Debates Held at Homestead Gatherings

We called them meetings of the
literary society, those gatherings held on Friday evenings at the schoolhouse
in the days when we lived on a 40-acre farm near Kossuth, Kansas.

The program began with a debate,
mostly for the entertainment of the adults. They would choose a subject,
usually a funny one, such as Resolved: The Broom Is More Beneficial to the
Housekeeper Than the Dishrag; or Resolved: The Horse Is More Useful Than the

Following the debates there would
be a short program of readings, music, and singing.

The children in the school had
their own Friday afternoon treat. If our conduct had been good during the week,
the teacher would let us have spelling matches, or ciphering contests, or races
to find cities on the maps in our geography.

Mrs. Hazel Cline
Joplin, Missouri

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
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.