Honoring mom and dad
STRATFORD – Although a little behind in receiving their Century Farm award, for Doris Andersen and her brother Dennis Anderson, that is not a reflection on the pride they have of owning the farm that has been in their family for 121 years.
“We have had the farm since 1988, I have always thought about this Century Farm thing, and Doris got the abstract and we tried to look at it and figure it out, but we gave up on the idea years ago,” said Dennis Anderson.
It was the help from a friend that finally led them to being officially awarded as a Century Farm.
“We are glad to have the Century Farm award because we won’t be here in another 30 years to get the Heritage Farm award,” said Dennis Anderson. “It’s up to the next generation.”
Dennis Anderson said he knows their father, Charles Anderson would want the farm to stay in the family and the Century Farm award helps to honor him and their mother, Hannah Anderson.
Doris Andersen said she considers it special her son John Andersen is now the fifth generation to farm the land with the help of his sons, Michael and Steven Andersen now the sixth generation to farm.
“It’s not too many people that have the sixth generation farming on the farm,” she said.
“It’s nice to be able to carry on the tradition, like mom said, there isn’t that many multiple generations on the same place anymore,” said John Andersen.
The farm was brought into the Anderson family in 1899 by Olaf and Brita Wistrom, Doris Andersen and Dennis Anderson’s great-grandparents when they immigrated from Sweden.
The 300 acres was eventually split between their daughters, one being Ellen Magnuson who was married to Harry Magnuson — Doris Andersen and Dennis Anderson’s grandparents.
Harry and Ellen Magnuson chose to not farm the ground, but resided on the there. That has been the only time a member of the family has not farmed the family’s ground.
Their daughter, Hannah and her husband Charles Anderson were the third generation to take over the farm. This acquisition happened in the early- to mid-1960s. Charles Anderson had been farming some prior, but eventually joined forces with his son-in-law, Ivan Andersen- a partnership that continued until Charles Anderson retired.
Doris Andersen said her father, Charles Anderson was a jack of all trades, working as electrician alongside his brother Roy Andersen, a master electrician. The two brothers worked the countryside from 1940 to 1942 pre-wiring houses and farmsteads for electricity, so when the REC came in, electricity was easily accessible.
Beekeeping was a big entity for the Charles Anderson family. Doris Andersen recalls their family having a honey extractor in the upstairs of their home. They sold the honey locally and also to the Sioux Bee Honey Association in Sioux City.
The Anderson family farm has always been passed down through the generation with no monetary purchases for the land changing hands until recently when Doris Andersen’s grandson, Steven Andersen purchased 10 acres of the timber ground with hopes to build a home on the land someday.
“That is the first time since 1899 that any money has been exchanged for the farm,” said Doris Andersen. “It has always been handed down.”
John Andersen said this may be the first exchange of money for the land, but it’s not the first dream of someone in the family living there.
“Our dad wanted to build a house there and never did. I thought I would, but didn’t. Steven is starting the process. After three generations, it might actually happen,” he said.