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Settling the Great Plains

Below is a list of Writing Ideas to help you with your biography. See our instructions if you need help printing these Writing Ideas or finding Writing Ideas related to other Topics.

  1. Did he and his family follow in the footsteps of many other "gold rushers" and move West to settle on the Great Plains? Why did he go?

  2. How was the journey? What type of problems arose? Was there enough food and water? Did he have negative encounters with natives or weather?

  3. Where did he settle? Was it an unpopulated area, or did he move into a town? Did he stake a claim through a land office, or did he buy his land from someone else?

  4. What did he find in the Great Plains? Gold? Freedom? Land? Was it exactly what he were looking for?

  5. What type of work did he and his family members do at this time? Was he a miner, railroad worker, farmer, or employed by the government?

  6. Did he or any of his family members have experiences with Native Americans? What happened? How did he feel about the natives? Did he fear them?

  7. As the railroad was built, its modern advances substantially changed the Great Plains, did he expect it to have such a strong impact?

  8. Did he and his family live by a railroad? What impact did this have on their lives? Did he have access to more goods? Did he travel? Did it cause any fires or kill livestock that strayed onto the tracks?

  9. What type of school, if any, did his family members attend? Was there a structured school for children to go to? How many children attended? How many months out of each year was school in session?

  10. Was there a church for all to attend? Did he attend? Was his community religious?

  11. What else did the closest town contain? A dry goods store? A hotel? How did the town grow over the years?

  12. Was there a saloon in town? If yes, did it have noisy fights? Was this a place that he frequented?

  13. Were there individuals in town that had a bad reputation? What did they do? Did strangers ever come into town and cause trouble? What happened? Was there a sheriff or was the town quiet enough that it didn't need one?

  14. What type of home did he live in? Did he build it himself? What was it made out of? How big was it?

  15. Were the winters a difficult season? What did he worry about? What hardship did each season bring?

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