By Delores Miller
Digging deeper in the family archives, found receipts and vouchers from automobile and truck purchases and repairs. Paraphernalia. Equipment. Tax papers from 1952, with farm expenses and income. Property tax statements going back to 1880 Michael Zillmer owner. $4.19. By 1893 it was $7.30 plus a 31 cent collection fee. At one time five parcels of land at 40 acres apiece. 1934 was $134.00.
Doctor and hospital expenses. Dr. Mulvaney, February, 1931. $6. Dr. R. E. Van Schaick, March 14, 1923 for surgery, $48.50. Linda Schewe was the nurse. Doctors made house calls out to the farms in those days.
Harvey and Mary Luschow Feed Mill vouchers, cow, heifer, pig and chicken feed. Trekked to town almost every day. (Harvey belonged to St. John Lutheran Church, Mary to the Catholic church. For fund raising, Mary, each Saturday morning made kolaches and sold for a dollar a dozen. Oh, how good they were, my favorite was a prune filling, topped with strudel.) I often rode along to town when they went feed grinding, two thin dimes clutched in my grubby paw, enough to buy a cherry, chocolate or butterscotch malted milk at Mees Drug Store, with Glenn Draeger as the soda jerk. A February 1953 written slip showed expenses for the month at $143.57 and income of milk $237.89, calves $272.70, (how many calves was that?) and hogs sold of $310.20. A profit of $677.22. They were rich and able to pay off the farm mortgages, liens and other loans. And get an indoor toilet, to replace that outhouse.
Delores Miller lives with husband Russell in Hortonville, Wisconsin. In the summer of 2007 they celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary with a party hosted by their five children and ten grandchildren. It’s been a long road. Dairy farming until retirement in 1993, they continued to 'work' the land, making a subdivision of 39 new homes on their former hay fields.