Border Warfare Forces Family to Flee

Man's outspoken views on border warfare forces family to flee under cover of darkness.

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When the border warfare between Kansas and Missouri broke out, it became necessary for my grandfather and grandmother to leave their home because Grandfather had spoken his views too freely and had made enemies. In fact, he had to remain hidden to save his life.

One night, they put a cover on the old wagon, loaded their meager possessions and headed west. Grandpa went ahead on foot, and Grandma and the babies followed in the ox-drawn wagon. Grandpa, in scouting ahead, came upon two men burying a man they had killed, all neighbors, but bitter enemies because of the slavery question. Grandpa stopped behind a tree and watched. He brought out his old muzzle-loader and prepared to kill the men who had killed his friend.

Just then he heard the ox wagon coming, bringing Grandma and the babies. The realization struck him that he was all they had to see them to safety. So he let the hammer of the gun down and slipped quietly away. I don't suppose those men ever knew how close they were to death or that they were saved by the sound of an ox wagon.

Mrs. Raymond Williams
Paola, 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.