Settling an Oklahoma Homestead Near Water

Wife and husband were at odds about where to locate dugout on Oklahoma homestead.

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Great-grandmother was furious when her husband chose a spot near the creek for their dugout, their first home in 1893 on a claim in western Oklahoma, an Oklahoma homestead. She complained because the dugout was out of sight of the section line and "you can't see folks go by." He argued for the convenience of water and won.

To this home Great-grandmother brought flower seeds, tamaracks, and a canary. The flowers were planted on the roof of the dugout. A snake found and swallowed the canary, but with the bird inside him, he couldn't escape from the bird cage and he was doomed. 

Florence Alkire
Seiling, Oklahoma


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.