Bustle Dresses Served as a Bank

County’s money was sewn into bustle dresses for safe-keeping.

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Back when the Ozarks were first being settled, my grandfather was county collector for Newton County in southwest Missouri. There were no banks in this territory in those days, and the collector was responsible for the money he collected. My grandmother solved the problem by sewing the greenbacks into the bustle dresses she and her daughters wore. They never told where the money was kept until years later. But the funds were safe in the bustles and ready for use whenever the county needed them!

Mrs. Earl Brown
Lanagan, Mo


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.