Settling With No Home on Barber County, Kansas, Homestead

Husband and wife on Barber County, Kansas, homestead had to wait it out while construction of their shanty was complete.

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Comora Martin stayed in Missouri when her husband came to Barber County, Kansas, in early 1884 to build a shanty on his claim. In May of that year, she and her 6-month-old daughter set out to join him. They traveled by train to the end of the Santa Fe line at Harper, Kansas.

The shanty had not been completed and William Martin needed more lumber. Planning to haul both lumber and family in a single trip, he had come to Harper driving his team of horses hitched to the running gear of his wagon.

When they set out for the return trip, Comora, holding the baby in her lap, was seated in a rocking chair which had been securely suspended on ropes between lengths of lumber stacked on the stripped-down wagon. The ropes served as springs. Another comfort was an umbrella tied to the rocking chair to protect mother and baby from the Kansas sun. In this unusual conveyance the Martins traveled 45 miles in a wearisome all-day trip to William's father's house where they would stay until their own house was completed.

Mrs. L. M. Stone
Anthony, 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.