My husband's great-grandmother, Lady Marcell O'Brien, from County Cork, Ireland, fell in love with the stable hand, John Keenan, and they were excommunicated to America. They were married just before embarking for the land of opportunity, but they forgot their marriage license and returned to get it. In doing so, they missed their boat. As the story goes, this ship and all aboard were lost at sea. They took the next ship to America and settled near Freeport, Illinois, where they became the parents of three boys. Great-Grandfather was killed in a thrashing accident. Great-Grandmother remarried and brought her family to Paola, Kansas, where they bought a farm from Chief Baptiste Peoria on the Marais des Cygnes River near Henson, Kansas.
We have much to thank our pioneer relatives for – their courage and persistence gave us our rich heritage today.
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.