The risk takers who moved west to start a farm in Kansas.
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When we first bought the farm, almost four years ago now, it was so old (117 yrs) that I was curious who had originally built it and where they had came from.
I tried to find information through the local and state court houses and the historical society, but came away with very little information. After all my efforts, I accepted that I would probably never know. But that all changed this past month.
It started when we got a visit from Virginia and her husband Jim, who had traveled to the area from Denver for a funeral. Before they headed back, they decided to stop by our farm to see what improvements we had made. It turns out Virginia had lived in the farmhouse with her grandfather, Ernest Hull, who I had written about earlier. (See “Out of Kansas” post)
I learned that the farm was originally purchased by her great grandfather, Perry Hull, who came here from southeast Ohio in 1890. That was especially meaningful since my husband and I are also from Ohio. He had five brothers who also came out from Ohio, some of which participated in the Oklahoma land rush.
Perry Hull gave the farm to Ernest Hull (Virginia’s grandfather), where he lived with his wife Blanche until 1965. They had four children – three sons, Hobart, Lorraine, and Arlo (Virginia’s father), and one daughter, Virgilene. Arlo died in World War II, two months before Virginia was born. Electricity and plumbing were added in 1944. What we thought was a summer kitchen, at the back of the house was actually a wash room, where Blanche did laundry using a ringer washer.
Virginia came here to live with her grandparents when she was 13 and lived with them from 1958 – 1963, when she left for college.
Then about a week later, we got another visit from a former owner of the farm, Duane Rowland. He bought the farm from Ernest Hull when he was 33 and he lived here for 40 years.
He owned the land north and south of us to the creek – 120 acres total and was one of the first organic farmers in the area. He grew corn, wheat, milo, and soybean.
Duane also raised cattle and hogs on leased land, but every winter would bring the 100 head of cattle back to the farm to take care of any new calves being birthed. So now when I walk my back pasture (about five acres), I can picture a time when it was full of cattle and not just a happy lab.
Duane sold the farm in 2007, a promise he made to his wife before she died. We are the fourth owners of the farm since Duane. From the time it was built in 1897 to 2007 (110 years) the farm had only three owners. From 2007 to 2018 (eleven years) it has had four owners.
Thanks Virginia, Jim, Duane and Teresa for taking the time to stop and see The Noah Farm. I am so grateful to hear the stories of your lives here and show you all the improvements to your once upon a time home.