Depression Era: Watkins Man Delivered Rare Supplies by Horse-Drawn Buggy

Wisconsin woman recalls the Watkins man coming round during the depression era, offering spices, liniment, and teaberry gum for her and her siblings.

Content Tools

During the depression era, we'd see the watkins man corning down the road in the late afternoon in his horse-drawn buggy. He planned on having supper and sleeping over at our house. After his horse was fed and sheltered in our barn he and Grandpa would sit on the back porch and sing hymns from the German hymn book. In the morning after breakfast he'd open the back of the buggy so Morn could select vanilla, pepper, spices, liniment enough to last till the next time he carne around. Then he'd give us kids a pack of teaberry gum to share, hitch up his horse and be on his way!

Dorothy Bergh
Merrill, Wisconsin

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.