Sandburg's Hometown

April 1, 2013

4th Sandburg Home, 809 E. Berrien, Galesburg, IL 

A Hearty Breakfast

By Barbara Schock

Many experts in the field of nutrition contend breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Because it is the first one consumed, it is expected to provide the energy needed to get through the morning. In these times, it is often given short shrift, largely because of time constraints.

In the 1890s, during Carl Sandburg’s boyhood, breakfast received the attention it deserved. However early one went off to work, one made sure to have a hearty meal. To be sure, it was not always composed of the most healthful elements.

When Carl Sandburg was fourteen years old, he was employed full-time delivering milk and newspapers. He would arise at 5:30 a.m. His mother would serve him buckwheat cakes, fried side pork, prunes or applesauce and coffee. All over Galesburg, working men began the day with similar meals. In addition, most of them walked to their place of work in all kinds of weather. Saving the price of a trolley ride across town was important for the family’s budget.

His father, August, ate a repast like his son’s before setting off for work. It might also include fried eggs. Although the meal was heavy in calories, August Sandburg would have dissipated them long before noon. He was employed in the blacksmith shop of the Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad. His work involved almost constant use of a sledge hammer.

There were a number of men in Galesburg whose employment was more sedentary. However, many of them ate morning meals even more substantial and calorie laden. As a consequence, their girth increased, and their life expectancy diminished.
Sandburg’s Hometown

Sandburg's Hometown - Previous Articles
Date Title
April 1, 2013  A Hearty  Breakfast 
March 25, 2013  The Lost Wallpaper Legend 
March 18, 2013 Martin G. Sandburg
March 4, 2013 The Edison Talking Machine
February 25, 2013 Joe Elser, Civil War Veteran
February 18, 2013 Remember the Maine...
February 11, 2013 Lincoln's Birthday
February 4, 2013 Curiosity