Cerro Gordo County Iowa
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The Edel Family

The Globe Gazette NORTH IOWA FARMER
Mason City, Cerro Gordo County, Iowa
Wednesday, April 16, 1941, Page 1

Mr. and Mrs. Charles Edel,
Their FARM and FAMILY
No. 4 in a Series on Life of Typical North Iowa Farmers

In the picture above is a view of the farm just south of Mason City which Charles Edel has operate for the past eight years. In the foreground are two pine trees which shade the front yard, and behind is the farm lot with silo and barns. In the pasture at left - where the younger children like to play in the summertime - is a large grove of maple and elm trees. (Lock photo, Kayenay engraving.)

Edel Cattle Are Champs for 3 Years

By JOHN E. VAN DER LINDEN

Farm and family - these have been the two dominating factors in the lives of Mr. and Mrs. Charles Edel of Mason City, just as they have been for thousands of other farmers in North Iowa for more than a hundred years.

And - just as has been true in every other case - this typical rural couple has found that farm and family are not really two separate features of their lives, but rather one all-inclusive unit, one goal demanding unceasing effort and co-operation for its attainment.

* * *

Farm must support family. Every acre, every animal, every piece of equipment must be utilized to the fullest advantage if family is to be successful.

Conversely, family must support farm. This corollary is just as axiomatic as any mathematical statement of fact. Every member must work together with every other if the farm is to be successful.

The only difference between the Edels and many other farmers is that hard work and maybe a bit of extra luck have combined to give them the sort of farm and family that may well be the envy of others.

* * *

It couldn't have been anything but hard work, shrewdness and genuine skill in the business of farming that gave Charles Edel the champion dairy herd in Cerro Gordo county the past three years.

And he and Mrs. Edel feel that they're more than a little lucky to have such a family as they've raised in their 19 years as Cerro Gordo county farmers - eight girls and two boys ranging in age from two to the twenties, all healthy, happy examples of the youth that is the backbone of America today.

Stories describing this farm and family will be found within this issue of the North Iowa Farmer.

Above is a picture of the Edel family itself, gathered around the dining room table in the evening. They are, left to right, Mrs. Edel, Shirley, Clair, Esther, Mr. Edel, and on his lap, Karen. (Lock photo, Kayenay engraving.)

~ ~ ~ ~

The Globe Gazette NORTH IOWA FARMER
Mason City, Cerro Gordo County, Iowa
Wednesday, April 16, 1941, Page 3

FARM and FAMILY
Edel Herd Is Champ Producer

  It hasn't been by accident that Charles Edel's herd of registered Holstein cattle have proven the best producing dairy herd in Cerro Gordo county for the past three years, with average butterfat records of 429, 437 and 424 pounds per animal.

The sleek black and white cattle pictured above live in a barn that is kept spick and span - cleaned two or three times every day and limed daily. Expert management, modern methods and hard work have paid big dividends.

Some of the cows give as much as eight gallons of milk daily, and throughout the year between 80 and 100 gallons of milk leaves the Edel place every day, going entirely to the pickup trade from nearby Mason City. (Lock photo, Kayenay engraving.)

Mr. Edel has handled Holstein cattle for 20 years, 17 of those years in Cerro Gordo county. he's a longtime member of the County Cow Testing association, and doesn't see how any dairyman can afford not belonging.

"It's the records that tell the story of production," he says. "There's no other way for a farmer to know precisely what sort of work his animals are doing, and with adequate information about performance and yield he can make the decisions that mean better success and bigger profits."

* * *

At the present time Mr. Edel is a director of the CTA and vice-president of the Holstein [illegible] association. For several years he was president of the latter group.

His two best cattle are Marathon Pearl Ormsby and Marathon Bergsma Ormsby, whose butterfat production last year was 556 pounds and 550 pounds, respectively.

His prize bull is named ir Ona Aaggie Pontiac, weighs between 17 and 18 hundred pounds and - still young - will eventually tip the scales at more than a ton. That's the daddy of the champion Edel herd.

He sells his bulls and some cows; there always seems to be a ready market for quality purebred stock, he has found. Already this year such sales have netted him $950. The biggest single sale, one 3 year old cow with calf, was for $335. Last year she produced 457.

* * *

The Edel herd numbers right around 40 most of the time. Unlike many dairymen who have the big part of their herds come fresh all at once, Charles Edel keeps 16 milking throughout the year in order that the steady production will keep his market supplied continually.

* * *

Thus his production at certain seasons isn't as high as that of some other producers, but throughout a year's time he ranks at the top of the cow testing association.

