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Wild West Cowboy Facts

Camp Cook


A camp cook was also known as  "cookie.  He was the cook on the range when cowboys drove cattle.

He was the most important person in camp and had to be quite resourceful in providing three hot square meals a day, rain or shine, cold or hot. Most were older white men, retired from cowboying but blacks, and foreign born men also fit the bill if they could cook up a storm. They were also called among other things, biscuit shooters, bean masters and belly cheaters.

A cook's work was never done, as so it was true on the cattle drive. Since all the directions a drive took were guided by the North Star, it was the camp cook's duty each night to look up, note the North Star and turn the tongue of the chuckwagon toward it. That way, the next morning, the drive would know which way to head out.

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