Of course, humans ate corn too!

Johnnycake, corn pone, dodgers, alcohol, hominy, corn bread, corn cakes- there were a multitude of recipes on the farm that made use of corn.

Rebecca Burlend

Rebecca Burlend, who emigrated to Illinois with her family in 1831, remembered that "ground Indian corn" was one of their first purchases as they moved into their new homestead.

Burlend wrote, "Its taste was not pleasant to persons unaccustomed to it, but as it is wholesome food, it is much used for making bread...
Thus we lived the first few weeks as our new estate. Hasty pudding, sad bread, and a little venison were our ordinary food."


Corn wasn't just for food.

Pioneers were thrifty by nature, and knew how to use every part of what they had. Corn was no exception. With two million bushels of corn produced in Coles County alone by 1870, and a large amount of that crop being used on the farm, cobs, husks, and stalks proliferated on the farm. Farmers found many ways to use these products that otherwise might have been wasted



Corn was everywhere

Cobs: Cobs could be used as kindling for the fire, jug-stoppers, handles for small tools,
barnyard litter, even as toilet tissue in the privy.corn husk doll

Husks: Dried husks are essentially paper-like, so some farmers used
husks for writing. Corn-husk dolls werepopular too, but husks were often
used as filling for pillows and mattresses.

Stalks: When bundled together, stalks could shore up houses for the winter,
insulating the interior from the bitter cold. Together with cobs, stalks could be
used as kindling too. Usually, though, stalks were chopped up and used as fodder for animals.