Mother Worked as a Baby Catcher on Colorado Homestead

Proud mother helped out on large Colorado homestead working as a baby catcher.

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The one thing that stands out when I recall our years on a Logan County, Colorado homestead is my mother's "career." She often assisted at the delivery of a child.

As I recall, all babies arrived in the dark of night. Late, often quite late, a man, either the expectant father or the hired hand, would drive up and say, "Could you hurry, ma'am, it's pretty close. . ."

Mother would snatch up a sack of white cloths she kept handy, and say, "You girls be good and help your Pappy." Then she was on her way.

If the call came late at night, after we were asleep, our father would tell us at breakfast, "You girls do these dishes and be quiet if Mama is sleeping. She was up all night. Being a baby catcher again!" I think he resented it a bit, but Mother was always so proud of being able to help and being a baby catcher. If the baby was a girl, it likely was named Margaret in her honor. I wonder how many Margarets were born in that county in 1908 and 1909.

Babies born in modern hospitals may have a better chance to live, but none ever receive a more joyous welcome than those born in pioneer homes. 

Mrs. M. Christoffersen
Powell, Wyoming 

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.