Building a Family Farm in a Country Village

Missouri woman talks about how her parents built their own family farm while running a barber shop in a country village

| Good Old Days

Growing up on the family farm lends an influence that lasts a lifetime.

My father was a farm boy, the youngest of three sons. He left home early and became a self-taught barber in the village of Plevna, Missouri. He soon found a young farm girl who became his wife. They built a barber shop of their own in the country village.

With the arrival of their first son, they felt the need for their own home and wanted a bit of land to help make a better life for the family.

At the edge of the village was a small bungalow home on 18 acres of land. They managed to purchase the property and moved to their first farm. Soon they bought a milk cow and a pig; my grandmother added 12 laying hens and a fine rooster to the little farm. Since Grandmother had given these hens to my mother, Mother always claimed the chicken business was hers. She cared for them, gathered the eggs from her flock and sent them to the nearby village store and sold them in exchange for sugar, flour and necessities. Any money that remained after the sale was "Mother's Money." When I was growing up, it always seemed that the egg money met every need of the home.

I, the only daughter in the family, was born in 1916. By that time my dear parents had acquired an additional 40 acres of farming land. My father continued to operate his country barber shop, and with the help of Mother and two sons he took care of the farm.

With the purchase of another acreage and a piece of land acquired by Mother as inheritance, he had a small farm operation working very well. The two brothers helped with the farm work and I assisted our mother.

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