Railroad Trestle Bridge Was Major Obstacle to Kansas Settlers

Surefooted horses helped Kansas settlers cross a railroad trestle bridge that obstructed passage to Kansas homestead.

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When Canada proved too cold for my parents, they were determined to return to Goodland, Kansas, where they had lived previously. For the trip they bought a pair of western horses, small, strong and surefooted.

On the route they came to a long railroad trestle bridge which spanned a ravine. Only by crossing the railroad trestle bridge could they continue on the road.

Using ties which he found at the side of the tracks, my father began to lay them between the ties which supported the rails.

A man passing along the road suggested another arrangement. "Make a single line of ties," he said. "Then take your lead horse by the bridle and lead it down that line of ties. See what the other horse does when you start."

Papa made a long line of ties as the man advised. Then he unhitched the horses, and taking the bridle of one horse, he started to walk the trestle on that narrow row of ties. The horse put his nose between Papa's shoulders and followed; the second horse put his nose on the first one's rump, at the root of the tail, and they walked quietly across the trestle. The men pulled the wagon across.

Mrs. Nora Schesser
St. Petersburg, Florida


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.