Clothing in the Early Mining Supply Towns (1860-1865)

by LaDonna Gunn

In Colorado City as in other western supply towns during the Civil War, wool and cotton became very expensive. When miners, farmers, and ranchers wore out their clothing, the men did not usually have the money to buy new clothes or the skills to make their own new clothes. Rather, the men used whatever fabric they could find to sew patches on their worn clothes, ignoring whether or not the "color, fiber, texture, stripes or stamps" matched the clothing. Since most of the flour shipped into the supply towns came in 100 pound sacks manufactured by the XXXX Family Flour company in Saint Louis, Missouri, many men used the flour sacks as patching fabric. S.M. Buzzard, a resident of Colorado City in the early 1860s, recalled that "it was not unusual to see the hind-end gate of a fellow's trousers labeled with 'XXXX Family Flour'."