Settler Describes Buffalo Chips as Prairie Coal

Eastern bride appalled when she learns 'praire coal' was another name for buffalo chips.

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In our early days on the prairies of Nebraska, I can't remember that we burned anything for fuel except buffalo chips and cow chips. Sometimes we drove 5 or 6 miles to get a wagon load for winter use.

One young homesteader told his fiancée that he burned "prairie coal" when she wrote to inquire what he used for fuel. He was very vague as to what it was like. On their ride out to his homestead after they were married, she kept asking where the prairie coal was. Finally, he pointed out some to her. She was a dainty Eastern bride, and she was ready to go back East! Incidentally, she was distantly related to Queen Victoria. She carried on many years in her pioneer home.

Mrs. C.M. Clements
Highland, Kan.


 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.