Cattle present a huge challenge for homesteaders in northwest Oklahoma.
Our introduction to our new home in northwest Oklahoma was a windy one; the sand was blowing so hard we could scarcely see a hand before us. That home was a one-room dugout with a tent pitched in front of it. By fall we had a two-room sod house.
Cattle roamed around at will. The first summer they ate our crops as soon as the plants appeared above ground. One night Father heard them in the field and ran out in his night clothes to chase them away. They turned on him, and he made a fast retreat to our living quarters.
We tried getting good watchdogs, but the cattlemen did away with them as soon as we got them.
We children walked about a half mile to school through a pasture where hundreds of cattle grazed. Were we ever scared when a bull showed his dislike for intruders!
In time we were able to get wire and posts to fence the cattle out.
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.
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