Mr. Edel has been a member of the association continually except for a few mid-depression years; he's one of 26 members in the county.

Ed Norris, the cow tester, tours the farms of the county on a regular schedule, spending one day a month at each of the member farms. His day of cal at each specific farm varies over about a week so that none will know precisely when the inspector will be around.

* * *

"One of the most important things in handling a dairy herd is regularity," according to Mr. Edel. "You just have to be on time. We milk twice daily, at 5 in the morning and at 5 in the evening."

* * *

His son, Clair, takes charge of milking now that he's out of high school. Two milking units are used, and the 19-year-old boy does the job in about 45 minutes. Of course, the teats much be washed carefully and the stalls cleaned out each milking also.

Although Mr. Edel does some other farming, the dairy herd is the big item on the place. "I like Holstein cattle - they are economical and big producers." he says. "And I stick to cattle - I've never lost money on them like I have on hogs when prices run riot."

~ ~ ~ ~

The Globe Gazette NORTH IOWA FARMER
Mason City, Cerro Gordo County, Iowa
Wednesday, April 16, 1941, Page 6

FARM and FAMILY
Tractor Speedster

There's two things Clair Edel likes especially about working on his dad's farm - one is driving the tractor, the other, he jokingly confides, is "taking a nap when I'm not working." He handles this new 1941 job with the same dexterity as a skilled racer handles his streamlined speedster. Not only does he handle duties with the tractor at home; he also does custom combining in the neighborhood. One of these days he may go off to college. His older brother, Elmer, is scheduled to graduate at Iowa this spring, and reports say he is the ace student in the mathematics deport there. (Lock photo, Kayenay engraving.)

~ ~ ~ ~

The Globe Gazette NORTH IOWA FARMER
Mason City, Cerro Gordo County, Iowa
Wednesday, April 16, 1941, Page 7

FARM and FAMILY
Edel Likes Good Horseflesh

Babe and Nell, Charles Edel's two grey Percheron mares, are shown above with their owner. They don't have to do much work around the farm - most of the time they just eat, sleep, exercise a bit and take life easy. But even though he has a new tractor, their boss finds them almost indispensable for certain work around the farm - sowing oats, planting corn and filling the silo. "They're nice driving, but too expensive an animal to be practical," says his son, Clair.

Edel has been pretty lucky with these two animals. He got them three years ago; now they are approaching six yeas of age. The sleek grey dappled mares together have born three colts sinc he got them - and all three were mares. That doesn't often happen.

He still has the three colts, raising them to be sold, and has two more colts in prospect this spring. Maybe they'll be girl babies, too - Charles Edel hopes. (Lock photo, Kayenay engraving.)

~ ~ ~ ~

The Globe Gazette NORTH IOWA FARMER
Mason City, Cerro Gordo County, Iowa
Wednesday, April 16, 1941, Page 9

FARM and FAMILY
Keeping House for Family of 10 Not Hard at Edels'
Efficient Kitchen, Pleasing Decoration Assist Farm Woman


By YVONNE RILEY

"Is It Cake, Mama?" At left, Mrs. Charles Edel stirs up something for dinner while little Karen, on tiptoe, vainly peers over the edge of the table to see what's brewing. Maybe it's some of her favorite chocolate cake - maybe some vegetables for stew. In this modern and convenient kitchen, Mrs. Edel prepares the meals for her family. (Lock photo, Kayenay engraving.)

Keeping house for a family of ten is a full time job for anyone, but like any other job, it seems much less difficult when it is done in pleasant surroundings. From kitchen to living room, the home of the Edels is designed for efficiency, comfort and attractiveness.

Co-operation between landlord and tenant, Mrs. Edel says, is responsible for the modernizing program which has been carried on gradually since they moved into their present home eight years ago. By doing some of the work, such as painting and papering themselves and having the rest of it done for them, they have made a modern, livable home out of the house which they estimate to be one of the oldest in the county.

* * *

Mrs. Edel's own cheerful character is reflected in the cheery brightness of her home. Walls and woodwork are light, adding tot he apparent size of the rooms. Floor length drapes, rust-colored in the living room and in shades of rust, beige and brown in the dining room, are keynotes of the color scheme.

* * *

Davenport and armchairs in more neutral brown tones provide an effective contrast while retaining the practical features necessary for a home with small children.

Also designed to withstand hard wear is the bright linoleum rug on the dining room floor. In the living room the rug is an all-over pattern in smoke brown tones.

* * *

But Mrs. Edel's pride is her kitchen, which has been done over entirely from the old fashioned work room the Edels found when they moved into their home eight years ago.

