"Our Friends on the Acres"
This week the inquiring reporter visited the farm of Sam A. Harris on route three, located about five miles northeast of Postville. Mr. Harris is one of the most prosperous agriculturists in Allamakee county. He was born at Caldwell, Ohio, on March 24, 1862, and in 1881 came to Allamakee county. Mr. Harris experienced considerable difficulty in reaching Postville as one of the worst blizzards in the history of the state was raging when he got off the train in Cedar Rapids. For three days he was marooned in Cedar Rapids, then he boarded the first train to chug northward. For 12 hours the train battled snow drifts, finally arriving in Postville.
"Postville has changed somewhat since then," Mr. Harris relates, "but it was a town with about a population of 1,000 even in those days." He worked for over four years for his uncle, Elisha Harris, on a farm near where he is now located. By thrift and energy he acquired the means which enabled him to purchase the farm upon which he now lives, the nucleus of his holdings consisting of 67 acres, to which he has since added at various times until his property now comprises 330 acres. "In August of 1881 a cyclone struck the farm I now own." Mr. Harris reminisced. "There wasn't much left of the buildings when the storm lifted."
After Mr. Harris was married, on September 22, 1885, to Miss Ida Smith, they moved to the farm which had been damaged by the cyclone. Mr. Harris devoted much of his time to the general improvement of the property and has maintained the buildings to this day. Of course, all of the buildings on the farm were replaced by modern structures as the years rolled by and today Mr. Harris has a fine outlay of buildings. He is especially proud of two barns, one of which is 52 feet square, and the other measuring 72X30 feet with a basement. "This fall and winter have been the easiest for farmers of any I can remember," Mr. Harris explained. "We had good crops last summer. I would estimate my corn crop at 50 or 60 bushels to the acre." The veteran farmer is well satisfied with northern Iowa. He stated that he had never had a crop failure in the 58 years he has been farming. When he was asked about the livestock on his farm he explained that he owned six horses, 15 milking cows, 38 head of steers, 3 yearling heifer, 14 calves, 75 hogs and 120 White rock and leghorn chickens.
Mrs. Harris passed away about 20 years ago and a daughter, Lila Harris was killed in an auto accident in 1930 near Waukon. He has one daughter, Leone Larew, living at Iowa City. Eight years ago in July a disastrous fire burned the Harris farm home to the ground, but Mr. Harris erected a fine new brick bungalow that fall, which is modern in every respect. he even has a built-in garage. The farm home is located on one of the highest points in that vicinity and on a clear day the watertower at Waukon can be seen, some 10 miles in the distance. Because of the high location of the farm, considerable difficulty was experienced in drilling a well. Workers drilled 345 feet before they found water.
Mr. Harris does not do the farm work alone any more. "I've got to quit pretty soon, as I can't get around as good as I used to," Mr. Harris stated. Living in another house on the farm are Mr. and Mrs. Joe Muchow, who assist with the farm work. Mrs. Regina Beckman performs the household tasks in the Harris home.
~Postville Herald, December 28, 1939
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