"Our Friends on the Acres"
Mr. & Mrs. Rudolph C. Bugenhagen
Four and a half miles northeast of Postville lies the farm of Mr. and Mrs. Rudolph C. Bugenhagen, who have been identified with farming in this vicinity for many years. Mr. Bugenhagen has been located on the property for 38 years, but he must take a back seat in the matter of consecutive years of residence on the farm as Mrs. Bugenhagen has lived there over 50 years.
Mr. Bugenhagen, butter known as Rudy, was born in Germany on April 25, 1882, the son of Mr. and Mrs. Carl (Charles) Bugenhagen. When he was two years old he was brought to this country by his parents, settling at Garnavillo, where his two half brothers, Herman and Carl Ginapp, were then living. Two years later the Bugenhagens moved to Farmersburg. Rudy Bugenhagen attended rural school near his home, working in the summer on the farm and going to the school during the winter months.
Mrs. Bugenhagen was the former Miss Mathilda Krambeer, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. John Krambeer. She was born on December 10, 1882, at Hardin, where she lived until the spring of 1890. Her father at that time purchased 300 acres of property in Post township from the large Dave Jameson farm, which was being split up into a number of farms. This property has been the home of Mrs. Bugenhagen ever since. In her youth she attended school, first at the Hardin school, and later in the West Grove school in Post township near her home.
On December 10, 1902 (on her birthday) she was married to Mr. Bugenhagen, the ceremony being performed in the home of the bride's parents. After the marriage Mrs. Bugenhagen's parents returned to Postville and the newly-weds took over the farm. For three years they rented the place, then in 1906 they purchased 150 acres of the farm. Mrs. Bugenhagen's brother, John Krambeer, bought the south half of the property which consisted of 150 acres. Mr. Krambeer built a house and put up other farm buildings on his 150 acres and Mr. and Mrs. John Krambeer, Sr., left Postville and went back to the farm. They lived on the place for several years and when it was sold to Carl Letchford, the Krambeers moved to Monona. Today this farm is occupied by Louis Benjegerdes.
Mr. and Mrs. Bugenhagen improved their property in the following years. In 1919 the old house was torn down and a new house, 30X30 feet, was erected. Parts of the old house were then moved to new locations. One section is now used as a garage and another is a tool shed. Their home is strictly modern. Until last February they had their own light plant, but when the REA line was erected, the Bugenhagens joined the program and now receive electricity without the bother of operating machinery. Among other buildings to be erected on the property in the succeeding years were a hog house, chicken house, silo, corn crib, etc. An old granary is still on the place, which was moved to the property before Mrs. Bugenhagen's family settled there. "We always thougt that it was used as a home somewhere on this land by the Jamesons," she said.
Mr. and Mrs. Bugenhagen are the parents of two sons, Arno and Lloyd, of Luana, and one daughter, Gertrude (Mrs. Virgil Kaiser) of Monona. Mr. Bugenhagen has two brothers, Will of Luana and Henry of Cresco, and three sisters, Mrs. Will Landt of Luana, Mrs. Marie Lubbers of Postville, Mrs. Anna Eberling of Cresco. Mrs. Bugenhagen has three sisters, Mrs. H.C. Meyer and Mrs. Vern Zieman of Postville and a brother, John Krambeer of near Luana.
Mr. Bugenhagen planted 25 acres of corn last spring and was finishing the job of husking it last week-end. "It's not quite as good as it was last years," he remarked, "but it will probably go about 65 bushels to the acre. One field of 14 acres was exceptionally good - probably yielding 85 to 90 bushels to the acre. In the fall of 1938 we plowed under alfalfa which was on the 14 acres and a year ago planted corn on this land. The corn crop on the 14 acres was exceptionally good in 1939 and almost as good this year. Ten acres were devoted to alfalfa this year and in three cuttings the ground yielded 51 loads. Only half of the alfalfa was cut during the third cutting and half was left for pasture. "Our oats were pretty good last summer," Mr. Bugenhagen stated. "We had 25 acres and realized over sixty bushels to the acre. No, the rain didn't hurt the oats at all during the heavy July rains. We capped all the shocks and at threshing time the oats weren't even discolored. That goes to show that it pays to cap the shocks." Of seven acres of soy beans, two acres were combined and the soy beans off the remaining five acres were then stacked.
The Bugenhagens have 12 milch cows, 8 two-year-old heifers, 9 yearsling heifer claves, 4 horses and 48 hogs. They recently sold 62 hogs so their stock is a little lower than usual at the present time. Mrs. Bugenhagen cares for a large flock of chickens. she has 100 old hens and 150 pullets, most of them of the white Leghorn breed. "We have a tractor to do most of the real heavy work," Mr. Bugenhagen remarked, "and have been busy running it of late. We just completed our fall plowing, working 40 acres of ground." He is assisted in the farm work by Bill Brainard.
Mrs. Bugenhagen spent considerable time this year with her flower bed, which is along the walk leading to the kitchen door. although it is now November, she has morning glories and petunias still in bloom. "The heaviest frost which occurred in the Postville vicinity in October, seemed to miss the high ridge on which our land is located." she said. Although the flowers are not as beautiful now as they were a month ago, it is easy to see that Mrs. Bugenhagen has given the flowers her constant attention during the summer.
The Bugenhagen farm buildings are in good repair and a visit to the farm is all that is needed to learn why Mr. Bugenhagen is considered to be one of the best farmers in this vicinity.
~Postville Herald, November 6, 1940
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