When I was quite small, my father rigged up a covered wagon, and we went to Texas for my mother's health. Some friends were moving to Western Kansas at the same time, so they packed their belongings in a wagon and went with us.
They had a small organ tied to the back. Every night when we camped, they took it off and someone played it. I'm sure there never was any sweeter music than that organ music played under the stars on the lonesome prairie.
My two brothers slept on the floor of the wagon under the bed where my father, mother and my sister and I slept. It was like crawling into a cave to get into their sleeping spot. In the daytime I used to wish I was a boy so I could sleep in that wonderful cave-like place, but when night came I was glad to be a girl.
Our covered wagon trip was a pleasant subject in our home for many years. I was the youngest in the family, but I must have enjoyed it most. Although they all enjoyed talking about it, I was the only one who longed to go again.
Of course, I didn't have to worry about such things as finding a place in an already overcrowded wagon for our dog, whose feet were so blistered by the hot sands he could hardly walk, or about finding food for the family in a strange country where houses were few and far between. Childhood is a wonderful time for adventure!
Council Bluffs, Iowa
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.