It was a time of hot, sultry days when our family of eight moved by covered wagon from Iowa to Kansas. The fruit lay on the ground, apples rotting. We all took terribly sick. We had malaria fever and chills. In a short time, we had to give up our oldest sister in death when her malaria was complicated with measles. It broke our hearts, and the rest of us were still sick.
"You folks are from up north where it is cooler, and if you stay here you will die," a doctor told us. How could we get out? No money and all of us so sick. A cyclone had killed our team.
The neighbors gave us a team of horses and must have given us some money, too. We all climbed into our covered wagon, taking our bottles of medicine with us. The doctor told us to go west. After a few days, we began to throw our medicine bottles away! It was wonderful to feel well again! We went 350 miles west and some north. All of us recovered quickly except our brother, John, who had malaria for a year.
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.