Plains Settlers on Kansas Homestead Missed Plentiful Wood of the East

Man eased wife's nostalgic longing for wood on plains settlers' Kansas homestead by using fence posts.

| Good Old Days

  • Hedge wood pile
    Hedge provided family with fire for warmth.

  • Hedge wood pile

One bleak winter when fuel and food were scarce on our west Kansas homestead, Father and Mother pined for the good old days back East, remembering among other things that wood, especially hedge wood, was often wasted there. Here on the treeless plains, there wasn't a stick for kindling. Paper was scarce, coal oil had to be saved for lamps, and it took a genius to start a fire with "prairie coal"

Then Father had an idea. He decided the long sturdy hedge posts he had brought from back East and used to fence the pasture and yard were maybe a little taller than necessary. He sawed the top from each post and made a nice pile of wood to ease Mother's nostalgia. 

Mrs. Louise Brumfield
Jetmore, 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. 


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