My father made the run into the Cherokee Strip when that part of Oklahoma was opened for settlement. Mother and their 2-year-old baby girl followed with a wagon load of supplies. Mother and Father still own the land they homesteaded.
Mother, who is now 86, and Father, who is 88, say life on the homestead was good, but sometimes very lonely. They were so eager for company that even when they had nothing to eat but beans, cornbread and syrup, they took some family home from Sunday school with them so they could have someone to talk to. Dad was superintendent of the Sunday school, and Mother was the organist.
Mother was a good practical nurse. Many times she would tuck us in at night, but the next morning when we woke we would have no mother. She had gone in the night to care for a sick person on some other lonely homestead.
Dad had a book on homesteading laws, and men would come to him for miles around to get information from his law book. Many people thought he was a lawyer just because he owned this book. Mother and Dad celebrated their 65th wedding anniversary last fall. They're still pioneers at heart – working together to seek out new ways to do kind things for others.
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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