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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 III: Life as Mrs. Albert Haag,   pp. 36-64 PDF (9.2 MB)

Page 36

Beginning Married Life on the Farm in Perry
After their honeymoon in South Dakota, Mary and Albert came
back to the farm, which he had purchased on March 1, 1913. Mary
remembers: "We had horses, no buggies or anything, just horses.
When we bought the farm we got a few cows with it and then the
rest we bought, here and there. We had 18 the first year, and we
milked them all by hand. Dad was not a good milker--he always
said he was not a good milker."  (Note: In Part III, when Mary
says "Dad" she is referring to Albert.)
Apparently Albert's insistence that he was not a good milker
had more to do with preference than patience or ability. Mary
said: "Ya, he had the patience, but I done most of the milking.
It took us about an hour, and then he had to take the milk about
two miles to the factory with the milk rig. It was just a light
thing. It held about six cans and the horses pulled it."
There were only dirt roads leading to the farm then and
Albert and Mary hauled all their supplies, produce and livestock
to and from Mt. Horeb on wagons pulled with horses.
"We had a team of horses. There were no singles; we had a
double. While he took the milk to the factory, I'd do the
chores, then when he came home we had breakfast. Afterwards he
went in the fields and I did my work and we worked that way for
quite a while. Then the second year we had more cows so we
needed help and his brother came and helped us--Gregor--and then
all at once the war broke out. They took Gregor, and then Joe
came to help us and finally they took Joe. He (Albert) was lucky
he was on the farm or they'd have taken him too. They needed the
food so bad.
"Gregor, he had a bad time. He was in the trenches,
sometimes a couple of days he laid in the trenches. But Joe was
lucky. (Joe had double pneumonia which temporarily put off his
assignment overseas.) The war was over by the time he was
supposed to go across. When they got home of course, we got a
little help then again. And by that time we had the kids who
could help a little bit. Not with the field work, but we had a
hired girl and she stayed in the house with the kids, then I'd
have to help with the chores."

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