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Pioneer Stories: Toddlers Lost in Wheat Field

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

My mother-in-law came to the wheat
land in a covered wagon as a wife of 17, with a 6-week-old baby in arms. No one will ever know the hardship and suffering she endured. Among her pioneer stories: She fought
prairie fires with the men, worked in the fields, kept the home and lived long
enough to give birth to six more sons, alone and unattended.

One day, her two little boys, ages 2
and 3, wandered away into the tall wheat and became lost. Though the parents
searched and called, no trace of them could be found. By evening it had started
to rain and darkness settled down. The men gave up the search until morning.

“But I couldn’t sleep,”
Ma said. “I stayed up all night with the light in the window and prayed
that the coyotes wouldn’t kill them.”

The next morning the two little
brothers came across the yard, soaked to their knees from the wet grass and too
little to tell what had happened. During the wheat harvest, the workers came
across an old wagon bed upturned in the corner of a field about a mile and a
half from the house. There was a little rounded out nesting place inside. The
men thought they had solved the mystery of little lost boys. Mother only knew
that her prayers had been answered that summer night.

Mrs. C. O. Barnes
Redlands,
California


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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