Family Settled on Land Claim in the New State of Oklahoma

Food was scarce after family settled in the western section of the state of Oklahoma.

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We settled in Cheyenne and Arapaho country when the state of Oklahoma was new. It was quite a trip from Nebraska. It was February and very cold. There was one terrible blizzard in Kansas. We made it at last and landed on our claim.

Father made us a house out of split oak timber stood on end and with the cracks daubed with mud. There were two small windows and a door. It was 14 by 16 feet with a small garret overhead where we children slept. After we finished the house, Father left Mother and us children and went 100 miles away to find work to buy food. Wages were from 50 cents to a dollar a day for a man, and work was scarce at that. For fruit, we gathered wild plums and currants, and sweetened them with sorghum.

There were lots of deer, and big gray wolves were plentiful. Indians would go by in droves a mile or two long going to Indian dances. They would ride in lumber wagons and on horseback.

The Indian who could dance the longest was the bravest. I saw a boy about 12 years old dance until he fell like he was dead. The Indians gathered around him and laughed and praised him.

Those were happy days and everybody enjoyed the same fare.

Ethel Tichenor
Neosho Falls, Kansas


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.