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Russett, Oklahoma

Life in 1907


The following is extracted from Page 8 of a Capital Democrat Column dated November 22, 2007 and describes living conditions in the Johnston county in 1907.  Many of these conditions continued into the 1950s.


Some thoughts on how life was different at the time of statehood in 1907.


None of the homes located away from the town of Tishomingo had electricity.


Most homes, even in Tishomingo, did not have an indoor bathroom. Outhouses were common and a galvanized tub for bathing was used where they heated the water on wood stoves and poured the water in the tub. The tub was emptied one pail at a time later. Bathing in this manner was usually once a week and the entire family would use the same tub of water.


Bed bugs were common during that period of time.


Most homes had a garden and the family canned their own food. Most families made their own bread every day. They also cured their own meat.


Most women made the majority of clothes for the family.


Grain for animals came in cloth bags and the women used that sacking to make clothes for the family.


The maximum speed limit in most cities was 10 mph. Most families did not own a car and all the roads were not paved. If it rained, it was almost impossible to get from one town to another even using a horse and wagon.


The American flag had 45 stars.


The average wage in 1907 was 22 cents per hour.


The major cash crop grown in Johnston County was cotton.


Most women only washed their hair once a month, and used Borax or egg yolks for shampoo.


The leading cause of death was pneumonia and influenza.


Radios and television were not invented yet.


There was no Mother's Day or Father's Day.


Two out of every 10 adults couldn't read or write. Books were a rare treasure to everyone.


Johnston County had six newspapers.


Only six percent of all Americans had graduated from high school.


Schools let out in the spring and fall for six weeks for children to work on the farm to plant and harvest crops. They made up the school time in the summer months.


Ninety percent of all doctors had no college education.


More than 95 percent of all babies were born at home instead of a doctor's office or hospital.


Copyright 2007, 2008 ISC, Inc.

Last modified: 05/27/07