Food Scarcity Prompted Yearning for 'Civilized' Food

When a new family arrived, neighbors, tired of food scarcity, were eager for a taste of civilization.

| Good Old Days

The food scarcity, the utter loneliness and the monotony of the prairie made life especially difficult for the women. It isn't easy to be cheerful when the stomach yearns for "civilized" food. Milk and butter were unavailable because the cows died of Texas fever. No fruit except wild plums and grapes. Very little pork. (Did you ever try to fatten hogs on prairie grass?) Most meat was wild game, of which one soon gets tired.

It was no wonder that when a new family moved in from Indiana bringing with them a load of good food, the word got around quickly. "Yes, the Sculls have pork and sausage, butter and lard, honey and everything just like back home!"

The Sculls had many callers to welcome them, and they were generous enough to send their new neighbors home with stomachs full of "civilized" food.

Pruda B. Utley
Arkansas City, Kansas

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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