Mother Weaves Cloth for New Winter Coat

Son's need of new winter coat has woman sewing all night long by candlenight.

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In the days of log houses, the spinning wheel and the loom, Grandfather had gone on a long trek across the plains to the gold fields of California. Grandmother was left alone to care for their little family.

In the long winter of 1855, the snow lay deep on the prairie. For many weeks the sun shone brightly around the little cabin without a trace of melting snow. It was bitterly cold, and Dale, the eldest child, badly needed a new winter coat.

Grandmother rose very early and began her weaving. By night she had woven enough cloth to make Dale a coat. When the evening meal was over, Grandmother cut out the cloth and began her sewing. Elizabeth, the eldest daughter, sat by her and threaded her needles. The work was done by candlelight, and as the hours passed the candles burned out. Undismayed, Grandmother continued her sewing by the flickering flames of the logs in the fireplace. Day was breaking in the east when the coat was finished. Grandmother was very, very tired – but proud and happy in the assurance that her eldest son and little helper had a warm coat. The daughter, Elizabeth, was my mother.

Emma Brawner
Fremont, 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.