Ah, The Bachelor … and a Give Away!

Let’s face it, we’re all here because we love to read western romance! Our heroes meet our heroines, they overcome obstacles, they fall in love, they live happily ever after. We never get tired of reading about them!

Back in the day, however, for some men, the pleasures of courtship came far too late. In many areas there just weren’t enough women to go around. And even when there was, love failed to bloom, or fear overrode desire leaving in its wake a safe, though occasionally nervous unmarried man: the bachelor.

Women were hard to come by on the frontier and the scarcity of women was particularly evident during dances. Square dances were popular back in the day and it was difficult to fill two or three sets with mixed partners. This is where the scarcity of women was particularly evident. Men drafted to be women as dance partners wore handkerchiefs tied around their upper arms to reveal their “lady status.” A reward of $0.25 per female was offered in the hope of finding women, but the money was seldom paid out. One Nebraska settler once quoted, “This is a lonely place for single women. There are a number of single men of marriageable age and nearly all have a bird in view as soon as they can get a cage ready. That is if a bird happened to be flying in their vicinity! Which, in some areas, wasn’t very often.

 

The bachelor’s role in frontier society was well defined and embraced men from all walks of life, from dusty cowpokes to
cranky Argonauts. When confronting a female presence they all seemed frozen to the spot. The prairies were huge and isolated. Without wife or family, the bachelor languished alone, or as many did, with other bachelors. Most did backbreaking work all day then had to do their own cooking and washing. Their only amusement was the occasional card game or a trip to town. In town, there were gambling saloons and girls, but most men longed for the company of decent women.

The fact was, single men depended upon women. Who else could fix rips in their clothing and bake bread? “Batching it” did not come easy for men. The bachelor’s meal lacked variety, especially when the bachelor was working in the field. One man, by the name of Anderson, would cook up a large kettle of oatmeal in the morning, eat some of it at noon and if there was any left in the evening, finish it for supper. Bachelors longed for dinner invitations and would go to any extreme to sit down in an actual family setting. Can you just imagine how it was for these men around the holidays?

 

So is it any wonder why we love reading about these rough, tough men of the frontier and old west finding true love? It’s one of the reasons we authors love writing it too! From the general store owner to the cowboy on the range, what type of “bachelors” do you like to read about? I’ll pick a random winner to receive a copy of A Very Weaver Christmas, where one woman’s cooking has an entire town in an uproar and budding romance happens, no matter what some might do to stop it.

Kit Morgan
Kit Morgan is the author of over 80 books of historical and contemporary western romance! Her stories are fun, sweet stories full of love, laughter, and just a little bit of mayhem! Kit creates her stories in her little log cabin in the woods in the Pacific Northwest. An avid reader and knitter, when not writing, she can be found with either a book or a pair of knitting needles in her hands! Oh, and the occasional smidge of chocolate!
Updated: November 17, 2019 — 5:58 pm

40 Comments

  1. Avatar

    I can’t imagine how lonely it was on the frontier daily, much less at holidays! I could have handled being a young lady, having all the men pining over me and having my pick of suitors. I’m not so sure how many of them would have been ideal prospects though.

    I love an honest, hard working, funny, hero with high morals and him having the need to make sure Justice is served in the lawless country.

    I hope you have a very Happy Thanksgiving and Holiday season. I still can’t believe it’s already time to say that!

    1. I know, right? Sheesh, where does the time go? And yes, it had to have been very lonely for a lot of those men! Have a great Thanksgiving, Stephanie!

  2. I bet it was quite lonely before women came. I enjoyed the post. Th anks

    1. I’m sure it was lonely for a few gals too! Especially after the Civil War which is one of the reasons mail-order brides began heading west.

  3. I love to read Cowboy stories the most – contemporary or historical!

    1. Yeah, there’s just something about those cowboys!

  4. You are so right as to why we love to read these type of books. Just imagine how lonely these men were back then. I can’t wait to read your Christmas book.

    1. I sure had fun writing it, Gail! Hope you enjoy the romp!

  5. Thanks for an interesting post.

    Oh, and my preference … cowboys. But, I’m open to anyone you write about.

