School Children Faced Tornado

Ditch provided shelter to children at one-room schoolhouse.

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I will never forget one time when I was going to a country school and one fall we pupils were busy studying when a neighbor man barged into the room and said "Teacher help me get all of these pupils out in the side ditch. I want all of you to come and lay down where I tell you to because there is a tornado coming." I will never forget to my dying day how the wind tugged at my clothing as I lay there. Of course all of us were frightened and crying, but it passed over pretty soon, and as we got up this man showed us where the telephone poles had pieces of straw stuck in the poles like nails. Just about 1/2 mile south of the schoolhouse the storm had destroyed some of the farm buildings, so we were very thankful for that man.

I don't know if it was that same winter or not, but we lived 3/4 mile from the school and one morning which was very unusual Dad said, "I am taking you to school in the sled." This may be hard for you to believe but there were huge snow banks and the horses walked on top of the banks. The snow was so hard with a very thick crust on top.

Alice Jenkins
Lamoni, Iowa


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.