Corn Heat Was All They Had on Kansas Homestead

Hardships were many, and corn heat was just part of life on one Kansas homestead.

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My oldest brother was born in January on my parents' dugout along the Little Blue River. It was a severe winter with much snow, and the only fuel the family had was wet cornstalks. They filled the oven with wet stalks and piled them on the stove top to dry. Imagine how little heat they must have had!

Mother said she had only two diapers for her first baby. Each time he was changed she would wash the diaper. All water came from melted snow. 

Mrs. Lillie Johnson
Minden, Nebraska


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.