Homesteading in Montana

Homesteading in Montana was not all that much unlike settling the plains: rattlesnakes, church services, and the sweet sound of meadowlark song.

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Homesteading in Montana hills was probably much like homesteading on the plains. We left our home in Iowa for land in southern Montana in the days when neighbors there were far apart and large herds of cattle and wild horses roamed the open range.

My first experience in Montana was sleeping on the ground where bleached bones of animals were nearby and rattlesnakes were not far away. But to this day the meadowlark song sounds sweeter to me because of the Montana meadowlarks I heard that evening.

Our social life was limited to visits with neighbors when we could get together. Church services, weddings and funerals were held in town-and that was 40 miles away.

Mrs. O. R. Roberts
Blakesburg, Iowa


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.