Trip to Kansas Spurs Father's Desire to Move

Neighbor returns from trip to Kansas, reports on new land.

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Our neighbor in Iowa made a trip to Kansas to see the country when I was 7 years old. On the trip he captured a buffalo calf and brought it home with him. My father went to see this neighbor and got a good report on Kansas. When he saw the buffalo calf, he caught an awful Kansas fever! He was so eager to go to the new land, he talked of nothing else.

I heard my mother tell Pa that if they could pay all their debts, have a team, wagon, harness and $500, she would go with him to Kansas and grow up with the country. This was about 1875, and it was 1877 before we met Mother's specifications so we could go. I was 9 years old.

When we came over the hill above Burr Oak, where we settled, we could see the little town nestled in the bend of White Rock Creek. There were a few log cabins, one general store, a post office, a blacksmith shop and a saloon. No sidewalks, just a path from one store to another.

Game was plentiful with prairie chickens, quail and some deer. There were plenty of wild food-wild plums, Indian breadroot, buffalo peas and wild onions. I am 87 years old.

Clark Foster
Burr Oak, 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.