Covered Wagon Journey Was to Help Invalid

Suffering from tuberculosis, woman makes journey on covered wagon to better climate.

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My mother was an invalid with tuberculosis. We lived in western Kansas and, when I was nine years old, the doctors advised my father that a change of climate might help Mother. Father rigged up two covered wagons. My brother was to drive one, and Father took great pride in making the other one as comfortable as possible for Mother, who had to lie down most of the time.

One autumn morning, we bade a sad farewell to an older brother who was to remain behind and set out toward Missouri. I took my little canary, but it soon died from the motion of the wagon.

One night, we made camp near an Indian cabin. I had a terrible earache, and we went to the Indian for medical aid. The old Indian blew tobacco smoke in my ear, and it helped!

The next morning after we had started on our way, two men riding horses followed us for awhile and then pulled up beside my father's wagon and began asking questions. They asked to search our wagons. When the search was over, they told us a young girl had been murdered the night before near the place we had camped. She had gone to a spring for water and had been seized and bound to a tree and a knife plunged into her heart. When the officers were convinced we knew nothing about it, we were allowed to go on.

Father bought a farm in Cherokee County, Kansas, and we settled down again. The trip had not helped my mother, and she passed away in April.

Mrs. Susie Bugh
Ewing, Missouri


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.