Carrying Gold Across the Plains

Mom and great-grandmother carried gold across the Prairie, sewn into their petticoats, and it was never detected.

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My grandmother told me this story: She and my great-grandmother crossed the Plains in 1865 loaded with their money. Their petticoats were quilted in squares and every square had a $20 gold piece sewed in it. I forget how many thousands of dollars the women carried in their petticoats.

Bandits came to their camp one night and searched everything, but did not find the gold. The money was successfully "worn" from Montana to a new home on the Coonskin River, between Pittsburg and Wier City, Kansas.

Hattie Backman
Rich Hill, 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.