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The speaker is a 54-year-old White woman with a high school education from Versailles, Missouri; she was recorded in 1969.


County: Morgan
State: MO

Located in central Missouri, Versailles is now a city of under 3,000 people and is the county seat of Morgan County. Originally a farming community, the landscape of prairie farmland was well suited for grain cultivation and livestock. In this segment the speaker tells the story of her family's successful dairy farm.
Inf: Well, it was in uh, 1938, when we first started. And um, at first uh, well we really didn't start it as a dairy, did we? There just a few of the neighbors wanted milk. See we had these nice milk cows. And uh, so we just started uh, letting some of the neighbors have milk, bottle or two at a time. And then pretty soon they would tell someone else what good milk we had, 'cause it was real rich, you know. Had about half cream, on a bottle. And uh, then that, then this other person would call us up and ask if they could get milk. And that's really the way we started. And just kept increasing and increasing and finally we had to get a regular delivery truck.

And uh, first we just had, you know, just did it in the kitchen. I mean we had a, it was, we had a big large kitchen then and we just bottled it in the one part of the kitchen [FW: Hmm]. Then it kept getting larger all the time 'til we had to build a regular milk house. And uh, sold that, and that was really the way it started.

And then our business just kept increasing and finally had to buy more cows. And uh, our daughter was home then. She helped [FW: Mm-hmm] us with it. And his dad was still living and they were partners in the dairy. And then his dad had a stroke and got to where he, he'd go up to the barn and just sorta help a little bit, but he got to where he couldn't work very much. And so it just kept going on and on through the years. We, we put our daughter through college and then she got her master's degree and then when we were just here alone then, why we decided we didn't need it and, and then besides that, the price of everything had got so high, you know, we uh [FW: Yeah, yeah]. Bottles kept coming up and all the um, equipment that we had to use, the price just kept raising and when we finally decided we were, just weren't making too much money with it, and then he decided his health wasn't so well, and so we just decided we'd quit.

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