Images of Grasshoppers Invading Remain

Woman remembers images of grasshoppers destroying Kansas homestead in 1876.

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I am past 87 years old, but I can still see the images of grasshoppers as they descended.

My grandfather took a claim of 160 acres in south-central Kansas in 1875. He persuaded my father to move there and prove up on it. We traveled in a covered wagon, my parents and I, the eldest of four children.

The grasshoppers came like a snow storm. They were piled up nine or ten inches deep on the south side of everything. They ate everything in sight. It was summer, and they ate the leaves off the corn, the potato and tomato vines, and even the cottonwood trees looked like skeletons.

Mother put a sunbonnet on me and pinned it together in front to keep the grasshoppers from putting my eyes out when I went to school because they came down with such force.

Henrietta Cameron Parsons
Wilmington, Illinois


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 CCAPPER’s readers, and we are proud to make those stories available to our growing online community.