Settlers Return in Covered Wagon With Busted Sign

Woman remembers family in covered wagon heading West, then returning with signs changed to busted.

| Good Old Days

I am 96 years old, and about 86 years ago, I was a pupil in a small country school in western Illinois. At that time covered wagons were passing on their way to the bridge over the Mississippi. The people were on their way down to Kansas to settle.

In one wagon I remember was a man and wife and three children. They had a fine team, a cow tied on behind and a dozen chickens in a box. On one side of the canvas was printed in large letters, "In God We Trust." On the other side were the words, "Kansas or Bust."

Two or three months later I saw that wagon return. It was minus the cow and chickens. On one side was printed, "In God We Trusted," and on the other side were the words, "In Kansas We Busted."

Mrs. N.C. Bowen
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. 

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