No period of time and no tract of territory have been more chronicled in fiction and in history and on film than what is properly called The Old West. Of course it has been romanticised -- but underneath all the myth there was hard drama and poetry.
Life in that new world was strange and hostile and, above all, lonely. The early pioneers mightn't have a neighbour within 50 miles; this was especially hard on the women -- they were alone at home for much of the day.
A story about a young couple who went out West and built their log cabin and got land from The State illustrated this. After a few months John felt that Mary was unhappy. He asked her why -- and she said: "I am lonely because I have no woman to talk with." John was delighted when another young couple, Henry and Martha, settled down a few miles away. The two young couples quickly became close friends. Mary looked very happy.