Woman Remembers Exciting Covered Wagon Days

Ox team and covered wagon days were exciting, says one who lived through them.

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I am 81 years old, and I can remember many things from the ox team and covered wagon days. One of the ideas people have now is that things were pretty slow and dull then, but I know we had excitement every time we drove an ox team to church and had to pass cattle on the way. The herds of cattle would come on a run to the fence to see the strange oxen on the road and would cause us trouble.

One time we were going to a picnic and had to pass a herd of cattle. The bull jumped the fence and came pawing and bellowing to fight our oxen. My father unhitched the chain but left the oxen yoked because they could fight better in the yoke. He had a heavy ox whip, and he stood by with it to help his team.

There was half a wagonload of us children. We jumped down and ran around like scared chickens. I have no idea how it would have ended if the bull's owner had not come riding up at a hard gallop with his big bull whip. My, were we relieved! Yes, we had excitement even with a dull, plodding team of oxen.

Mrs. T.K. Mannon
Brown Branch, Missouri


Back in 1955 a call went out from the editors of the then CAPPER'S WEEKLY asking for readers to send in articles on true pioneers. Hundreds of letters came pouring in from early settlers and their children, many now in their 80s and 90s, and from grandchildren of settlers, all with tales to tell. So many articles were received that a decision was made to create a book, and in 1956, the first My Folks title – My Folks Came in a Covered Wagon – hit the shelves. Nine other books have since been published in the My Folks series, all filled to the brim with true tales from CAPPER’s readers, and we are proud to make those stories available to our growing online community.