Our midwestern farm during the forties. Left to right, L-shape two story house, underground cave roof for storing canned vegetables, potatoes, parships, sweet potatoes raised by us, lower right chicken house, smoke house, ?, upper right, barn for milk cows on on side and horse barn other side, separator house, grain, and upper 160 acres of corn and oat fields. This aerial shot was taken by a company who took photos of farms, the sold them to the farmers. Probably in mid-forties, we did not have running water then, we had a windmill. We carried buckets of water to the house which was used for drinking, cooking in the iron stove with an area for keeping water hot for bathing (homemade lye soap), washing clothes, etc. Used a wringer type washer. We had electricity by REA early forties. That was a memorable experience, no more kerosene lamps, merely flipped a switch for light. Dad raised oats and sorgum also, and of course milking cows, chickens and hogs. Dad, his sisters, my brother and me were born in this house. My Grandfather fathered these geneations after he was over the age of 56. The Barn, chicken house were built by Dad, a thoughtful and kind man. He worked extremely hard all of his life and never ever complained when times were rough, i.e. the drought.
Living on a farm during the twenties, thirties and forties was the best option. We raised our food, canned vegetables, smoked hams and had a cave for storage. During the thirties, the depression era, ragged dressed men would come searching for a handout, work, and food to survive. Relatives needed those things also, We were one of the few who owned our farm, which was my grandather's and given to my father. We were able to survive the drought, barely. Animals perished, the rendering truck was a familiar sight those days. Fruit trees died, the dry soil had cracks in it as large as my child hand. I recall during that period of time, we often slept on the porch, because was so terribly hot and no breeze. Beds were made by layering blankets and sheets. We had no electricity then, therefore not even fans were available. Cannot imagine how Dad must have felt, watching the cattle die in the pasture, fruit trees dying. Cannot recall how we survived, evidently through the canned meat, vegetables. Everyone had the same situation, of course.
Life was good during the forties, in spite of WWII and all the rations we had food - tractor, culivator, etc. We were able to survive through the extremely laborious efforts of our father. He would take a cream can and crate of eggs every saturday night to the market to sell in the old 1930's Nash (I believe), or. Then stocked up on the basics with ration stamps for sugar, flour, etc. This experience gave everyone time to socialize with neighbors and swap stories. All farmers did the same thing on Saturday nights, the streets were filled with laughing people as they shared conversations. An event looked forward to.
They held dances occasionally, farmers would gather at a person's house. The rug was rolled up, wax dusted on the floor, while a guitar and piano player provided the music. What good memories.
WAS A GOOD LIFE!
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Left to right, corn elevator, crib, team of horses, wagon with buckboard to throw corn and bounce in wagon, corn shuckers were worn on hand, hand corn sheller lower right.