chapter  8
The Curative Space of the American West in the Life and Letters of Elinore Pruitt Stewart
ByNATALIE A. DYKSTRA
Pages 23

She had moved to the rural West in late March 1909 to remedy her own despair. Uneducated, orphaned early in life, and a single mother, Stewart had supported herself and her daughter Jerrine in Denver working as a furnace tender, housekeeper, and laundress. But the work did not satisfy and did nothing to improve her lot. By the time she was in her mid-thirties, she felt a baffling combination of captivity and homelessness. Homesteading in Wyoming offered her the alternative of a home of her own, adequate food, and as she said, the “blue veil of distance.” To that end, she hired herself out to housekeep for Clyde Stewart, a Scottish widower who owned a ranch near Burnt Fork, Wyoming.