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Land of Opportunity: Grandparents Survived Cholera Outbreak

Author Photo
By Capper's Staff | Mar 25, 2013

I have often heard the story of my great-grandparents crossing over the Atlantic to the land of opportunity. Grandpa was Christoff Meyer, from Trier, Germany. Grandma was Helena Halmos from the old kingdom of Prussia. They were only children at the time. Cholera broke out on the ship, and several died. One of the girls (about 17 years old) was in a coma for several days. Since she showed no sign of life, they believed her dead. They had her laid out on a board to slip her body overboard when her eyes blinked slightly. She got well, later married and raised a family. This story was told and retold many times during our “growing up” years.

Melba Meyer Wiggins
Paden, Oklahoma

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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