Parents Bury Child During Covered Wagon Journey

Child doesn't survive journey from Kentucky to Kansas by covered wagon.

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The year was 1869. Mother was only nine years old. Grandfather and Grandmother loaded their four children and their few possessions into the covered wagon and left Kentucky, prayerfully headed westward.

Their journey across rough trails was a slow one. Winter set in early. One cold night, God called their youngest child to Him. They knelt beseechingly to the Father for His help. Late that night, they dug the little grave and tenderly laid their baby to rest. They prayed and sang "Rock of Ages." The rest of the night was spent driving the wagon and oxen back and forth over the grave. This left no trace for Indians who might dig up the body.

They reached Cottonwood Falls, Kansas, where they stayed until spring. Then they staked their claim four miles east of Wichita and built a sod shanty. When Sunday came, they invited their few neighbors to worship God in their home.

My mother gathered wild onions to eat, my grandmother spent a great deal of time gathering buffalo chips for fuel and my grandfather hunted buffalo for meat.

Today I sit comfortably in my modern home looking at the old iron kettle that swung from the back of the prairie schooner. Grandmother cooked buffalo meat in it. It is now a flower pot in my sunny south window. Although I enjoy modern conveniences, I treasure that old iron kettle.

Mrs. Ivel Curless
Wichita, 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.