Generations have roots in century farm
By Renae B. Vander Schaff
Date Modified: 06/12/2012 7:58 AM
SANBORN, Minn. — Lynn and Phyllis Weber will host a family reunion this summer.
A Weber reunion is held each year, but this one is extra special because it commemorates a farm that is now a century old.
The Webers are one of 144 families who were awarded Century Farm Status in 2012. The program is sponsored by the Minnesota Sate Fair and the Minnesota Farm Bureau.
To qualify, a farm must have been in continuous family ownership for at least 100 years and consist of 50 acres or more.
"The land was first purchased by my grandparents, Casper and Hulda Weber," said Lynn Weber. "They had been farming elsewhere in the area, but when this farm came available, they bought it."
The 160-acre, located in Germantown Township and owned by John and Maggie Schamburg, of Cottonwood County, was sold to the Webers for $4,960 on Dec. 28, 1912.
Casper Weber was born on a farm near Sanborn in 1872. Hulda was born near Janesville but moved to Sanborn with her parents when she was 14. She and Casper married in the Sanborn Zion Lutheran Church in 1897.
Casper and Hulda had six children — Alma, Marie, Laura, Harold and twins Arnold and Viola. Laura met her husband, Theodore Bauer, when he worked for the carpenters hired by Casper to build a new barn in 1927. Hulda suffered a stroke and used a wheelchair for the rest of her life. She and Casper moved to town when Arnold married Laura Siegmann in 1937.
Arnold replaced horse power with a John Deere tractor. Arnold increased the dairy herd to 50 cows and built a new barn in 1959. He sold the cows in 1965.
Laura Weber raised chickens for both eggs and meat. On Saturday nights the family traveled to Sanborn just three miles away. Laura did her weekly shopping and exchanged eggs for groceries. Once done, the women gathered in cars to catch up on the latest news. Arnold spent his time talking to friends and the children — Laurice, Ardell, Duane and Lynn — spent their time at the movies. Admission was a dime.
"At 10 o'clock the whistle would blow, sending everyone home," said Lynn.
Lynn sold sweet corn. He hauled the corn with a horse and wagon and sang an advertising ditty that he made up. Sweet corn was first sold for 10 cents a dozen. Lynn remembers the ad ditty: "Get your sweet corn, make it snappy. Get your sweet corn, make kids happy. Get your sweet corn right away, Take some home for supper today."
Lynn graduated from Sanborn High School in 1963 and went straight into farming with his dad.
"We did a lot of custom baling," said Lynn. "The farmers would cut the hay and windrow it, my dad and I did the baling. In a summer we would do as many 10,000 bales. I got paid a half-cent per bale."
The Webers alternated between driving tractor and being on the bale rack. At first they baled with a JD 3010 tractor and JD baler model 14T. Later, a new baler was purchased, with Lynn contributing to its purchase. Eight cents per bale were then split evenly between him and his father.
"Dad always said he felt his best when he was baling hay," said Phyllis Weber.
I never did get in on threshing, said Lynn. Dad owned a combine and a corn sheller; so we just did our own work. Most of the corn was ground and fed to cattle.
"After dad sold the dairy cows, he bought stock cows," said Lynn. "Up until 1993 we had cows and calves. Then concentrated on feeding cattle. Even that has changed, as we now rent out our feedlot facilities to a nephew."
After the dairy cows were sold, he worked for a neighbor who had a dairy farm. Lynn didn't do the milking but did other chores each day. He was paid $5 a day, plus dinner and coffee breaks in the morning and afternoon.
In November 1966, he married Phyllis Roiger. They lived on a farm one mile south of the home farm that was owned by Arnold and Laura until 1973. Then they purchased their own farm a mile west of the century farm in 1971 and moved to that farm in 1973. In 1984, they moved to the century farm, purchasing it in 1987. Phyllis worked at Del Monte, beginning with seasonal work and increasing to full time for 20 years.
Lynn became a seed salesman in 1980, a job he still has.
Lynn and Phyllis have two children. Daughter Angela lives in Windom. Son Brian is married to Angel, and they have four children, who also have sold sweet corn at the highway corner. Brian farms with Lynn.
In preparation for the June 23 reunion, Lynn and Phyllis have been busy making rhubarb jam as a gift for all the Weber descendants.
"Rhubarb was a natural choice," said Phyllis. "It's an old-fashioned plant, a constant, easily associated with farm life."