Debates Held at Homestead Gatherings

Homestead gatherings sometimes involved which livestock animal or kitchen tool was the most useful.

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We called them meetings of the literary society, those gatherings held on Friday evenings at the schoolhouse in the days when we lived on a 40-acre farm near Kossuth, Kansas.

The program began with a debate, mostly for the entertainment of the adults. They would choose a subject, usually a funny one, such as Resolved: The Broom Is More Beneficial to the Housekeeper Than the Dishrag; or Resolved: The Horse Is More Useful Than the Cow.

Following the debates there would be a short program of readings, music, and singing.

The children in the school had their own Friday afternoon treat. If our conduct had been good during the week, the teacher would let us have spelling matches, or ciphering contests, or races to find cities on the maps in our geography.

Mrs. Hazel Cline
Joplin, 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.