"Our Friends on the Acres"
Mr. & Mrs. Elmer J. Zieman
The farm of Mr. and Mrs. Elmer J. Zieman, located 5 1/2 miles southeast of Postville in Grand Meadow township, Clayton county, was chosen by officials of the Iowa Farm Business Association as one of the outstanding farms in Winneshiek, Clayton, Fayette and Floyd counties, so the Herald writer called on the Ziemans last week. Today, members of the association visited the farm on their annual business tour. Mr. Zieman's name can be added to the list of farmers in this vicinity who have spend 50 years on the same property. He was born September 7, 1890, on the Zieman farm and next Saturday will observe his 50th birthday anniversary.
The Zieman farm is one of 175 acres. Its early history dates back many years. Mr. Zieman's parents, Mr. and Mrs. Albert Zieman, were married April 27, 1888. About a month before the ceremony took place the young couple purchased 40 acres of land from Mrs. Horace A. Harrington. A house and an old straw shed were the only buildings on the property and today, one of the finest outlays of farm buildings have replaced the original structures.
Mr. and Mrs. Albert Zieman further enlarged their property shortly after their mariage in 1888, by purchasing 95 acres lying directly to the north and across the road from Mr. Zieman's father, John Zieman. In 1900 they added to their holdings by purchasing 40 acres to the west of the original 95 acres, making the entire farm total 175 acres. During the same year (1900) part of the old house was torn down and a new one built. "I can remember that," Elmer Zieman remarked, "because I was ten years old at the time. I had a hand in the construction work as I helped haul rock from the Larrabee stone quarry, which is about six miles west of here."
In the succeeding years two good sized barns were put up. One of the barns is 36X62 feet and is used as a dairy building. The other barn is 52X52 feet and houses young beef cattle. Other buildings on the place include granary, chicken house, machine shed, hog house, corn crib, garage, etc. In 1915, when Mr. Zieman's parents retired to Postville, he took complete charge and management of the property.
Elmer J. Zieman and Miss Adaila Meyer were married February 17, 1915, at the home of the bride's parents. She was born December 25, 1893, a daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Louis Meyer. At that time the Meyer family lived 4 1/2 miles northeast of Postville on the property now owned by Horace Gordanier of Postville. Immediately following their marriage, Mr. and Mrs. Elmer Zieman moved to the Zieman farm, where they are residing today. They are the parents of three children: Leeone (Mrs. Irving Deering) of near Postville, Lyle and Gretchen, both of whom live at home.
"It might be of interest to mention that three generations of Ziemans were educated in Grand Meadow, District No. 5, school." Mr. Zieman stated. "My father and mother were the first students in the family to go there. I was the second and our children were the third generation to attend." In about 1920 the old school building was torn down and a new one put up in its place.
Mrs. Zieman also supplied some interesting information regarding the family. "My parents retired in 1919 and have lived since then in Postville," she said. "As Elmer's father and mother are also living, our grandchildren, Charles and Robert Deering, have four living great-grandparents. It's quite unusual to have our great-grandparents, but to have them living in the same town really is a believe-it-or-not."
Mr. Zieman has 31 acres of corn this year, which is rapidly nearing the stage where it will be out of danger from frost. He recently threshed 38 acres of barley and oats, receiving a yield of 42 bushels of barley to the acre and 50 bushels of oats an acre. As the threshing was done early in August, he missed most of the heavy rains and as a result the oats and barley suffered no damage.
Since he has become a member of the TVA four years ago he has planted his corn on the contour. About all of the cultivated land on the property (150 acres) has been limed during that time and with the exception of 22 acres, the farm has been phosphated. "I expect to put phosphate on the 22 acres next spring." Mr. Zieman stated. "Lime is needed to grow legumes like clover and alfalfa, while phosphate is required to stiffen straw and hasten the maturity of corn." He is a firm believer in applying lime and phosphate as he said it "increased my grain yield four or five bushels to the acre and also increased the hay yields." It's hard to estimate what Mr. Zieman's corn crop will be this year, but with favorable weather he should get about the same as last year. His crop last year went about 80 bushels to the acre (on 35 acres).
Livestock on the farm includes 30 dairy cattle and 25 beef cattle, all Holsteins and Angus. for the last four years he has been developing the purebred herd of Holstein and Angus cattle. Mr. Zieman also has 135 hogs and expects about 100 fall pigs. Last Wednesday the first little of nine pigs was farrowed and seven other litters are expected. "We have five horses and one shetland pony." he continued, "But we do most of the real heavy work with a tractor. We never farmed with a tractor until three years ago. It is a little better, but far more expensive." There are about 150 White Leghorn chickens on the farm, which is quite a few less than usual. Only last week Lyle Zieman sold 165 White rocks.
Mr. and Mrs. Zieman have also owned a 213 acre farm a mile and a half south of Postville since 1937, which they rent [out].
~Postville Herald, September 4, 1940
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