Homesteading in Oklahoma Required Trip by Covered Wagon

Husband participates in land race, and woman recalls homesteading after his death.

Content Tools

My homesteading experience included my husband taking part in the Oklahoma Land Race.

We moved to the place in October with a 5-week-old baby and two other children. My husband drove the covered wagon, and I drove the covered spring wagon. Before we started, I baked up a lot of bread and some cakes and packed them in a wash boiler. One evening one of the horses got loose and ate nearly all of our bread and cakes.

Our home was to be about a mile and a half across the Cimarron. It didn't look like much. Our first home was a dugout, then a soddy, then a log house. Finally, we built a nice home.

In 1894, a little girl was born, making four children. In July that same year my husband died of cancer. Things looked gloomy, but the children and I stayed on. I had to prove up on the farm the next year to keep from being contested. I have a patent signed by President Teddy Roosevelt.

When my husband died, our oldest child was 10 and the youngest three months. I plowed and planted and got by somehow. The children did what they could to help. I am 88 years old now, and when I am through with our "claim," it will go to them.

Mrs. N.E. Cannon
Butler, Oklahoma

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.