Crib Bedding on an Iowa Homestead

Young mother improvises crib bedding on an 1862 Iowa homestead.

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When my Aunt Emma was born on a Iowa homestead in 1862, she weighed 2 1/2 pounds. Without hospitals or doctors to help, her mother created a warm crib for the little baby. In a wooden tub, which she placed on a table out of reach of the children, she laid a quilt. She filled brown crockery jars with hot water and put them in the tub with a second quilt between the jars and the baby for crib bedding.

The child thrived, although my daddy described her as "no bigger than a bar of soap after a week's washing."

Her mother, my grandmother, was a "yarb" or herb doctor and was often called away from home, especially on cases of childbirth. It was Aunt Emma who kept things going at home. She was a wonderful person, very precious, and she lived to be 86 years old. 

Lula Husband Bright
North Platte, 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.