By Rich Fisher
Tulsa, Oklahoma – On StudioTulsa today, we hear from Marcia Meredith Hensley, a former resident of Oklahoma and TU graduate who is now a retired English professor and avid historical researcher based in Wyoming. Hensley has an interesting new book out called "Staking Her Claim: Women Homesteading the West," which she discusses with host Rich Fisher. As she explains on our show, single-women homesteaders on the American frontier were for many years absent or neglected in the standard American history texts. But that is starting to change, thanks to the work of historians like Hensley herself, and now the significant, courageous, and hard-won --- and by no means marginal --- efforts of such women to become landowners by way of homesteading in the still-wild frontier of the early 1900s are being recognized. "Staking Her Claim" thus collects personal accounts, letters, memoirs, and newspaper articles written by these women concerning their lives as homesteaders in the early-20th-century Mountain West. Hensley will be signing copies of her book this Saturday afternoon (the 9th) at Steve's Books in midtown Tulsa (located at 2612 South Harvard).