Chester White Hogs Made Good Pets on the Family Farm

An Iowa woman reminisces about the Chester White hogs that her family raised on their homestead

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Our 100-acre family farm was surrounded by other farms, because my grandparents homesteaded it when they were married. My father ended up being a farmer with a family of six. He married a teacher who became a diligent farm wife.

When I was 2 years old, a baby brother arrived, but he only lived a few days, so I grew up lonely.

My heartstrings were woven around this little family farm. I attended a rural school that closed at the end of two years; after that I went to a new consolidated school.

The Oak Ridge Stock Farm, as it was named, provided well for us. My dad raised only Chester White hogs, mostly for breeding purposes. They were real pets because we handled them well and they were a source of good income.

At a fair one time, my dad bought a Chester White boar to add to his herd. Advanced Giant, as he was called, was a real pet. He measured six feet in length from the tip of his nose to the end of his tail. He was a real show hog and a friendly one. Every kid who came to visit had a ride on his back. Lots of people felt that Dad had paid too much for him, since the price was $75, but after having him for a long while he was sold on the market, and he got his money back.

Madonna L. Storla
Postville, Iowa


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.