In the 1950s, most multi-generational farms had one or more employees, as well as the family helping on the farm. Even though in our town there were a couple feedmills, sawmills, garages and even a train station,often there were more people seeking work than there were jobs.
Because our farm was close to town, often, someone walked in off the road looking for a meal or maybe a couple days work. Farmers are compassionate souls and offered dinner and usually a job until the unfortunate one could leave less destitute than he came. Some of these people became great employees and loyal friends and remained with us on the farm for several years.
Joe was born into a large family and had other siblings chosen by the church to be educated who then devoted their lives to the church. Joe was one of the older ones who stayed home to help the family. He had been married and had a child for each month of the year but his wife moved in with another who had more money and less work after their family had grown up a bit. Farmers couldn’t compete with mills and factories for wages but for food and family life, it was and is yet hard to beat.
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