John Keith>UIS Collection K-M>UIS Collection K-M, Segment 1


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Usually did not eat desserts. Raised Yankee beans and dried them, had canned beans, vegetables, potatoes, and bread baked by their mother twice a week. Made cheese, butter out of milk. Made blackberry, apple, and grape jelly with molasses from own sorghum. Describes how sorghum is processed into molasses at the mill. Used molasses for desserts and on bread. Had corn ground into cornmeal and made own hominy out of white corn using own lye water. Describes making hominy and lye water. Cooked the hominy with a piece of fat meat. Laments the lack of self-sufficiency on farms today.
After marriage he farmed with a four-horse team, a gang plow, a harrow, corn planter, 7' disc, and a wheat binder. Bought all with $500 he borrowed.
Still lived with parents when he was married. Met wife at a local party. Excellent discussion of how he started out farming. Had no money, father gave him a horse when he was 21, and the first colt from that mare was born a week before their first son. Mother gave them 24 hens when they were married. Bought a horse before marriage, so by borrowing two mules he had a team. Started farming on 140 acres rented in Walshville for 14 years. Moved to Butler Grove Township in 1930. Tells long, but great story about moving to Butler Grove to avoid working as much for a friend at his grain elevator, his landlord in Walshville, and renting the new farm with 118-120 acres in Butler Grove. New landlord was a very nice man but he died in 1932. Stayed at a neighbor's house when he sowed wheat on the new land. Wife enjoyed the new property but was hesitant about moving away from a familiar community. Wife had lost her parents early on and was mostly raised by brothers and sisters.