Lack of Water Drove Homesteader to Tears

The one time you might catch a homesteader crying – after a hard days work, with no water to drink.

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Lack of water created hardship on many homesteads. In my parents' home on the Little Blue River melted snow provided water in the winter. In good weather, they hauled water for miles in a barrel.

One harvest after my father had worked in the field all day, he took his sled and horses, and when evening came, went for a barrel of water. As he drove into the yard, the horses made a sharp turn; the barrel upset.

"That's the one time," my mother told us, "that your daddy sat down and cried. He was so tired!"

Mrs. Lillie Johnson
Linden, Nebraska


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.