Staples Difficult to Freight to Distant Homesteaded Property

Food staples that family could not raise on homsteaded property had to be bought, shipped from city more than 160 miles away.

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My grandparents had to travel 168 miles to Kansas City to purchase the staples – such as food and fabric – that they did not raise on the property they had homesteaded. The trip was made by wagon about every six months, and Grandmother used to tell what a pleasure it was to get a few yards of material for a new dress. Each member of the family was given one tablespoon of molasses at each meal. Sugar was so precious that it was kept in a sugar bowl tucked away in a dresser drawer. When company came, it was brought out proudly and placed on the table.

Gladys Norris
Hot Springs, Arkansas


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.