I was only 3 years old when we traveled by covered wagon from Missouri to western Kansas, but I remember how scared our bay mare, Queen, was when we were near the few trains we saw. She would squat and tremble all over.
My father took a claim 18 miles southwest of Scott City. We lived there three and a half years before we starved out and started back to Missouri, in a covered wagon again.
We took a western pony back with us, and I remember that in St. Joe the streets were so narrow she walked on the sidewalk some.
When we got to the big Missouri, we had to cross it over a railroad bridge. There was water swirling below, which was frightening enough, and then I looked back and saw a train coming behind us! Though we got across all right, I've never forgotten how frightened I was.
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.