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Callenius, Otto Franklin -- Century Farm, 1880s-1987


Posted By: Lydia Lucas - Volunteer (email)
Date: 1/21/2017 at 20:14:12

From the Siouxland Press, September 9, 1987, p. 6:

Callenius’s Celebrate Farm’s 100th Birthday
By Kathy Vrieze

Merlynn and Adalene Callenius of Hospers, recently received a century farm certificate from the Iowa Department of Agriculture at the Iowa State Fair.

The farm, which is located 3˝ miles east and 1 mile south of Hospers, was purchased by his grandfather, Otto Franklin Louis, and Otto’s brother George, from the Sioux City and St. Paul Railroad in the early 1800’s[i.e., 1880s].

Otto was born in New York City in 1862 to Adolph and Metta Callenius, who were natives of Germany. He began farming at the age of 32 when he and his brother George bought the present Callenius farm. He lived there for a brief period of time and then moved to Peterson, Iowa in 1901 to run a mercantile store. Otto lived in Peterson for 5 years renting out the farm during this time. Otto moved back to the farm in 1906 with his wife, Kathrine Claussen, and 3 children, Metta, Merlynn, and Lester and remained there until 1941 when he passed away at the age of 79. Preceding Otto’s death his oldest son Merlynn purchased the farm from him. Merlynn remained on the farm with his wife and 9 children: Merlynn, Jackie, Jo Ann, Ron, Ken, Al, Karen, Nancy and Wally, until his son, also named Merlynn, purchased it from him in 1965.

Merlynn has been living there ever since with his wife Adalene and 2 children, Marsha and Bob (who are now living in their own homes).

Although the farm is over 100 years there have been very few changes. The only 2 original buildings that still stand are the house and a machine shed. The house itself though was changed very little. In 1918 a basement was added and later on a kitchen and an outside deck. Other than that the original frame of the house still remains.

Merlynn and his wife plan to remain on the farm for many years and hope that in the future their son Bob will also purchase it so it will remain in the family.

[Accompanied by a photo of Merlynn and Adalene Callenius outside their farm house; and by an aerial photo of the farm yard.]

* * * * * * * * * *

From the Siouxland Press, September 16, 1987, p. 7, Newkirk news:

Mr. and Mrs. Robert Mouw, Mr. Lowell Van Zyl and Mr. and Mrs. John C. Blom were guests at the Merlyn Callenius Century Farm celebration supper last Saturday evening.


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