We live on an 80-acre farm, off of good roads, about nine miles from our county seat, are in debt some on the farm, have seven children in the family, three of school age.
Four years ago the school authorities tried hard to force us to send our two older children, a girl fifteen, and a boy thirteen, to high school, nine miles distant. We simply couldn't do it. If the trustee had furnished transportation, the children would have been graduated from high school now. But he would not, so they were denied, to our regret, the high school education. Some thought we should have let them go to town and work their way through. But we felt that home was the best place for young folks at this age.
The boy wants to farm, is satisfied here, and just now, at eighteen, is a fine hand at almost anything you put him at, farming, repairing tools, and the like. Healthy, clean-minded, no bad habits.
The girl would have enjoyed school if she could have gone, is nineteen, strong, loves home, reads good books, is good at sewing, cooking, baking, baby tending, and all housework; makes good wages helping our nearest neighbors in busy seasons or in sickness; enjoys 4-H Club work, winning prizes both years she has been in the work. Last year she served as leader for a group of ten girls and was awarded a free trip to Purdue.
I am not boasting, but I think that farm girls and boys must be prepared for the positions we and our husbands are now holding. Would these two children have been any better prepared for the jobs of homemaker and farmer if they had left the home nest and worked their way through high school?
Although we grow discouraged at times, I wouldn't trade my home for one in town. We work hard but we have enjoyments, too. When we want a little entertainment, one gets out the “fiddle,” one a guitar, one a banjo, one Little Joe, one the harmonica, and Dad the knitting needles. Then Ma seats herself at the piano, and away we go!
My entreaty is: Raise the farm girls and boys to stay with the farm.