Heritage Farm history is both recalled and written
HUMBOLDT — When the history of a farm is being discussed, it doesn’t take very long before the discussion will shift to family history as the history of farms and families are very much entwined. The history is usually recollections of distant memories.
Ron Collins farms the land owned by his family. He has memories that come easily about the time spent with his grandfather and father when he was growing up on the farm.
Ron Collins’ grandmother, Adeline Collins, is 101 years old and lives in a nursing home in Iowa Falls. She also has many memories about the years she lived with husband Ralph on the farm until she left it in 2002. Ralph and Adeline were married in 1928.
“We had everything,” said Adeline Collins. “Hogs, cattle, corn, beans, hay, chickens, and dairy cattle. It was lots of work. We had a good life on the farm.”
Adeline Collins did not like the chickens.
“They were smelly,” she said.
However, her memories are not only from her own recollections but can be read in the various diaries she kept for many years. Adeline Collins was a disciplined person who believed there was a place for everything and everything in its place.
Her discipline included writing her daily and her family’s daily activities in a diary that had a page for each day of the year with the page divided into fourths that allowed recording four years of events on any particular day.
Her diary from 1958 to 1962, for example, tells of going to town, family activities and health, weather, gardening, participation in community activities, and more.
Warren Collins, Ron Collins’ great-grandfather, was the second owner of the farm. He passed away in 1968, but Ron Collins knew him when he was alive.
Ron Collins said his great-grandfather had purebred hog lines he sold all over and owned the bank in the nearby town of Popejoy. His great-grandfather was a very savvy business person,
Warren Collins adopted Ralph, Adeline’s husband and Ron’s grandfather, at a very young age.
“It was almost at infancy,” said Ron Collins.
As the oldest grandchild, Ron Collins got to spend the most time with his grandfather Ralph.
“I spent a huge amount of time with Grandpa Ralph,” said Ron Collins. “Every day was about the farm and livestock”.
Bryce Collins was Ralph and Adeline’s son and Ron’s father.
Ron Collins started working for his dad and grandfather while in grade school and continued through high school.
Bryce Collins continued the Collins’ farming practice of raising livestock. Bryce Collins and his wife Dora would drive to western Nebraska and Wyoming buying cattle weighing 500 pounds and bring them back to finish them.
“His favorite thing to do was go out, cock his leg on the gate, and just look at the cattle,” said Ron Collins. “He was big into feeder cattle and also had stock cows.”
Bryce Collins’ last crop on the farm was in 2009. He was renting the ground from the family with son Ron doing the farming on a custom basis.
Ron and his wife Jody continue to rent the ground from the family.
When Ron was still in school his grandfather Ralph would pick him up from school early and take Ron home to do farm work.
“Grandpa would take me fishing,” said Ron Collins. “Great memories.”