Big buffalo hunts were an annual affair in early pioneer days, and they provided not only meat but entertainment for the men and boys.
On one such hunt the women were to bake up big quantities of bread for the hunt. Mrs. Parkes, who was an inveterate maker of rag carpets, baked a big sack of biscuits as her contribution to the hunt. In the flurry of getting started, Mr. Parkes picked up his wife's sack of carpet rags. The mistake was not noticed until the wagons stopped to make camp the first night – miles from home. A rider on a swift horse was sent back to exchange carpet balls for biscuits.
The men had driven several days without sight of buffalo when suddenly one of those fierce prairie blizzards swept down upon them about nightfall. There was no timber or shelter near, so they tied down the canvas and prepared to weather out the storm.
One by one, the men became drowsy and would have fallen asleep but for one George H. who foresaw the sleep of death if they were not aroused. With the point of his gun he drove the men around all night. Some of the men swore at him and others believed he had become unbalanced in his mind. When they found a team frozen the next day, they decided that George had saved their lives.
On another hunt, a big herd of buffalo was sighted on a fine October day. Several were brought down. Two reckless 19-year-old boys gave chase after the herd; the older men tried to dissuade them. When the boys did not return, a search was made. The body of one was found, scalped. I have seen this boy's grave. The other boy was never found.
Arkansas City, 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.