1928 - Alderson High School - 1968


One Way to Become a Big Farm (Farmer)

Barbara Knight Miner - Sept. 4, 20410

My father grew up in a nearby town a bit larger than Alderson, and was a newcomer to living in a farming community, moving to one as an adult.  By the time I was 16, about 12 years into my dad becoming a resident of this small farming community, he had figured out how things worked, when they worked well. It appears he observed that “farmers sons married farmers daughters = a larger farm.” It was at this time, in my sophomore year, that I left Alderson to live with my dad.

There was no dating allowed, for sure, other than the “arranged dates” he approved with one young man and his family.  Those “dates” were usually a Sunday afternoon movie, after church, with the boy’s mother and younger sister.   No nighttime dates and never alone!

The “young man” appeared to buy into my dad’s plan;   and when I returned to Alderson for my senior year, he invited me to the other schools prom.  I really didn’t want to go, so explained how sorry I was and how much I wished I could go, (mistake!) but our Alderson prom was the same night.  End of story… no…not quite.    He managed to convince the rest of the senior class at the other school to vote to change the prom night, delaying it one week.  When he called to tell me, I was pretty much hooked and out of excuses.

When I graduated, I wanted to go to Marshall U. with my friends, but Daddy chose the college I was to attend, and not surprisingly, it was the same college chosen by his “approved young man”.

You see, this particular young man was very smart and very “safe” (Safe in that he didn’t believe in kissing a girl unless he wanted to marry her, although I can't imagine how my dad could know that), but most importantly, his family’s very large farm adjoined the second farm that my father and stepmother had purchased a few years earlier.  Enough said…and of course I knew nothing of “the plan” until many years later when my dad explained how I had ruined his plans.  

Daddy was right - the really big farms now are most generally those that were joined in matrimony, over the years.  Ours is still very small, thanks to my strong independent streak.