Pioneer Stories: Parents Opened Doors to Travelers

Travelers walking west stayed with family in woman's pioneer stories.

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My pioneer stories are filled with examples of my parents’ hospitality.

My parents never turned away anyone who wanted refuge for the night. Many a night we had so many travelers with us that beds were piled down all over the floors.

One family in particular stands out in my memory. A man, his wife and three children were walking through to western Kansas. Their team had died on the way, so they had bundled up some clothing, bedding and a few necessities and were walking through to relatives who had homesteaded out West.

The man carried their possessions wrapped in a bed sheet that to my childish eyes seemed such a huge bundle. I marveled that he was able to carry it. The wife carried the baby about 9 months old, a frying pan and a coffee pot. A little girl of 5 and a boy of 7 walked by her side. My parents often wondered if they reached their destination or if they might have been captured by Indians.

Myrtle C. Thomas
Oakwood, 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.