Since I will never have any grandchildren to relate the story to, I'd like to tell you of an arduous journey in a covered wagon that I took when I was a little girl.
My parents with three children in one wagon, and my married sister and her husband in another, left South Dakota for Arkansas. As we were going through Iowa, we were caught in a blizzard. The folks made camp, and Father and Mother sat up all night burning corn in our little cookstove to keep from freezing.
In Missouri, we were almost drowned in a flash flood. We had camped overnight by a creek. Some time during the night, we were awakened by the noise of buckets and pans banging around. Before the men could get the horses hitched to the wagon, the water was up to the hubs. We drove to high ground and set up our tent on a hillside. It rained for days. My mother gave birth to a baby girl on the 23rd of December. As soon as the high water went down and Mother was able to travel, we resumed our journey. She carried the baby on a pillow. In January, our baby sister died and our father had a long sick spell – both because of exposure in the cold, wet weather. My married sister died a short time later from a cough brought on by the exposure on our covered wagon trip.
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.