Covered Wagon Journey, Illness Separate Engaged Couple

Woman believes fiancé jilted her during covered wagon journey to Kansas.

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My grandfather's parents came from Ohio to Kansas in a covered wagon. Their daughter, Lou, was engaged to John, a neighbor, who had left for St. Louis two weeks earlier with another wagon train.

Lou and John were to meet in St. Louis and be married. When Grandfather's party arrived, John was not at the pre-arranged meeting place and no one from his wagon train could be located.

Some of the family did not like John anyway and insisted that he had skipped out. They finally made Aunt Lou go on with them. During the trip another young man had been attentive to Lou, but she had given him no response. After she became convinced that John had jilted her, she was heartbroken. Six months later she married the other man.

It was two years afterward that John found Lou and discovered that she was married and the mother of a small son. He had been stricken with a terrible fever before he reached St. Louis and had hovered between life and death for weeks. He had been taken to a small village and there were no mail facilities through which he could let anyone know about himself. When he recovered he joined another wagon train that traveled first to Omaha and then down into Kansas.

Both Lou and John were unhappy about their blighted romance, but in those days marriage was for better or for worse. Aunt Lou became the mother of six children and was known as a good wife.

Mrs. Albert Hay
Onaga, 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.