Farm Life in the Early 1900's
|The following work
was produced in May, 2001 by Ava 7th Grade Language Arts classes,
Donna Sherman, teacher. The students read the "Farm Life" section
of An Old-Timer Remembers
as background material. The assignment: Write a short story describing
someone about your age who is living on a farm in the early 1900's.
on the Farm
Time in Springtime
|The Summer Months
on a Farm
|A Day on the
Life on Bryant Creek
|The Ways of Farm
Life in the 1900's
By Matt Colson
It is summer, and we are caring for our crops. We
have yellow watermelons, sweet corn, pinto beans, and Granny-Smith
apples. We also have Jersey cows, pigs, and chickens. The
watermelons are growing in a pool by Bryant Creek.
We barely have any money, so Dad barters eggs and
produce to our friendly and kind neighbors. We have finally
gotten to swim in the creek. It is very cold other times. I have
spent my spare time, after helping with the animals, gardening,
school, or church, playing in the creek.
By Susan Cummins
The summer has come and it's very hot. It's time to
bury the food so it will keep. I wish we had a root cellar, then
I wouldn't have to do this in the burning up weather. This is the
main chore I have to do for today. My little brother doesn't know
how deep to dig it so it won't spoil, but he's going to help me
a little. I'm glad we don't have to bury the food in a haystack.
We don't keep haystacks.
I don't think it will take too long to bury it, at
least I hope not. Tomorrow I am going to go to town to trade some
eggs for some groceries. I always look forward to this because my
parents let me get a stick of candy.
This weekend my mom and I are going to start canning
some of the fruits and vegetables. We don't like burying all
of our food. It's sort of fun canning food with mom. We get
to talk and have fun. Summer time is a pretty busy time for
The Summer Months
By Wesley Davis
The year is 1905. It's mid-summer right now, and I
am helping the family in the hay fields. I am 13 years old and papa
said it's time I did a real man's work. Because we don't have one
of those new fangled steam tractors, we have to cut, rake, and bale
the hay by hand.
The day started early. We got up at 5:00 am. We were
going to start with the south field. You could see the golden
hay everywhere in the morning sun. The birds were chirping, and
the air smelled of rain coming soon. But, not for long.
We got the horses hooked up to the bale carrier, then
we started work. One person led the horse (usually the youngest
person). Ten people cut the hay. Twenty people rake it. I was at
the back of the line, because I was just learning how to do it.
The dust clouded my eyes and choked me. It was hard to breathe.
At 9:00 we got it done. I was beat. I ate a big dinner and hit the
sack. Tomorrow we do the north field.
A Day on the
By Bethany Everett
This spring we are having a lot of baby animals on
the farm. The creek has risen a lot because the snow has all melted.
We have begun to dig our meat out of the hay, which is where we
stored it during the winter. We are also building a new spring-house
at one of our other springs, because we are expecting more milk
Today we took some eggs to the general store to trade
for some things we need. Mom needed to get some more material for
new dresses because we've outgrown some of our old spring and summer
dresses. We don't want to wear our winter dresses because they're
too hot. We also put our shoes up because we only wear them when
the ground is too cold.
Next we went to the mill with some of our last year's
grain. We took some of last year's seeds from the barn and began
planting the crops. We mostly grow corn, green beans, and potatoes.
We also plant wheat for flour. We use our horses to plow up the
field, so it will be easier to plant. If we're lucky, we will get
the field plowed and potatoes planted before sundown. Then we go
in for a supper of freshly caught fish and go to bed early so we
can get a fresh start in the morning.
The Ways of Farm
Life in the 1900's
By Mistin Grace
The days get harder and harder as I start to grow
up on the farm. Each day I get up at the crack of dawn and work
till the sun sets in the west. As I trudge home to claim my supper,
I think about what it would be like to live in a place where there
are not back breaking chores waiting to be done every time I turn
around. But I knew if I never lost hope, nor my strength, I would
make it out all right. I know I'm young, but I am very independent,
and can keep my head in a panic situation. Like when Ma and Pa got
really low on our supply of food. My younger siblings were always
whining about how hungry they were, so I went out to the creek and
caught some fish. There were only a few and they were small, but
it would get us through for a couple of days. I found that the creek
came in handy, so I began going more often and getting what I needed.
A lot of the times there would be berries that I could pick where
they had grown by the bank when it was damp.
Not many things have been going on since fall has
rolled around, except of course getting food for my family still.
I can see that Ma and Pa have been losing a lot of weight and every
time I look at them I can see the sadness buried in their faces.
But they won't be looking like that for much longer, due to the
fact that I have found us a little place in town. It's more like
a cottage I would say. There are not many people in our town, so
we will not have any trouble finding jobs. There has already been
an offer given to me, and it is a pretty complicated job, so there
will be no arguing when Pa comes to help me. I am hoping that becoming
a blacksmith at this age will do me some good, maybe a lot of good.
