Small Potatoes Used Only for Soup

Small potatoes, other rations curtailed so greatly that women suffered long-term effects.

Content Tools

One year my grandparents, pioneering in Kansas, raised only one gallon of small potatoes. These were kept to make soup. I don't know what they ate the rest of the time. The government issued rations during the grasshopper year, but our family was too proud to get its share. What little they had went mostly to the children.

The women nearly starved, and my aunt got what was called "hunger fever." My mother also suffered the effects of that disease all her life. Later, Mother had to pull water out of a well for 40 thirsty cattle. Women would not last long these days with such hard work.

Mrs. M.E. Rice
Emmett, 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.