A lot has happened in the last couple of weeks, including my first visit up to the farm to look for work. I was happy with how the trip went, but there’s still a lot to do before I’ll be ready to move. I’ll tell more about my visit in my next post, but for now, I wanted to share a little family farm history.
After my grandparents died, we nicknamed their home and surrounding original farm “Home Place” since it wasn’t just my grandparents’ farm, several family members have lived there. This house, which is currently being rented by non-family tenants, is my ideal farm. On the one hand, I’m trying not to get attached to the idea of living there because I don’t know if it will ever pan out. On the other hand, because of my family history with this house and farm, and because of its proximity to the one room school house, I can’t stop thinking about the possibility of living there someday.
The following is an edited and shortened version of my family history with the land that my cousin and uncle wrote several years ago…
In the 1830s or 1840s, Jeptha and Mary Thurman (née Muldrough) journeyed from Kentucky to Missouri, and were some of the first settlers in the North River area. They lived in Warren Missouri, and later operated Thurman General Store from 1867-1870.
Jeptha and Mary’s grandson, Thomas Vincent Thurman, born in 1863, purchased the land that is now Home Place Farm with his young wife Lizzy Vannoy on October 31, 1904. Yes, that’s Halloween, and in the year of St. Louis’ World’s Fair. Thomas and Lizzy purchased 105 acres southwest of Warren. The house had four rooms, wood heat, a wood cook stove, and a cistern for household water. They had large barn where livestock feed such as loose hay, ear corn, and oats were stored. The barn also had stalls for horses, cattle, and sheep. Other buildings on the farm included a smoke house, a chicken house, a hog house, and a buggy shed. Livestock for sale were sometimes driven on horseback to nearby Monroe City or Hunnewell, where there was a railroad.
Thomas and Lizzy had three children, Isabelle, Lillian, and my grandfather, Ralph Leroy Thurman. Grandpa Ralph was born on September 25, 1912 in the family home (the Home Place house) where he lived his entire life. He married my grandmother, Winifred Couch in 1935.
[end written history]
I had always thought that Thomas and Lizzie built the house, but my uncle told me on this visit that they did not. So we know that they purchased the farm in 1904, but we don’t know who built the house or when. For all we know, the original home could be pre-Civil War. Which is a pretty exciting mystery! There are original logs inside the house that could be analyzed and help us to determine the age of the home.
Oh the things I could do if I lived back at Home Place!