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Haag, Rita / If you look back, it's not that far: memories of Mary Stella Sutter Haag recorded at age 103

Part I: Growing up in Perry,   pp. [2]-30 PDF (9.0 MB)

Page 7

Of course, changes in feeding, medicine and especially
breeding have made modern cows superior. Every farm had a bull
then and stories were often told of the problems they caused.
Bulls were notorious for their bad tempers and many a bull-owning
farmer was injured or lost his life. At the very least, bulls
with horns were dangerous to the cows. "Oh, they gored em; they
usually had horns. My dad used to cut the horns off when they
were small."
She remembers growing up in a happy home where her mother
and father got along quite well. "Oh ya, there was some times,
not just that they'd argue, but they didn't agree. It didn't
happen too often. Dad went thrashing a lot with the boys when
the boys were older, and it was a lot of work. Mother didn't
like that, she often said."
When farm work was done by hand, grain was cut and left in
piles to dry, then it was beaten by hand to loosen the grain from
the hull--the process called threshing. Her father enjoyed it
and looked forward to it. He (and his sons, when they got older)
would join the thrashing teams going from farm to farm. Mary
said he especially enjoyed it when he was working with his
brothers on their farms.
"But it was a lot more work for mother because she had to
watch over (the farm while he was gone) and the boys weren't just
old enough (to take care of) everything like that.
"One year we had such a drought, it didn't hardly rain. Dad
was gone thrashing and we had to haul the water. Our well was
200 feet deep, and we couldn't pump it."
Normally the windmill brought the water up and filled the
cattle tanks, but Mary remembers that, "for three days there was
no wind and then the water was gone, what we had in the tank. It
was so hot and dry and no wind. We have it this way too now, but
we turn the faucets--we couldn't do it at that time. And of
course we was out of water. We had milk cans and we went over to
the neighbors--they had a spring there--and we went over and got
the water.
"Well it was our next neighbors, it was a far ways to go,
but there was just a fence between. So then we went through the
fence and drove down to the spring and filled them cans. And

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