Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Tales From an Account Book

   A few months ago I received a couple of simple account books that my parents used on their small farm. I've found some interesting things about their early life  with a young family. 

   One of the items I found that gave me pause for thought, was an entry for a $100.00 war bond. They had actually bought a War Bond or a Victory Bond! I stopped to think about that for a few minutes. At that time they had very little money. They had to operate a small farm that didn't produce much. They had the responsibility of 4 young children. They had 160 acres of land and rented 160 acres. Not all of the land had been cleared. Where would they ever get a $100.00 to invest in a War Bond? There must have been some dedication and sacrifice to scrape up the money to invest in a bond. I began to see how patriotic they must have been to support the war effort with their small investment.

   At the time they invested in the bond they would have had no savings. Little was produced on their farm and prices for their produce was low. 

    For the rest of their farming days they never had any savings. In fact, to run a farm they were in debt most of the time. Their retirement nest egg came from selling some of their farm. The astounding thing is that they gave most of their land to their sons! 

     For most of their life they had very little but they were happy with the life they lived. They worried some times and were stressed at other times , but overall they were happy.

    So I guess the saying, "You can do a lot with a little" made sense in that case.

38 comments:

  1. The rally to buy bonds was pretty strong. I bet you can hear a voice of them reading these.

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    1. There was a constant campaign to raise funds for the war effort.

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  2. you spoke of seeing the sprawling prairie . Here it was 87 percent in the late 1800's and now less than 1 percent. That is why I push to restore and reclaim areas. I have done this for over 20 years.

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    1. I wish you success in establishing more natural areas.

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  3. Wonderful blog report - I do believe that people back them
    were far less stressed and far happier than people of today.
    Good for your Mum and Dad - you should be very proud.

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    1. They wee satisfied with less as they hadn't seen life with much more.

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  4. Maybe they felt the threat of war and wanted to contribute to do something.

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    1. In this country they were far away from the action but they had many friends and family who were in the forces.

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  5. We need so little to make us happy. I think people understood the value of things back then. Now it seems to be based on accumulation of things, activities, friends, money.

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    1. I like your first sentence. It's very true.

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  6. It makes me realise how fortunate I am.

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    1. My Dad would have agreed with your view.

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  7. I'd prefer that "kind of happy" Red. I remember how "poor" my folks were, but we were one happy family in a small house. I have recently been watching the new season of "Bomb Girls" and saw how strong the rally was to buy bonds, and of course have read a fair amount of past history of bonds. $100 way back then on your parents farm was a heck of a lot of money - it seems to me that the poorer you are, the bigger your heart is - that hasn't changed much over the years in the "goodness" i see about me. Have a wonderful day Red.





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    1. I believe you're right. the less we have the more generous we are. Hey, I wasn't called Sir Red today? "I don't get no respect!"

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  8. $100 seems like a large investment for the time. It's amazing how frugal and dedicated they must have been!

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    1. Very few people realize that this was a large amount of money for them at the time.

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  9. I wonder what the modern day equivalent of their $100 would have been??

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    1. Very good question. I know that it was a large sum for them at the time.

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  10. I'm wondering if the War Bond was like buying a Savings Bond - which I remember could be done for half the face value: $50, but wold be worth the $100 at maturity. Just curious.

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    1. I'm quite sure it had some scheme like that. I know they contributed in small amounts.

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  11. Perhaps they got some sort of inheritance and invested it, if they saved that amount of money then they were real savers!! $100 was a lot of money back in the day:)

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    1. No inheritance for these two. Both sides of the family were immigrants and had not established themselves at that time.

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  12. thanks for this peek into your parents' life. farming is difficult.

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    1. Farming has always been difficult, but a satisfying life.

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  13. $100 was quite a bit of money back then. It must have taken quite a bit of sacrifice on their end.

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    1. I think they paid so much a month so it was not that hard but the total accumulation took away from their overall operation.

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  14. Oh to be able to ask questions. When my Dad died we found a life insurance policy my Dad had bought for me. I was astounded but knew he thought it was the right thing to do even though at that time he was a laborer and making little money. I suspect your parents felt buying a bond was also the right thing to do.

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    1. I agree with Carletta. There are so many questions I have for my parents now!

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  15. Different times. A great and necessary cause. Much sacrifice. The greatest generation....:)

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    1. The sacrifice is difficult for me to understand.

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  16. Boy we could sure learn a lot from our parents and grandparents... Less IS more...

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    1. They didn't have all the marketing thrown at them to make them want more.

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  17. In the whole scheme of things, this wasn't very long ago at all.. and yet so very much has changed for most of us. What hasn't changed is how people work hard for their children's benefit. Clearly, they wanted you and your brothers to have the fruits of their labour.

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    1. Yes, they wanted better things for us and their management achieved that. However, you know that we lived in the best of times economically.

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  18. A great post! I would have loved your parents. I think about how much is wasted in this country.

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    1. Good point about the waste. It's tragic.

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  19. Those where the days when people did not have the great sense of ‘entitlement’ that so many have today.

    What you had you had worked for and you felt happy if you had just a little more than you needed to survive.

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  20. Thanks for dropping by Hiawatha House. I guess there were not quite so many options that would make us envious of something.

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