One Foot

One Foot

Sunday, May 3, 2015

1884 Farm is Still in the Family

1930's granery. Grain storage and workspace.

1884, July.  Kansas had been a state for only twenty-three years.  Yet, to my great-grandfather, this new Kansas farmland held promise.  He laid down $2000 for a quarter section in Maple Township and the land has remained in our family for 131 years.
          We haven’t owned a rich farm.  In fact, judging from old family photos, we were land-poor.  The abstract shows repeated mortgages at the beginning of the growing season and fortunately, mortgage releases after harvest.
          My people grew grain crops, hay, and raised cattle and pigs.  They led a self-sustaining life style. They lived sparingly, worked hard and despite many very lean years, managed to hang on to the land.  My heritage is not a fancy farm house or barns; it is found in the love of the earth, in watching things grow, and in feeling secure in a simple life.  
      Today, I own a “cleaned-up” version of my parents’ farm.  After fifteen years of hauling off junk and tearing down hopeless buildings, I am left with only basic structures.  The old farm house burned a few years ago and I am in the process of replacing it.
          The two large structures remaining represent some classics.  The granary was built early; approximately late 1930’s, and was used to store grain for planting the next year.  The barn was built in the 1940’s by neighbors pitching in to help at a “barn building.” It is of pole-barn construction.

          I   have added a barn quilt to the granary recently in a pattern called “Crown of Thorns.” It serves to remind me that it can only be through grace that we have held on to this beautiful farm all these years.  I intend to hand it on to my own sons.

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