Turbulent River Almost Stops Covered Wagon

Journey in covered wagon ends at large homestead and orchard filled with ripe apples.

Content Tools

Wheat that we ground in a hand-turned coffee mill was our chief source of nourishment when we six girls, our two brothers and our parents traveled by covered wagon.

A neighbor who received a Civil War pension was in the wagon train with us and he used his money to help us in all our needs. He had only one son himself. I was very fond of these neighbors and I chose to ride with them instead of with my own family.

I regretted my choice, though, when we had to ford the big Missouri River because the Civil War veteran decided that his wagon should lead the way. It was a time of turbulent streams, and my father and the neighbor talked a long time about whether it was safe to cross or not before they started.

I shall never forget that experience. I felt we never could make it. The horses often swayed downstream with the current, and several times we almost overturned. But God preserved our path to dry land.

When we got to our new home we were delighted to find a lovely orchard of big, red apples, all ready to eat, and a house large enough for all of us and with a wonderful fireplace, something none of us had seen before. Friendship and dependence on Divine Power were great assets to the early pioneers.

Mrs. Harvey J. Brown
Williamsburg, New Mexico


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.