Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Family Farm Record 1940

Yes, I have the Family Farm Record Book from Dad's farm for the year 1940, the year my sister was born. It is a history of the farm, a history of my family and a record of the struggle of those on farms the year before US involvement in WWII.

Dad's income consisted of the crops he sold at about $478 per year making up the rest of the $3,176 yearly income that already consisted of income from selling poultry/eggs, dairy products, livestock and a $60 loan. The operating expenses including feed, machinery/auto repair, farm upkeep, livestock expenses, hired labor, taxes and insurance totaling $1,011. Family expenses including food, clothing, personal, medical, household, furnishings and equipment, school/church/recreation totaled $522. This is for the year. Capital goods were $365. Incoming = $3,176; outgoing = $1,898. A difference of $1,278. The money to start the next year that would include seeds for planting, fertilizer, feed for livestock, etc.

Observation: Baby June born on June 1st brought additional expenses for Mom and Dad. The hospital bill was $26.50, and a girl was hired to help at $9 for the month. There wasn't enough money to pay the doctor so that bill was outstanding. The baby carriage purchased in July was $6.14. Note. the gas bill for the stove was $.75. I didn't see where clothing was purchased for June who evidently wore hand-me-downs and gift apparel.

I noticed that Dad sold 4 muskrats in the winter for all of $4.20 and 4 dozen eggs for $1.12. Chicken feed was $1.71.

Dad's cows and horses had names. Horses: Spike, Ginger and Bill each worth $150. The colt, Mike, was worth $40. The cows were Blackie, Nellie, Spottie, Guernsey, Daisy, Goldie and Flossie each worth $60. The calves Cherry, Bill and Bertha were worth $25 each.  $2,000 lbs of wheat was worth $31.66. Lumber for the granary and tobacco beds that same month was $31.80.

On and on it goes, this history of the farm in 1940. In almost 70 years, we have inflated beyond belief. My parents struggled then and today we struggle over the ridiculous prices we see daily. Doctor bills nearly flatten my mom and dad over the years. Today we are flattened by insurance premiums, and we don't have a doctor coming to our door all hours of the day or night as they did.

I really don't know what I'm getting at today in this blog. My journey to Neff Road was a bit depressing thinking of my family then and now. Maybe you understand. I just needed to share.
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