These historical articles are courtesy Mahaska County Historical Society President John Jacobs.
THE OSKALOOSA HERALD.
LEIGHTON & NEEDHAM, EDITORS.
THURSDAY, JUNE 15, 1876.
RULES FOR FARMERS.
A young man, just married, and with little means, wants to know how to start right in farming. This is imposing a serious task n us. We, of course, know nothing of his habits of industry, his love of labor or his qualifications for the business he seeks. Above all, we do not know what kind of a wife he has selected. If he has chosen unwisely in this particular, no after wisdom will ever repair this greatest of missteps. But we will lay down some general principles which may do for others, if not for him:
1st. Buy none but the best land. Ten acres of the best is better than a whole section of poor land.
2nd. Keep it clean of weeds.
3rd. Do nothing slipshod. Plow well and cultivate thoroughly.
4th. Do everything in the right season.
5th. Procure good implements and take care of them.
6th. Raise nothing but good animals, suitable to the country and climate.
7th. Keep out of law.
8th. When you go to town, never sit down or stand around the streets.
9th. Never spend your time with patent rights or perpetual motions.
10th. Keep a strict account of income and expenses.
11. Keep out of debt.
12. Keep clear of security notes and out of rattlesnake dens.
13. When you leave home tell your wife the exact hour you will return and if you are not punctual, do not pray for forgiveness until you can conquer this evil prosperity.
14. Be charitable, but pay your debts first.
15. Have nothing to do with traveling agents or strolling peddlers. Deal with those who have a local habitation and a name.
16. Take the best paper, and keep yourself posted as to markets, news, literature and politics.
17. Read your Bible instead of dime novels.
18. Rise early and quit in the evening, so as to have the chores done before the shades of night.
19. Live at peace with all your neighbors even if you have to make all the concessions, and submit to all the wrong.
20. Live in peace with your wife. If you cannot, coax her to go to Kamschatka and you go to Austrailia until you ventilate your affections.
21. And above all, study to know your whole duty to yourself, your family, your country and your God.
Follow these things, and they will naturally lead you into all the duties of a good farmer, a good citizen, a good Christian and a prosperous and happy man, and then when Rosselas comes along he will find what he has long south – C.F. Clarkson, State Register.
Jan. 9, 1904
LIFE ON THE DEAR OLD FARM
George B. McCutcheon in Chicago Tribune: What the farmer says: "Staid in bed till nearly five this morning because we don't have to get up so early in the winter time.
"Scraped the frost off the windows so's could get a squint at the weather. Looked purty winterish.
"Boots froze stiff. Guess I forgot to grease 'em last night. They slipped on about as easy as a section of stove-pipe.
"Woodpile covered with snow so I had difficulty in getting the kitchen fire started. Finally got enough hot water to thaw out the pump.
"Carried in some fodder for the stock. Latch on the barn door so dad gasted cold it pulled the skin off my nigh hand. curried horses, etc.
"Then had nothing to do but wait for daylight and breakfast. Had hot fried mush, hot ham, some good coffee, and a couple dozen buckwheat cakes. Seemed to agree with me.
"Shucked corn all morning. In the afternoon repaired rail fence on the east eighty till dark. then took some nourishment in the shape of boiled ham and cabbage.
"Set around awhile. Hated to tackle the cold sheets, but finally it got so late I had to turn in tough I couldn't get to sleep till after 10.
"I wish I lived in town where I had some comforts of life."