Grasshopper Plague Destroys Corn Crop

Grasshopper plague in 1874 descended as a black cloud blocking out the sun.

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I am in my 87th year and I remember the grasshopper plague on our claim in Butler County, Kansas. In the spring of 1874, my father had put in corn and vegetables.

The corn had done so well and was in roasting ears when one day a black cloud came from the south so that we could not see the sun. It was grasshoppers, and they covered the ground four inches deep in a very short time. Nothing was left but the cornstalks. They ate shucks, and there was not a leaf or a blade of grass left standing.

Leighton W. Flock
Nampa, Idaho


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.