My maternal grandmother was born in Switzerland. She had a baby boy before she was married. Leaving her baby with her parents, she came to America to start a new life. She soon married my grandfather, who also had immigrated from Switzerland. (I often wonder if they knew one another before they came to America. I'll never know, they have been gone for many years.)
They soon had a baby boy of their own. My grandparents then sent back to Switzerland and had my grandmother's first son sent over to live with them in America. My grandparents had seven more children, among them my mother.
It was not until many years later that they discovered their eldest brother was really a half-brother. My grandfather’s brother, who still lived in Switzerland, died and left a small inheritance to be divided among his brother's children-except for the eldest son. So the story became known.
My paternal great-grandfather came to America from Germany along with a good friend. Later this friend's fiancée came over too. Great-Grandfather's friend had been killed in an accident, so he married his friend's fiancée. They had several children together. Several years ago my sister and I visited their graves in Arcadia, Iowa. If only they could have told us their story!
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.