Horse Thieves in Central Kansas

One central Kansas homesteader’s prize horse was never stolen, though horse thieves tried through the years.

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Horse thieves were as common as coyotes in central Kansas when my parents lived there in a dugout on their Kansas homestead. My father had an especially fine horse called Bim, which he had trained so that no one except my father could catch him. For safety, Bim was turned out to pasture every night.

One night when my parents were returning from a dance, they saw two men on horses down the road. As they came closer they could see one horse wearing a cloth with holes cut out to look like spots, and the second horse was covered with a dark cloth. Were these men horse thieves? Had they caught Bim?

When they arrived home, a whistle brought Bim to the barn.

He was safe.

But the next day a neighbor came for help. He had lost his last two horses.

Bim was never stolen, although several times thieves tried to catch him.

Mrs. A. K. Ingham
Beverly, Kansas


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.