18-year-old Helena Muffly wrote exactly 100 years ago today:
Thursday, November 20, 1913: My Mollie’s calf over which I have been rejoicing for the past week or two on account of his bigness was sold this afternoon. He weighed 164 pounds. I had figured out a week or so ago that he would just have to weigh at least 145 pounds. Haven’t I something to be thankful for?
Her middle-aged granddaughter’s comments 100 years later:
Mollie was Grandma’s cow. I think that her parents gave each child a cow. When the cow had a male calf, the child got the money from the sale; when it was a female, their personal herd grew. (See previous post on teaching farm kids the value of money.)
This was the third year in a row that Mollie had a male calf. On December 27, 1912, Grandma wrote:
Sold Mollie’s calf today. It wasn’t a very big one and I rather feared my fortune would be pretty small, but after all it weighed one hundred and forty-four lbs. Received a neat sum of $11.56. I am real proud over what my purse that Ruth gave me contains. Over fourteen dollars.
And, on September 25, 1911 she wrote:
. . .Sold Mollie’s calf today. Weighed 145 lbs. Came to $10.87. Quite a vast sum to get all at once. Guess I’ll save it and get a watch or something as useful.
I’m keeping my fingers crossed that Mollie has a female calf in 1914. Grandma sounds pleased with the money—but it it’s about time for a girl!