Green Field Saves Family From Prairie Fire

House and crops destroyed by prairie fire as family seeks shelter in middle of a green rye field.

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A large bleached bone dressed up in calico made me as happy as modern children are with their fine dolls when we homesteaded on the prairie in Pratt County, Kansas. My father got some crops growing before he took time to build a house on his land. Then, as so often happened in those days, a newcomer emptied live ashes outside and a prairie fire swept across the country.

It took everything my father had built and acquired! Our lives were saved because we were able to get in the center of a green rye field.

Blanche Patrick
Springfield, 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.