Life in 1898-1909

Here are a few more facts about life a hundred years ago:

  • March 25,1896:  The first modern Olympic games were held in Athens, Greece.
  • 1898 (the year Ralph Moody was born): The Denver Union Stock Yard Exchange was built.  During the first stock show a riot broke out, cancelling further shows.
  • June 22, 1898:  Teddy Roosevelt and his “Rough Riders” arrived in Cuba to fight.
  • April 22, 1899: The beginning of the Oklahoma Land Rush.  Two million acres were up for grabs.
  • July 11, 1899:  E. B. White, author of Charlotte’s Web was born.
  • January 22, 1901:  Victoria, Queen of England, died.
  • December 12, 1901:  The first trans-Atlantic signal is heard, broadcast from England and received in Canada.
  • February 4, 1902: Charles Lindbergh, first man to fly solo across the Atlantic, was born.
  • February 20, 1902:  Ansel Adams, famous photographer of black and white images, was born.
  • July 29, 1902:  The first “western” novel was released:  The Virginian by Owen Wister Everett Henry.
  • October 5, 1902:  Ray Croc, founder of McDonald’s, was born.
  • December 17, 1903:  The Wright brothers’ first flight.
  • February 23, 1904:  The U.S. gained control of the Panama Canal
  • March 2, 1904:  Dr. Seuss was born.
  • April 12, 1904:  Release of The Tale of Benjamin Bunny by Beatrix Potter
  • May 2, 1904:  First theater opens, 10¢ for a one-hour show.
  • July 23, 1904:  The ice cream cone was invented at the World’s Fair in St, Louis, MO.
  • November 1904:  Teddy Roosevelt was elected president.
  • January 1906 (the year the Moody family moved to Colorado): The first National Western Stock Show was held in Denver, Colorado.
  • January 1906: Morrison, Colorado was incorporated as a town.
  • April 10, 1906:  The Gift of the Magi was published by O. Henry.
  • July 7, 1906:  Satchel Paige, the famous baseball pitcher, was born.
  • August 28, 1907:  The United Parcel Service (UPS) was founded by a 19-year old.
  • November 19, 1907:  Oklahoma became a state.
  • 1907:  Alfred Packer died.  After getting out of prison in 1901, he lived in a cave in Deer Creek Canyon (and was friends with Mr. Thompson and Two Dog.)  He was well-liked by his neighbors.
  • 1907:  Jesse James frequented the Colorado area in which Little Britches takes place to “cool off” and hide after his robberies.  He also hid in Deer Creek Canyon and in Turkey Creek Canyon with Mr. Thomspon and Two Dog.
  • May 1908:  Lakeside Amusement Park opened just west of Denver.
  • August 8, 1908:  Lynden B. Johnson, the 36th president, was born.
If you lived in 1906:
  • You’d probably not live to see 50.  Sorry, life expectancy was 47 years old in the U.S.  And the five leading causes of death were:
      • Pneumonia or influenza
      • Tuberculosis
      • Diarrhea
      • Heart Disease
      • Stroke
  • You probably didn’t have a bathtub.  Only 14% of U.S. houses did.
  • You probably didn’t have a telephone.  Only 8% of U.S. houses did, and a 3 minute call from Denver to New York City cost $11.  That was more than a week’s wages in 1906.
  • You probably earned about 22¢ per hour at your job.  That was the average hourly wage in the U.S.
  • If you were an accountant, you made $2,000 a year.  If you were a dentist, you made $2,500.   A veterinarian could earn between $2,000 and $3,000 a year, and a mechanical engineer could earn $5,000.
  • You were probably born at home.  More than 95% of babies were.
  • You probably didn’t wash your hair today.  You’d only wash it about once a month for girls, using borax and egg yolks.  You’d wash it a little more often if you’re a boy, because it wasn’t such a hassle.
  • You could probably read and write, though 20% of people still couldn’t.
  • You probably didn’t graduate from high school, only 6% of people did.
  • Your doctor probably didn’t go to college.  In 1906, 90% of all doctors in the U.S. didn’t attend college, only a “medical school,” which was not regulated or certified.
  • You were probably pretty safe.  There were only 230 reported murders in the entire USA.