A Chronicle of Five Farm Families
Publication Year: 2000
Published by: Minnesota Historical Society Press
Title Page, Copyright, Dedication
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We always kept track of close calls on the farm. It was Dad’s way of teaching us to be careful. Once, when I was still too young to remember, the combine caught his shirttail in a moving belt. Because he was strong and the shirt was cotton, it ripped and he wasn’t hurt, but what if it had been thick denim? Mom took a picture as a reminder of how close he had...
2. "Hope and a Future"
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In the summer of 1862, Andrew Peterson was caught amid three wars. Farthest away was the Civil War, in which Americans fought Americans; at that time the fighting was no closer than Tennessee. The Dakota War, on the other hand, came perilously near. That August, Dakota Indians stormed pioneer settlements along the nearby Minnesota River. What if the Indians advanced into Carver County...
A Yorker’s Sojourn in Minnesota
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In the coldest part of January 1883, Oliver Perry Kysor kept having dreams, dreams he couldn’t shake. He had visions of his father’s farm near the high headland in New York, the place called Kysor Hill ever since his family arrived there from Vermont in 1832.1, That hill had been the center of his life since Perry, as he was known, was three years old. His father, Charles, had taught him and his five brothers...
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In June 1924, Gilbert Marthaler had Just turned ten years old, but already he had learned to be cautious on the farm, to keep his eyes open for danger lurking. His caution was born partly of his own experiences but was due also to warnings from his parents and stories they told of things that had happened to others in the vicinity of their farm in Stearns...
Tradition and Change
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I've liked round barns since the first time I saw one at the Shelburne Museum in Vermont. Over a period of years after that, I gathered information about round barns in the Upper Midwest for a short article I eventually published in North Dakota Horizons in 1995. While I was working on the project, I happened to mention it to Cal Lee. Cal was a six-foot-five, blond, Norwegian church-basketball teammate...
Blue Silos on the Prairie
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My brother Larry always wanted to be a carpenter, to work with wood-cutting it, crafting it, shaping it into cabinets, bookshelves, even buildings. Woodworking was his joy, and he wanted it to be his livelihood. Although he was the oldest, he hadn’t been groomed to assume control of the farm on that distant day when our dad would retire. There were five more boys—me, then Jeffrey, Dana, Chris, and...
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What pattern exists on these open prairies has been imposed on the land by farmers. They planted corn in straight rows, cut and raked their clover in windrows. When they graded gravel roads, they laid them out into a gridwork of one-mile squares. Those who baled their hay stacked it in patterns on the hayracks so that the greatest number of bales could be transported without sliding off Haymakers...
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I am very grateful to those I interviewed, who gave of their time and memories, for this project would not be possible without them. My uncles Francis Hoflbeck, Vernon Hoflbeck, Norman Hofieck, and Laverne Dahmes taught me much about hay and about my father. Gilbert Marthaler graciously told me of his experiences at Meire Grove. Doug Rongen, Art Rongen, and Marlys Rongen Lee...
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Page Count: 223
Illustrations: 50 illustrations
Publication Year: 2000