Well I am growing up and it's getting harder, I am
now 17 and have been through a lot in my time. I feel as if I am
growing up too fast. I hope to be going off to another territory
real soon, now that all my brothers and sisters are old enough to
take care of themselves! Ma and Pa do not approve, but I am a young
man and am fit to make a living and I plan to do it by panning gold.
Well, I am doing mighty fine and have been panning
gold for a mere 40 years now. I mean I am doing fine omitting my
illnesses, and my hacking cough. Sometimes I think that I am going
to lose my lungs.
Lately been sitting away watching the days go by.
My breath is getting shorter and the days longer, so to all my people
I'm signing away. Much thanks to Bryant Creek for helping me and
my family survive. Goodbye.
Life on the
By Mandy Hampton
It feels like this is going to be a plentiful spring.
Our animals are having babies and our crops are growing very well,
which means that we are going to build a bigger springhouse, and
a bigger waterhole. My family is very happy about it though. But
today is Sunday and we have just gotten home from church. I wore
my best Sunday dress today. We can't work hard because today is
our day to go into town. We are going to trade some of our eggs
for a few groceries.
Today is now Monday and we are going to have to work
very hard all week. My first chore is to cook breakfast for everyone.
There are eight of us to feed. We are going to build our springhouse
today and dig up some of the vegetables that we buried at the first
Our springhouse is half way finished and I am cooking
lunch. Mother has just come home from the mill, and Father is working
Our work is done for today and we have just gotten
finished eating dinner. After dinner we all say our goodnight prayer
together and then head on to our beds.
That is what goes on about every day out here on our
Busy Time in
By Ashley Lawson
My name is Ashley. My parents own a farm by Mansfield,
Missouri. It is springtime right now. That is a busy time
of year for me. My sister, mother, and I have to spend most of our
waking hours in the garden. While we are in the garden, my father
and two brothers are in the field making hay. In the garden we plant
corn, potatoes, strawberries, watermelons, and tomatoes. Then, to
make our yard look nice, we plant a flower garden. This year it
is very beautiful. Many colors like blue, pink, white, yellow...just
like the rainbow!
Every morning we get up at 5:00 in the morning and
work in the garden until 9:00 in the morning. Then, we have to go
feed the horses, cattle, hogs, and chickens. Father and my two brothers
usually get very tired in the afternoon, so we have to bring them
a container full of cold water. They get home at dark. By then we
have the house clean and dinner cooked. We go to bed at 8:30 to
get a good night's sleep.
In the morning my mother gets up to make a small breakfast
for us. Then, my father and brothers leave to go out to the field.
We are done planting now, so, we stay home. Within a week after
we get done planting, my father and brothers are done in the field.
So we wait one month or so and we go pick the corn, potatoes, strawberries,
watermelons, and tomatoes, and go sell them in town.
Living on a
By Sarah Maggard
It was early summer and the Medlock family were getting
ready to harvest their crop. Andy and his sister Becky came along
to help. They started by helping in the garden. Becky started pulling
up the carrots. "How great these smell," she said. Mrs. Medlock
was gathering onions. They got to their feet when they heard the
tractor coming. It was Mr. Medlock coming out of the field.
He had just cut the hay.
Andy went right to work in the field. They got the
hay baled by lunch. When they came in, Mrs. Medlock and Becky had
lunch ready. They had carrot soup and for desert there was blackberry
pie. Andy and Mr. Medlock went back out to the field. Then Mrs.
Medlock and Becky started canning their vegetables.
After supper they all went right to bed. They were
so tired. The next day they went out and did the chores. The men
went back to the fields, and the ladies went back to their work.
They had gotten a lot done and hoped to get even more that day.
Farm Life on
By Lyndsey Porter
When Riley looked over the hill, he saw the Bryant
Creek running through the hills and making its way past the bridge.
He saw the old Slater place up on the other hill and waved a friendly
greeting to his neighbor friend, Dakota. He turned and started to
run back up the hill toward his family's cabin. He didn't want his
mother to be angry that he had taken so long at the creek.
When he reached his home, there was no one there.
They had already taken their produce to the root cellar. They had
left a big pile of all the other food that was his share to put
away somewhere. He didn't realize that he had taken so long getting
the milk to the creek. He would have to hurry to catch back up with
his family. He grabbed the meat and eggs and ran towards the huge
oak tree that his family used as a root cellar.
After they got all the food put away, Riley got the
wheat stalks out of the corner and started to rake the grains off
of the stalks. He had to get the rest of the grain into the wheat
bag before winter really set in, so that they could take the bag
into town and have it ground for their winter bread supply.
Riley fell into his bed that night exhausted from
another farm's day work.
By Jarrin Yeary
Well, since mama went to the store today, me and dad
went to the creek. We had to go bury the groceries in the back yard
to keep them cold, but since it's December we had to make sure we
didn't bury them too shallow. If we did that they would freeze.
Daddy and I went to the general store today to sell farmer John
our finest hen's eggs. Farmer John said "All right sonny boy but
I ain't gonna pay 2 cents an egg for those cotton pickin' things."
So I sold them to farmer Bob for 25 cents an egg.