"In the (18)80s many covered wagons passed by our place. Some had signs painted on the canvas covers like "Kansas or Bust," "Going to the Promised Land," and "Home, Sweet Home."
In the fall many wagons came back and the signs had been changed to "Busted, by Gosh," "Promised Land was a Mirage," and "Coming Back in the Spring." The people going west were cheerful and hopeful. The people coming east were ragged, gaunt and tired.
One evening we saw a covered wagon coming up the road, being pulled by one horse and one man! At first we could hardly believe our eyes, but as they came nearer we saw it was really so. The man explained that one of his horses had died on the road. In the wagon were a woman and three small children. They stayed all night with us, and the next morning Father gave them our old family horse. They were so grateful they cried."
-Dora Bucklin, Orleans, Neb.
"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