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 Prices and Money On The Frontier

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Prices and Money On The Frontier Empty
PostSubject: Prices and Money On The Frontier   Prices and Money On The Frontier EmptyMon Apr 06, 2015 10:12 am

standard list of prices and wages, Western frontier, ca. 1870s

(1/1)

Dio:
lately I've been getting a number of questions regarding what things cost and how much people made at the time, so I thought it might be helpful to reprint the following list that I assembled for the Free Press, summarizing what stuff cost in the 1870s on the frontier. Also added some more material from various sources including the Montgomery Ward catalog for 1872.

http://www.theroadtodeadwood.com/forum/index.php?topic=3331.0;wap2

1 troy ounce of gold (Black Hills exchange value) -- $20.00

1 troy ounce of gold (New York price) -- $17.50

1 gold bar, 1 inch X 2.5 inches X 8 inches -- approximately $3,000

storage of gold at the bank -- 1% of value, per month

guidebook promoting the Black Hills -- 50 cents

one first class combination ticket (Northern Pacific train from Chicago to Bismarck,
and then by stagecoach to Deadwood) -- $49.25

1 meal at a stagecoach station along the way -- $1.50

1 first class combination ticket (Union Pacific train from Chicago to Cheyenne, and
then by stagecoach to Deadwood) -- $49.25

1 third class train ticket on either line, Chicago to Bismarck or Cheyenne (no stage
ticket included) -- $28.00

1 stagecoach ticket, Bismarck to Deadwood (36 hours/211 miles) -- $23.00

1 stagecoach ticket, Ft. Pierre to Deadwood (32 hours/190 miles) -- $20.00

1 stagecoach ticket, Cheyenne to Deadwood (48 hours/290 miles) -- $30.00

registering a claim with a local mining district registrar -- $1.00 to 2.00

obtaining an official land patent from the US government -- $1,000

sale price for a major underground mine $100,000 -- $400,000

sale price for a medium sized underground mine -- $40,000 to 50,000

sale price for a small mine -- $4,000 to 25,000

wages for an experienced miner -- $4.00 to 7.00 per day

wages for an unskilled/inexperienced miner -- $1.00 to 3.00 per day

wages for a painter, machinist, blacksmith, or carpenter in most of the U.S. -- $2.00 to 3.00 per day

average wage for an unskilled laborer in most of the US -- $1.00 per day

armed guard for a major gold shipment from Deadwood to Cheyenne -- $200.00 for
the trip per man

wages for a bullwhacker (teamster) -- $50.00 to 75.00 per month (includes food)

wages for a cowboy -- $30.00 per month (includes food)

wages for a town marshal -- $75.00 to 225.00 per month

wages for the chief mining engineer/principal manager with one of the major under-
ground mines -- $1,000 to 1,500 per month

Hotel room, good quality -- $2.00 to 4.00 per night

bunk or floor space, flophouse -- $1.00 per night per man

monthly rent for a two or three room cabin -- $25.00 to 40.00 per month

hotel restaurant style meals, best quality -- $14.00 per week

meals, mid-range hotels and boarding houses -- $10.00 per week

meals, decent quality, prepared by “batching” with some pards and cooking your own -- $6.00 to 7.00 for each man per week

meals, lowest quality “army” style provisions for one man for 3 months -- $20.00

flour, one-hundred pound sack or barrel -- $10.00

1 lb. bacon -- 25 cents

1 lb. butter -- 40 cents

1 dozen eggs -- 35 cents

1 gal. kerosene -- $3.75 (note: this is an inflated gold rush price due to the market being cornered -- it will drop later)

1 work or draft horse -- $150.00

1 good saddle horse -- $200.00

1 decent quality saddle -- $30.00

1 good quality “cowboy” style saddle -- $60.00

yoke of 2 oxen -- $150.00

1 wagon -- $65.00

1 buggy -- $65.00 to 75.00

1 set of harness -- $50.00

1 cow -- $26.00

1 bull -- $90.00

1 steer (two year old) -- $22.50

1 decent quality pair of boots -- $10.00

1 good quality custom-made pair of “cowboy” style boots -- $15.00 to 22.50

1 good quality Stetson-made “Boss” hat -- $5.00

1 blanket -- $3.00

1 good quality revolver -- $17.00 to 20.00

1 pair high quality revolvers with pearl grips -- $100.00

1 box, pistol cartridges -- 50 cents

1 Winchester lever action rifle -- $40.00

1 lb. best quality dynamite -- 35 cents

Cigars -- $.05 -.10 each

Men's suspenders -- $.25

Books -- hard cover average $.50

Webster's Unabridged Dictionary, 1,840 pages -- $12

good quality Lamp -- $5

Newspaper Subscription -- $3/year

Pump organs -- $99 to $340

2 mugs of locally-produced draft beer -- 25 cents

1 shot of decent whiskey -- 50 cents

session with a standard grade soiled dove -- $3.00 to 5.00

quickie with a streetwalker in doorway of a back alley -- $1.00 for a white or Hispanic woman, .50 to .75 for a woman of color

1 dance with a dance hall girl -- 5 cents to 25 cents

unimproved acreage (no mineral rights, average tract - 160 acres) -- $5.00 to 7.00 per acre

improved farmland -- $10.00 to 30.00 per acre depending on quality and location

Homestead Filing Fee -- $14

House - 32’ x 40’ (4 rooms) -- $700

cabin - 16' x 22' (2 rooms) -- $300

Shanty - 8' x 10' (1 room, dirt floor) $25

small barn and well -- $150

Chairs -- $1.25 each

Bed, Bureau, and Commode -- $15

Cookstove -- $25

Lantern -- $1.00

Calico fabric -- 10¢/yard

Bleached Cotton fabric -- 15¢/yard

Brown Shirting fabric -- 13¢/yard

Domestic Gingham fabric -- 15¢/yard

(below are prices for goods from Montgomery Ward, 1872 catalog)

Two Colored Undershirts $1.25
Two White Undershirts $1.00
Two Colored Drawers $1.25
Two White Drawers $1.00
Three New York Mills White Shirts $2.50
Six Pairs of Men's Cotton Socks $1.00
Six Pairs of Army Wool Socks $1.00
Seven Yards of Blue Denim $1.00
Three Yards of Plain Cassimere (cashmere) $1.00
One Ladies Gold Locket $1.50
One Ladies Plain Enameled Locket $2.00
One Pair of Ladies Earrings and Pin Set (imported) $4.50
One Pair of Ladies Solid Gold Ear Drops $3.00
One Plain Gold Ring (all sizes) $2.00
One Silver-Plated Hunting Case Watch $6.00
One Silk Parasol $1.00
One Heavy Plaid Shawl $3.00

(wholesale liquor prices)
imported ale or Stout -- $20.00 per cask
American bottled beer -- $2.00 per case
Jamaica Rum -- $5.00 per gallon
Port and Sherry -- between $1.00 to $5.00 per gallon
Western brandy -- $15.00 per case
Gin -- $1.50 per gallon
Whiskey -- $2.00 to 3.00 per gallon

FYI -- period terms for money:

1 bit -- 1/8 of a dollar (2 bits = $.25 cents)

4 bits -- .50

6 bits -- .75

eagle -- $10 gold piece

double eagle -- $20 gold piece

half eagle -- $5 gold piece

quarter eagle -- $2.50 gold piece

slug -- $50 dollar gold piece

V-spots -- $5 bills
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