Land of Opportunity: Immigrants Arrived in Time for Fourth of July Celebrations
My grandpa, William Schmidt, was born in Prussia. At the age of 8 he came with his family to America, the land of opportunity. They came on the sailing vessel Charlotte. After a voyage of nine weeks and three days, they landed in New York on July 3. The next day, being the Fourth of July, surprised and delighted Grandpa Schmidt with the celebrations and other activities.
By the time Grandpa Schmidt was 13 years old, both of his parents had died. He had to take his place as a wage earner and do a man’s work from then on. He worked for farmers in Lyon County, Iowa, and later bought a farm in Wheeler Township. The farm was purchased in 1881 for $1,000: $6.25 per acre for the entire 160-acre farm.
Myrtle May Duin
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.