Pioneer Days Were Happy Times in Western Kansas

When we lived in a two-room house – half dugout and half sod – on the Western Kansas prairie, we had no toys. We made our own amusements. We learned early to ride our ponies, and in the spring we gathered the lovely wildflowers.

Well do I remember our first Christmas tree. It was a tumbleweed decorated with paper chains and pictures taken from packages of Arbuckle coffee. My brothers learned to braid different colors of hair from the horses’ tails to make attractive belts, quirts and bridles. Little sister spent a lot of time holding the strands as her brothers braided.

The prairie was plentifully strewn with dried buffalo horns. We scraped and polished these to a lovely shining black and made coat and hat racks from them. We were happy. That fact stands out above all.

Mrs. J.W. Edwards
Meade, 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.