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Cost of Living, 1874

The Beatrice Express on January 22, 1874, published a brief article on the cost of living in Beatrice for the benefit of those seeking new homes in the West. The Express undoubtedly hoped to encourage new settlement in the area with a listing of the local abundance and cheapness of the necessities of life.

"RENTS. Small houses with from three to four rooms can be rented at from $8 to $10 per month. Those having five to seven rooms in desirable locations and in good repair, from $15 to $20 per month.

"FUEL. Good hard wood, sawed and split for the stove, $5 to $6 per cord; bituminous coal, $6 to $7 per ton.

"GROCERIES. Sugar 7 to 9 pounds for $1; coffee Rio, 33 cts per pound, Java, 40 cts, teas, 75 cts to $1.50 per pound; soap 3 bars for 25 cts; vinegar 30 to 40 cts per gallon; lard 8 cts per pound; crackers 8 l/2 to 12 l/2 cents per pound; syrup 75 cts to $1.50 per gallon; coal oil 40 cts per gallon; cheese 20 cts; salt fish 8 to 20 cts per pound.

"MEATS. Beef, roast, 8 to 10 cts per pound; steaks, loin 12 1/2 cts; round 10 cts; fresh pork 8 cts; salt pork 10 cts; breakfast bacon 10 cts; ham 12 l/2 cts; shoulders 10 cts; sausage 10 to 12 l/2 cts; mutton 8 to 10 cts; veal 8 to 15 cts; buffalo steak 10 cts; venison 10 cts per pound.

"VEGETABLES. Potatoes per bushel $1.25; onions $1.25; beans per pound 6 to 8 cts. Vegetables being very scarce this year on account of their partial failure the past summer, it should be remarked that they are much higher than usual, and hence our figures should be no criterion for ordinary times.

"FRUITS. Apples per bushel $1.50 to $2.00; dried apples per pound 12 l/2 cts; dried peaches 12 l/2 to 15 cts; canned peaches $3.00 per dozen, 2 pound cans; other canned fruits $2.50 to $3.00 per dozen.

"POULTRY AND GAME. Chickens 15 to 20 cts each or $2.00 per dozen; turkeys 8 to 10 cts per pound; quails 50 cts per dozen; prairie chickens each 10 cents."

(March 2005)


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