"Our Friends on the Acres"
Mr. & Mrs. Even O. Lien
One of the influential farmers living south of Postville in Grand Meadow township, Clayton county, is Even O. Lien. Mr. Lien has lived 33 years on his farm, and has been associated with farming since he was a boy.
He was born April 10, 1870, on a farm two miles south of Gunder, a son of Mr. and Mrs. Ole Lien. His parents were natives of Norway, his father coming to this country in 1846 and later locating in Clayton county in 1854. His mother arrived from Norway in 1858.
When Even O. Lien was five years old he moved with his parents to another farm in Clayton county near the west county line. This property is now operated by Olaf Berg.
"I attended the Halstenson school for about four years," he explained, "but when I was 12 years old I quit school and devoted my time working on my parents' farm. So you can see I didn't get much schooling, except in farm work. As the farm consisted of 200 acres my assistance was needed."
When Mr. Lien was 22 years old his father passed away and for another year he continued to work on the home place. Then on Oct. 7, 1893 he was married to Miss Mary Hanson, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Lars (Ostlie) Hanson. The newlyweds went to Chicago, Ill., on their honeymoon and attended the World's Fair. When they returned they purchased the Lien farm from Mr. Lien's mother.
"We operated our farm for six years," Mr. Lien said. "then we bought the farm owned by my wife's parents. This property is now the Mrs. Sam Erickson place and adjoins our present property on the west. We farmed that property for six years before buying this farm. We made th epurchase from Mrs. Henry Dittmer of Garnavillo. At that time the farm consisted of 240 acres, but just last summer, I sold 80 acres on the north to Lawrence Welzel."
Although Mr. Lien is 70 years old he takes an active part in operating the property. With the help of Otto Johnson he does the farm work. Last spring they planted 29 1/2 acres of corn which produced 80 bushels to the acre. "Our corn was about the same as last year, but it was a long way from some corn I grew here back in 1898," Mr. Lien stated. "You may not believe it, but our 1898 corn went 100 bushels to the acre. That's a lot, all right, but it's not so surprising when you known the facts. Two years before that, in 1896, we planted the first corn on seven acres of ground, which had formerly been covered by timber. The timber had been cut down and the stumps grubbed out. For two years the crops were good on this land, but in 1898 we had a fine growing season and we received an exceptional yield of 100 bushels to the acre. The corn was called Silver Mine."
During the many years Mr. Lien has been farming, he recalls only one real bad year. "On July 20, 1920 hail struck our farm. Our oats were ruined and what little grew up afterwards was eaten by army worms. The corn was laid flat, too, but we did manage to salvage enough to fill our silo." The Herald reporter asked Mr. Lien about the cold summer of 1915, when nearly all farmers suffered heavy financial losses. "Our corn crop that year wasn't much good," he answered "but the small grain crop was good, so we managed to get along all right."
Last summer crops on the Lien farm were good. Forty acres of oats produced 1,800 bushels, or an average of 45 bushels to the acre. Six acres of soy beans were combined, yielding about 100 bushels. A total of 147 tons of alfalfa were cut from 30 acres. One field of 19 acres was cut three times, yielding 114 tons. Another 11 acre field was cut one and 33 tons were realized, but the field was used for a hog pasture after the first cutting. The Liens have 19 milch cows, 95 hogs, six horses, 14 heifers and a large flock of chickens.
Mrs. Lien was born June 23, 1869, on the adjoining farm and has always lived in that vicinity. Mr. and Mrs. Lien have four children: Oscar Lien, who lives one mile to the west; Charise B. Lien, at home; Mrs. Alphie Thorson of near Clermont and Mrs. Melvin Loftgard of near Gunder. Two sons have passed away.
Mrs. Lien has one brother and four sisters: Gilbert Ostlie, Mrs. Ole Aanes, Mrs. Knute Kittleson, Mrs. Gust Olson, all living near Clermont, and Mrs. Thomas Lien of LeRoy, Minn., and three sisters, Mrs. Oscar Gunderson of Wood Lake, Minn., Mrs. Julius Olson of Decorah and Mrs. Henry Kittleson of Clermont.
~Postville Herald, November 27, 1940
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