Pioneer Boy Cries Wolf and Settlers Scatter

Mistake by pioneer boy causes settlers to leave their homes for fear of an Indian raid.

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One day a pioneer boy herding cattle in the Blue Hills of Kansas saw two dark-skinned women picking wild plums. He thought they were Indians and started an Indian scare among the settlers.

He warned a number of families and they gathered up a few belongings, loaded them in their wagons and started a mad race to the blockhouse on the north side of the Solomon River. The blockhouse had been built by earlier settlers for use in case of an Indian raid.

The road from Pittsburg was strewn with all manner of belongings – kitchen utensils, hats, sunbonnets, tubs and washboards –all lost in the frantic rush to the blockhouse.

My parents had not been warned, but they heard the wagons go by all through the night and wondered about it. The next day, the settlers headed back to their homes, much relieved and gathering up their lost possessions along the way.

Myrtle Thomas
Oakwood, Okla.


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.