In 1921 I taught in a one-room country schoolhouse located on the southern Illinois prairie. A big shelf in the back of the room held a large granite kettle, bowls and spoons. Teachers were serving a hot dish to supplement the cold sandwiches in each child's lunch pail. Mothers were happy to furnish ingredients and I had grown up on a nearby farm so cooking for approximately twenty pupils was no problem. Navy bean soup was a favorite and even heat from the top of a jacketed stove provided a splendid spot to cook the beans, I could easily stand on a stool and stir them while listening to a class recite.
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.