Bright Red Hair a Blessing in Disguise

Pioneer woman fears her bright red hair may be her end, but Indians were enthralled with tresses.

| Good Old Days

Each generation in our family has produced one redhead, just one. My great-grandmother was one of them, and she hated her bright red hair. She and Great-Grandfather moved to a sparsely settled section of Wisconsin in pre-Civil War days.

When her husband went to bring supplies, she was left alone with her small children in their cabin for many days, even weeks. While he was on one trip, a small band of Indians suddenly entered her cabin. She was frightened out of her wits, but she offered them something to eat. The Indians ate hungrily, carefully examined her few trinkets and then started stroking her flaming hair. She was certain she was about to be scalped when the braves left as suddenly as they had come.

Great-Grandmother had barely collected her wits when one Indian stepped back into the cabin. She felt certain they had drawn lots for her and her unusual scalp. She was so terrified she could not speak. But the Indian simply handed her one of her trinkets that had been taken by another Indian. He touched her hair again and disappeared.

This story has been handed down in our family through the years, and it's always pointed out that the red hair our great-grandmother so despised was actually a blessing in disguise.

Mrs. Walter Kotula

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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