It is easy for me to write about the one-room schoolhouse because my siblings and I all spent our grade school years in the same old limestone building attended earlier by both our father and our mother. And I later taught there for 4 years, not too long before it ceased to be a schoolhouse and became a repository for hay.
One of the limestone blocks in this building bore my father's initials, FHN, still clearly visible when I taught there, though they had been carved at least 50 years earlier. My four brothers, one sister, and I, unconcerned about those who would use it, determined to carve our initials on the writing surface of one particular desk: WRN, RFN, FHN, MAN, and MEN. Our youngest brother had a man teacher one year and, after seeing the family lineup, this fellow made up his mind that John's initials would not join the others, but one day they suddenly appeared. JTN had climbed through a window one day when school wasn't in session.
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.