Overcoming Worn-Out Shoes While Moving West

Homesteading woman’s pride won’t allow her to enter town in worn-out shoes.

| Good Old Days

My great-grandmother and great-grandfather came to Missouri from Tennessee in a covered wagon.

Great-grandmother pulled off her shoes and walked barefoot behind the wagon, to ease the wagon weight for the oxen and to save her shoes. She would put on the shoes to walk over the roughest spots.

But Great-grandmother was a lady, and when her shoes wore out she would not enter a town barefoot. Her husband noticed this, and one night when they had camped near a village, he stole into town and with the aid of the local shoemaker, selected a pair of almost worn-out shoes. The next day Great-grandmother went to town in style, wearing her new worn-out shoes. She walked into the shoe shop and proudly bought herself a new pair.

Doris Virginia Reed
Washburn, Missouri

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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