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In my last appearance on these pages, I introduced Country Today readers to my great-grandad, Dave Wood (1840-1927) and his 63 years of daily diaries in which he recounted the diphtheria epidemic of 1877, during which time the family lost two daughters and a hired girl. Two years later Dave …

I grew up in east central Minnesota in the small town of Almelund. My dad worked as a breeder for American Breeders Service. He always had dairy farming “in his blood” and liked dealing in the cattle business. Though he never owned his own dairy farm, he felt working on farms would instill g…

The Riverside School District began, being together with Valley View School and together had about 93 students in 1860-1870.

Sometimes I think a sign that says, “Warning: Farming May Be Hazardous to Your Health” should be posted at the entrance to every farmstead.

It was a rite of entering manhood when we got old enough to tend the blower on the threshing machine. The machine was usually set with the feeder into the wind for cleaner threshing. It was fairly clean on both sides of the separator, except standing on the platform to swing the blower left,…

Editor’s note: The Country Today reader Toni Lubich sent us this story along with the following note: “My grandfather, Walter E. Swenson, of Pierce County, recalled memories of his life, including his service in the Army. I am attaching that story. He passed away in 1986 at the age of 88. We…

Editor’s note: The Country Today reader Toni Lubich sent us this story along with the following note: “My grandfather, Walter E. Swenson, of Pierce County, recalled memories of his life, including his service in the Army. I am attaching that story. He passed away in 1986 at the age of 88. We…

When I was a kid, the bakery in Wautoma sent a truck throughout the countryside, stopping at each farmer’s place with the hope of selling bread, sweet rolls, doughnuts and much more.

I wrote the following embedded poem 30 years ago, although by then it was already 20 years in the making. This year marks the 50th anniversary of that Christmas in Vietnam, 1968, and, unfortunately, little has changed except the decades.

When I was a kid, the Christmas season began the Monday after Thanksgiving. With the Thanksgiving celebration now a memory and the deer season over, my brothers and I turned our thoughts to this special season. The Sears Christmas Catalog had arrived to tell us that Christmas was just around…

The smell of Swisher Sweets often complemented the aroma of the Christmas feast at Grandpa Reeson’s house during the holidays. Grandpa’s laughter was boisterous — almost childlike — and always accompanied by a slap on the knee. He wore his pride as the patriarch to the family on his face and…

My brother Richard jabbed a fork into his mashed potatoes. He knew what was coming.

It was the week following Thanksgiving, and it had snowed 6 inches, enough for sledding on the hill behind Chain O’ Lake School. I dragged my old sled from the storage place above the woodshed, ran some sandpaper along the rusty runners, and headed for school. I knew that during first recess…