    1. Cowboys are always fun to write about. Though I am planning on venturing into a few other things this coming year.

  6. Cowboy bachelors!

    1. Hurray for cowboy bachelors! Now if I could just find one …. LOL!

  7. I love the cowboys most of all but I guess store owner wouldn’t be so bad either at least he wouldn’t be gone months at a time

    1. So true, and he’d work in a nice cozy environment!

  8. Kit, thank you for this interesting post! I can’t resist a cowboy!

    1. Oh, golly, Caryl, who can? Ha ha ha!

  9. Hard life for both men and women. I like to read about those cowboys that were tough on the outside but soft on the inside, not the ones who thought wife equaled slave! Thanks for an interesting post.

    1. Me too! But I bet there was a lot of that back then, the wife was just another part of the farm or ranch to some men.

  10. I like to read about cowboys. I can’t imagine living such a lonely life. I like some solitude and I’ve never enjoyed big crowds, but I just don’t think I would have handled being so isolated all the time.

  11. I really enjoyed this post. Thank you. I love reading about men who willing to change for their better, who are willing to be sensitive to a woman and listen to her instead of walking over her. I love a man who wants to know who God is and even though he may fight it at times, he is willing to listen. A man who wants to put the woman first and make her feel special and loved. Oh, shoot, lol, I could go on and on, but I think you get the drift.

    1. Gee wiz, Lori, why aren’t you writing cowboy romance? You just described the perfect hero!

  12. We don’t think much about those days and the loneliness of the various groups of people because we have so much technology now to keep us connected but back then, a bachelor would definitely be super lonely in the wide open spaces. He probably wouldn’t even have another man to talk to at times! The love of a good woman would be scarce, that’s for sure! Bless those women who braved the frontier life and married those lonely men!

    1. I think that’s one of the reasons so many of us love a good mail-order bride story!

  13. While I love a good cowboy story, I think my favorite bachelor stories are the ones with mail-order brides. There’s just something about a marriage of convenience growing into real love that warms my heard.

    1. Yes, be it mail-order bride or other historical periods, I love reading about that too!

  14. I’ve often wondered if a cowboy was stuck in a line shack two or more miles from the headquarters would he even know it was Christmas Day? Since I have never read any cowboy diaries or journals I guess I will never know for sure. I’ll just have to keep reading what all you wonderful writers imagine.

  15. You know, Alice, that would be very interesting to read a diary or journal written by a working cowboy. I know there must be some somewhere!

  16. I love reading historical western romance. Now and then a contemporary romance will catch my eye too. I love a strong cowboy, ranger, Indian, or ranch hand who fights for what is right, loves his horse, whispers to the wind for company, eats his hardtack without complaining, embraces the land even though a living is difficult to cut out, and yet has a tender heart towards his lady love. So very thankful to be a part of Petticoats and Pistols. Have enjoyed reading many of your books already. I can’t believe how often biscuits were made on the trail. Love the cover of your new book too!

    1. Oh yes, lots of biscuits!!! Those cowboys ate their share of biscuits and beans, that’s for sure! Glad you’re enjoying my little stories, Kathy!

  17. A rancher cowboy could win my heart. The cowboy code gives him a head start toward a woman looking for a man.

  18. I like reading about the confirmed bachelor who ends up no so confirmed after he falls in love.

    1. LOL! Yes, those are always fun reads, Denise!

  19. Wow, this is so very interesting and so very true, even now a days guys prefer decent women, the kind they can take home to meet mama. 🙂 I agree, there is something really special about cowboys, the way they dress, they always look so nice and neat. I did not marry a cowboy but I am very happy with my husband, we have been married for 43 years. I used to love and I still love to watch a good cowboy movie. You know when I was growing up, I used to like guys that played the saxophone, and were part Italian, and somehow, I was lucky because my husband is half Italian and he plays the saxophone. Who would have known. 🙂 Have a Great rest of the week and Happy Thanksgiving to you. Thank you for the chance. God Bless you.

    1. Wow, Alicia, that’s so cool about your husband!

  20. I just love the cowboy, he could be working the cows or riding in the rodeo.

    1. Yes, there are a lot of gals out there that love a good rodeo! 😉

  21. Hi Kit – I enjoy cowboy bachelors who are in need of finding the right women to love, care & cook for them. Mostly the ones who have had a hard time in life trying to do the right thing all the time & living a life without softness….
    Loved your blog about this. Have a good Thanksgiving!!

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