19-year-old Helena Muffly wrote exactly 100 years ago today:
Wednesday, September 16, 1914: Born to Mollie, a son, and he’s a big one. While Mollie is very proud of him, I am still prouder, for he belongs to me. This is the fourth calf of Mollie’s family. The others are dead. Snapped a picture of Ruth’s school this morning.
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.
This was the fourth year in a row that Mollie had a male calf.
On November 20, 1913, Grandma wrote:
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?
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. . .
And, on August 21, 1911, she wrote:
. . . I have decided to name Mollie’s calf Wobbly as he is rather weak in his legs, but he’ll get stronger bye and bye.
It’s surprising that Mollie’s had no female calves. I’m a little foggy on how you calculate the probability, but I think that there is only a 1 out of 16 chance of this occurring.