Tough Woman Persevered on Kansas Homestead

Winter on a Kansas homestead was brutal, but didn't slow one very tough woman down.

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I remember the blizzard of '84-'85. Mother came to a Kansas homestead in the early '80s, and homesteaded a claim just over the line in Stafford County. We were living in a sod house there the year of the storm.

My brother was caught at one of our neighbor's and his friends would not let him start for home for fear he would be lost in the snow.

Mother grew uneasy about him. Wrapping a quilt around herself, she walked across the prairie to the neighbor's house to find him. Sometimes the wind was so strong that she was forced to sit down, huddled in her quilt, until it eased and she could go on. She traveled a mile in that storm and brought my brother safely back with her to our home.

Mother worked for other families in the country and often rode a roan pon~ to work. At one place she helped with the butchering and was given some meat. On the way home wolves, attracted by the smell of fresh meat, followed her. She held on to the meat and arrived at the soddy unharmed.

The claim Mother had is covered with oil wells today. 

Charles Stephenson
Columbia, Missouri


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.