Streams Difficult to Cross in Covered Wagons

Lead team of horses pulls out team and covered wagon floundering in stream.

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We packed our belongings into two covered wagons and a spring wagon to travel to Texas when the sand and dry summers drove us out of Kansas. The spring wagon was for the women and for us little girls. My father's brother and his family went with us.

We were six weeks on the road, and Mother got very tired of baking biscuits in a skillet over a campfire for so many hungry people. But Mother could bake the best biscuits in the world with half a chance.

People who knew the streams along the way warned us always to water our horses before we started across. If the animals stopped to drink, they might sink fast in the quicksand. Many a wagon had gone down! There were no bridges, of course.

Two of our teams had made it through one stream when the third team began to struggle. Frantically my father called to my uncle to bring back the lead team. Father carried us children to safety on the opposite bank. The men were planning to unload the wagon when the lead team managed to pull the sinking team to firmer footing, and they made it across all right. My heart beats an extra pitter-patter when I think of it even today.

Viola Hall
Altamont, Kansas


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.