How the Wade Family Claimed Their Nebraska Homestead

The Wade family went for it and settled a Nebraska homestead, but it wouldn't last forever.

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One morning in early April, 1879, my parents, E. S. Wade and Hannah Landis Wade and their three children, and several other families of the La Harpe, Ill., vicinity set out by wagon train for their Nebraska homestead.

Each family had a large covered wagon in which their belongings and the children rode. They had wagons of food for themselves and their stock.

Each family took a milk cow or two, a sow, and some chickens, as well as plows and harrows and whatever else they could find room for.

Many families had at least one riding horse as well as a work team or two. The women took turns with their husbands driving the wagons and riding horse back.

As a child I heard stories of the hardships of their life in Nebraska. Most of the families were pretty tired of the struggle by the time they got their claims proved, so they sold their land and came back to Illinois. 

Inez Wade Coleman
West Point, Iowa

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.