Grasshopper Plague Hits Weeks After Settler Arrives

New Kansas homestead wiped clean after grasshopper plague strikes in summer of 1874.

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My father landed in Kansas a day's drive west of Salina on July 1, 1874. He bought 40 acres of land with a dugout on it and a small field of corn in the roasting-ear stage. On July 16, the grasshopper plague came in a black cloud from the northwest. By morning every green thing was gone. My father picked up buffalo bones and hauled them to Salina and sold them to buy feed for the team and groceries for the family. I am 87 years old.

Nora Tinsley
El Dorado Springs, 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.