Dr. Edward Runge is a soil scientist at University of Illinois. Describes soil in the area. He was born in 1933 in St. Peter, IL, in Fayette County, on a diversified farm of 160 acres. Fayette is south of Shelbyville Moraine and has grey soil, lower in fertility. Parents were born in 1898 and 1899; Ed and Bertha Grant Runge. Mother was one of nine. Father much younger than sister. Farm goes back to 1870, a Centennial Farm. Father bought acreage in 1920s, picked up in the 1940s. Farming in the 1930s was okay, self-sufficient on the farm. The garden was about a half acre; weeding was a punishment. Chores started at five a.m. Feeding cows, horses, chickens. Walked to school two miles. Went to a Lutheran school and church. Preached in German and English. Spoke some German at home. German in school was dropped at beginning of WWII.
Sold wheat, pigs, and eggs. Had about sixteen milk cows. Later Father went into dairy business. Father was handy, so helped neighbors build barns etc.
Had six horses. Traded two for 1937 Case CC tractor about 1940. Explains about britchin harness that prevents the cart (or farm machinery) from pushing forward into the horse when going downhill. Also allowed the horses to back up and push.