Old Beet Pulp Advertisement

16-year-old Helena Muffly wrote exactly 100 years ago today: 

Saturday, August 19, 1911: Such a pleasant surprise awaited me when I came down to breakfast this morning. Mollie, my cute little heifer had a calf this morning. Wasn’t that grand? But the unromantic part about it is that I have to break her. I tried it this afternoon and found that she kicked some but not nasty. Saw my name in today’s paper about that picnic.

Her middle-aged granddaughter’s comments 100 years later:

Grandma must have owned one of the dairy cows on the Muffly farm. Mollie apparently had just had her first calf. Young cows that haven’t yet had their first calf are referred as heifers.

It can be a challenge to get young cows used to the milking process—and it sounds like Mollie was being really stubborn. At least she didn’t kick Grandma too hard.

I wonder if Mollie would be eating differently now that she’s a mother. When I was growing up on a farm many years after Grandma’s time, we often fed the milking cows a richer diet than the young stock.

Advertisement  in July, 1911 issue of Farm Journal

In the July 1911, issue of Farm Journal I found an advertisement for beet pulp. I would have guessed that a hundred years ago that dairy cows would have gotten most of their food during the summer by grazing on pastures—and that in the winter they would have eaten hay, silage, and grain raised on the farm.

I was surprised that at least some farmers were already supplementing their cows’ diets.

Name in Paper

In 1911 when people wanted to tell their friends about recent events they submitted them to the local newspaper. Apparently Grandma submitted an item about the August 16th picnic that she’d organized to the newspaper.

Next time I get into the Milton Library I’ll have to search the old microfilms of the Milton Evening Standard to see if I can find her name in the paper.

For more information about how newspapers reported even minor social events a hundred years ago, see a posting that I did last winter called Tweet ‘Tweeting’ in 1911.

6 Responses

  1. I miss those days when every picnic, dinner for guest, graduation, birthday, etc was fodder for the newspaper — and what I really hate is when I find a yellowed clipping in boxes of ancestor stuff, and ther is no date, or place. I just have to guess — or do more research. Such is the life of a searcher.

    • I miss it, too. It really gave everyone a sense of value to see their names in the paper–and it was a nice way to know about what was happening in the community. (Plus it’s a great resource for us family historians.)

  2. [...] Mollie was a cow that Grandma owned. The calf was a little over a month old. (It was born on August 19.) [...]

  3. [...] was Grandma’s cow. She had her first calf in August and it was sold two days prior to this diary entry. Grandma worried that the young cow would not [...]

  4. [...] It sounds like the kick hurt. Grandma’s cow Mollie had her first calf in August. And, Grandma had been pleased with how well Mollie adjusted to being milked, For example [...]

  5. [...] Mollie had her first calf the previous August, so probably was about 2 1/2 years old when this diary entry was written. [...]

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