New Day Dairy GuestBarn

The Old Days: The Beginning

I touched on some of our farm’s history in this post about the foundation on which we’re building New Day Dairy.  It’s always good to write and record stories because often that’s when discrepancies are found!  Apparently the story I’ve been told about Dan’s Great-great Grandpa & Grandma wasn’t quite accurate.  So after going in search of the truth by visiting Dan’s Grandpa Neil & Grandma Mavis, I’ve uncovered the true story of the beginning of the Bolin family in Clarksville! 

Dan’s Great-great Grandma Margret Ann Hickle first came to the Clarksville, Iowa area by covered wagon with her family at the age of eleven.  They had to ford the mighty Mississippi River, by attaching logs to the wagon wheels & floating their covered wagon across, because there weren’t any bridges.  Other Hickle’s had already made the journey to Clarksville (the first is 1855), so they had family to join when they arrived (the original Hickle farm is SE of Clarksville).

Margret spent a few years in Iowa before, as a young woman, heading back to Illinois to work as a hired girl, back then a common practice by young woman before getting married.   During her time back in Illinois she met George Washington Bolin; they fell in love and were married December 29, 1881.  The first four of their children were born in Illinois before they decided to move back to Iowa in 1890, where they had 5 more children (4 of whom survived).  Dan’s great-grandpa Adlai was the first to be born on the current farm.

That fall George & Margret bought their first 80 acres of land, which is where the current farm now sits.   At the time it didn’t include much crop land, but mostly timber, where we now have pasture.  They wanted the timber as it was valuable for both fuel and building.  The east end of the what we now call the “old barn” was already there but George used timber from the land to add on the west end of the barn.  If you visit you can see the big log beams that are still in use today holding up our haymow! 

Original Farmstead

A view of the farm 100 years ago. The east side of the “old barn” is still in use today. Some of the trees are also still around and so is that cute windmill.

Bolin Family Picture

Top: Blanche, Lulu, Reece, Adlai, Myrtle; Bottom: Cora, Margaret, George, Mary

To feed their family they, like most farms & families at the time, kept a variety of animals, including of course, the family cow.  At the time the barnyard was south of the “old barn” and that’s where the family cow hung out.  When Margret needed milk for the next meal or to make butter, she had a large pitcher with a handle she took out to the barnyard.  Holding it in one hand she then used her other hand to milk the family cow before bring it back inside for the next meal! 

Now a-days we milk more than just a family cow, so that you don’t have to have a barnyard and a pitcher to get your milk for breakfast, lunch, and dinner!  And I’m thankful you do what you do, so that we can get back to caring for our cows, our specialty!  What’s your specialty? 

PS… Watch for more “The Old Days” posts, as I uncover more farm stories from the past to share with you and our children’s children! 

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