My Grandfather Brown was born in England in the early 1800s. I don't know why he was being raised by an uncle, but the man was so cruel to him that he ran away at the age of 8. Through the help of the family to which he was apprenticed to learn a trade, he took care of himself from then on. Grandpa outlived two wives with whom he had three sons before marrying a much younger Welsh girl. His sons, his wife and their small daughter came with him to America’s land of opportunity and settled near Junction City, Kansas. Later, they moved to a farm nearly 20 miles east, which is still in the hands of a direct descendant.
The only thing I ever remember hearing my mother tell about the trip to America was that the family brought with them a feather tick, which they were allowed to spread on the deck of the ship for sleeping. When my grandmother died of tuberculosis, after bearing at least seven more children, the doctor ordered them to bum the feather tick.
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.