Thursday, October 1, 2009

Second Fruit Farmer

Second Fruit Farmer
Albert Overhiser be my name. I am the second family fruit farmer to work the land in Section 14. My parents are Henry and Sarah and there were a total of 8 children in our family. I am the second oldest. I have led a very exciting life that was very sad at times. My great grand son Martin Wayne (b. 7-11-1940) will be telling my story in his blog (what ever that is?) the next few months. Martin may need to speculate about some of the details about my live. That is fine with me.

First off let me straighten out my name. My birth certificate reads William Albert Overhiser (January 11, 1857) Blackford County Indiana. However, I always went by “Albert” and even put “A. W. Overhiser” on my barn. A copy of the 1895 Casco Township Atlas also listed A. W. Overhiser as the owner of 60 acres in Section 14. But we are jumping way ahead.

In 1838, when my dad was 5 his family resettled from New York State to Indiana. In the fall of 1860, at age 2-1/2, I moved with my parents to Michigan. My brother Lonson was 4½ and Olive just a baby. My second sister Ida May was born in October of 1861 after our first year in Michigan. We first lived near Allegan. Dad build a house for a family on a big farm.

The next two years we lived in Casco Township (Section 12) and in 1863 dad bought a 100-acre wooded property in Section 14. This was about 3 miles away so we would walk or ride in the horse drawn wagon to work on the property. There were no roads just paths through the woods. Brother Lonson (age 7 at that time) and dad cut down trees so a house could be build on top of the hill. I got to help by carrying things and staying out of the way. After a water well was dug, I got to carry water to the livestock. A small house got build and we moved to the new farm.

The second year on that farm my Uncle Lonson (Dad’s younger brother) moved to Casco from Indiana. This was great because we had cousins to play with. My brother Lonson and I attended the District #3 Iddles School. It was straight north through the woods one-mile and a little east along the road that went between Pullman and Lake Michigan. Thomas Iddles built our log school in 1859. Just down the hill to the east of the school there were springs. We were told that Indians camped in that area because of the springs.

Jane Brown Woodruff was the first teacher I can remember. She was a great teacher and took good care of us kids. One day she sent us home early because a big storm was coming. She lived in the same direction as we did so she ran with Lonson and me through the woods and over a fence. We herd a very loud noise and when we looked back we saw huge trees being blown over. My, was that scary!

When I was 10 years old (in 1867) a frame school building replaced the old log school. John Fabin was paid $300 to build that school. My dad could have built the school but he was very busy running our farm, our sawmill and doing carpentry jobs work for neighbors. That is enough for now. Will chat later.

At The Farm October1, 2009
The apples continue to be picked and pumpkins are ready. The retail building at 109th Ave and 64th Street will be open until the end of October, as will the apple U-Pick orchards. Don’t forget to print out the u-pick 10% off coupon from the farm website

The two newest arrivals at the farm are Border Collies. They are brother and sister born July 28th. Daisy and Woody (Jack Russell Terriers) will now have to compete for attention from the kids.

Kim and Allan just celebrated their wedding anniversary. They were saying, with the big apple operation they have developed there would no time for a fall wedding. Remember kids, don’t plan weddings during the fall harvest.

Don’t forget to eat an apple a day!