Bears and Wolves Killed Livestock in Wild Wisconsin

Author Photo
By Capper;'s Staff | Aug 12, 2011

Bears and wolves killed livestock
and rubbed and scratched around the log cabins in the heavily wooded area of Wisconsin where both my
father and my mother came with their parents in covered wagons. Bobcats and
panthers were numerous and would spring from the trees onto cattle

My parents grew up in this wild
country and were married there. Later they lived a few years in Iowa. In 1878, they
heard about some new land being opened to homesteaders in South Dakota. They started for this new
frontier in two covered wagons loaded with their eight children and all their
possessions, including a spinning wheel.

A prairie fire had gone through the
country, and ashes, sand and high winds made travel difficult. They hurriedly
broke sod and laid up a house and a shed for stock. Two days after the roof was
on, there was a terrible blizzard. Drifts were 12 feet high, and many lives
were lost. My oldest brother froze his feet, and it was thought for a time he
would lose them. Many lives were lost from lack of medical care. The nearest
doctor was 50 miles away.

Three of the things people feared
most in the raw, new country were uncivilized Indians, horse thieves and wild

Emma Michaelsen
Mesa, Colorado

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
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.

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