Trips to town were few and far between, but when they did occur, old prices for goods and services on a Kansas homestead, were miniscule compared to today.
Our 160-acre homestead was 50 miles from Syracuse, Kansas. A trip to town and back took four days. Trips to town were weeks, sometimes months, apart on our Kansas homestead. And old prices for goods and services were incredibly low.
When Father was planning to go for supplies, we would pick up a wagonful of bone harvest that was scattered over the treeless prairies. In town the bones brought $8 a load.
Father always carried a bedroll and a lunchbox on these trips. But should he have chosen to eat at the hotel in town, he could have had a good meal, family style, for 25 cents. The price of a room for a night at the hotel was 50 cents.
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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