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The speaker is an 82-year-old White woman with a grade school education from Mahomet, Illinois; she was recorded in 1967.

County: Champaign
State: IL

Today functioning as a "bedroom community" for Champaign/Urbana, about ten miles away and home of the University of Illinois, Mahomet in east central Illinois was originally settled on the plains of Illinois as an agricultural community. The speaker relates experiences of growing up on a farm outside of Mahomet.
Inf: Well, um, my uh grandfather owned about a thousand acres of land out two miles east of town here, and when he passed away, he uh left it to his different children, from eighty to a hundred and sixty apiece, and uh so then uh, I was born and raised right in the middle of his farm. Uh, my father had six hundred and forty acres.

And uh, as I grew up, why, we used to have uh, lots of sheep and cattle, and, and uh, got the water by uh, the windmill, finally had a windmill, and when the wind wouldn't blow, we'd have to pump water for the cattle. And, and had the, as much as eighty acres in the pasture, and have it full of sheep, fifty to a hundred head of sheep with little lambs. And I used to walk the uh, pastures with my dad when the spring came, the little lambs'd be way across the pasture, and you'd pick up the little lamb to get the mother to come, an', but you had to set it down ever' little bit because, 'cause she'd go back to where the, where it was born, and uh, it'd sometimes take quite a while to get uh a sheep and its lamb from the far corner of the pasture, to the fold.

And uh all of those things uh, and then uh in the those days I uh, the uh ground squirrels were so bad, and they'd take the crops, take the corn. And uh I don't know, my uh younger brother and I used to have a lot of fun, um, uh catching ground squirrels. And they'd uh, my dad'd offer so much a head for every ground squirrel. And we'd go out and just hunt ground squirrels, you know, just that's where they'd put in their time.

FW: How would you catch them?

Inf: Uh, well, they'd uh have, they'd have the, the hole and they'd put a, a string with a slip knot on it, an' put it over the hole, and get way off, and they'd come out an' stand up straight, you know, and then you could throw . . . . It doesn't seem possible (laughing), but it was quite a, uh, quite a lot of fun, then you'd drown 'em out. I had a brother uh four years older than I. We used to lay-, after I'd get grown, I realized that uh he'd say, "Well, I'll watch the hole, you carry the water." And, I didn't know any better. I thought I was so proud to get to go with him, well, 'cause he was four years older, you know. I didn't know any better than to carry the water.

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