Originally published in 1974, this memoir fondly
and vividly recalls life on the McMillen family farm in western Ohio, describing
in rich detail the daily and seasonal activities that marked the cyclical
progression of farm life.
Illustrations by John D. Firestone and Associates
Uncomplicated when compared with the task of managing today's highly mechanized agricultural complexes, life on the early twentieth-century small farm entailed hard work and afforded simple pleasures that brought satisfaction and enjoyment to the farm and family. Farming on that scale and in the same manner has now become almost completely infeasible, yet in those times a good farmer could prosper and become independent. Wheeler McMillen’s father, Lewis, did both.
Relying frequently on his father’s account books and concise diaries, for this is primarily his father’s story, McMillen recounts the immense labor that farming demanded before the advent of the tractor and the combine harvester. He evokes the special excitements of having company for Sunday dinner, attending the annual oyster supper at the Grange Hall, and gathering on the Fourth of July with the interminable wait for darkness to fall. McMillen also portrays the quiet peace and ineffable joy of private moments, such as resting the horses during spring plowing to watch bronzed grackles search for food in the freshly turned furrows.
Wheeler McMillen’s slice of history will speak to those interested in what rural life was once like in the Midwest and to Ohioans who would like to learn more about their state’s recent past.
Wheeler McMillen was the editor of Farm Journal and
the author of numerous books.
|1997. 220 pp. 6 x 9|
|$21.95 paper 978-0-8142-0735-2||Add paperback to shopping cart|