* * *

Cabinets and fixtures are all in gleaming white. Three years ago steel cabinets were installed along one wall of the room. Floor cabinets have a black table top, providing a continuous working surface. A wall cabinet provides addition cupboard space.

Conveniently placed at the end of the row of cabinets is the electric refrigerator. The modern kitchen range which replaced the old fashioned cook stove has been situated so that Mrs. Edel can go about her work with a minimum of steps. The kitchen sink, with running water, is in a small room just off the kitchen.

~ ~ ~ ~

The Globe Gazette NORTH IOWA FARMER
Mason City, Cerro Gordo County, Iowa
Wednesday, April 16, 1941, Page 10

FARM and FAMILY

Out to See "Dick?" Above, Barbara Edel smiles up, all set to mount her bike for a ride down the road. There's nothing she likes to do much better. Maybe she's off to see "Dick." Thereto hangs a tale. Naturally, the younger girls have heard their older sisters talk about their "boy friends." Not to be outdone, some time ago Barbara began talking about her own beau - an imaginary one named "Dick Hougis." Mrs. Edel says she has no idea where the name originally came from. At any rate, there it was. After a while Dick began to disappear from Barbara's life, but quite unexpectedly he has bobbed up again. Now, it seems he is Karen's boy friend. (Lock photo, Kayenay engraving.)

~ ~ ~ ~

The Globe Gazette NORTH IOWA FARMER
Mason City, Cerro Gordo County, Iowa
Wednesday, April 16, 1941, Page 12

FARM and FAMILY
Chickens - The Woman's Job

Little Karen Edel takes a look inside one of the three brooder houses on the Edel farm which house 750 White Rock chicks. Now it is her mother and older sisters who look after the chickens, with the help of brother Clair for the heavier work, but one of these days she'll be old enough to do it herself. (Lock photo, Kayenay engraving.)

750 Chicks on Edel's Farm;
Find Sorgo Is Good Feed
There's More Than Cows on This Leading Dairy Farm of County

There's more than cows on the Charles Edel farm, even though they have a champion herd. The men work at raising corn, oats, soybeans, clover and flax, and in the province of the women com the chickens.

Mrs. Edel cares for the 300 White Leghorn hens and recently 750 White Rock chicks were added. They'll be fattened and sold to the trade from town, much like Mr. Edel's milk.

* * *

There are three brooder houses on the farm; Mr. Edel added one this year and is trying out both electrically and distillate headed units.

* * *

It looks as though the Edels - and many other North Iowa farmers - may get some crops in a bit late, they observed last week, because it is so wet.

Last year they put 65 acres in corn, 58 in oats, 35 in soybeans, 20 in clover, 11 in flax, and some in Atlas sorgo.

In all there are 240 acres. The farm is owned by the Mason City Brick and Tile company.

* * *

Mr. Edel has been feeding Atlas sorgo since he's been in the soil conservation program, and finds it quite satisfactory, although "As far as feed goes there's nothing to beat corn silage." One advantage of the sorgo is its large yield per acre.

* * *

His cattle get a ration of two pounds of corn and cob to one pound of oats plus a dairy supplement for protein.

There's plenty of corn on the farm - 3,000 bushels under seal but 4,000 not sealed. He had the same trouble with his corn last fall that fell to many North Iowans - the wet full season didn't allow the corn to dry out enough to meet AAA specifications.

Mr. Edel is spending his first year now as a township AAA committeeman, and has been working for better participation in his part of the county. He expects a better signup this year than last from all current indications.

~ ~ ~ ~

The Globe Gazette NORTH IOWA FARMER
Mason City, Cerro Gordo County, Iowa
Wednesday, April 16, 1941, Page 14

FARM and FAMILY
Fun for Rainy Afternoons

Esther Edel likes to sit down at the dining room table when she has an extra hour and work with her beads. Above, she's weaving them into what may eventually be a wristlet, a headband, or some other trinket. Little Karen, only 3, watches as her slim, blond eleven-year-old sister works away. But she's still interested in that big rubber ball, too. (Lock photo, Kayenay engraving.)

There are eight girls in the Edel family and only two boys, so there have always been plenty of little hands to keep mother wash the dishes and dust the furniture. They all divide up the work so that there isn't too big a load for anyone.

Alice, the oldest, works at the First National bank in Mason City, and is to be married soon. Next oldest child is Elmer, "Bud," who will be graduated from the University of Iowa this coming June.

Louise works at the office of the Mason City Production Credit association - combining her secretarial training with her knowledge of life in the country.

Clair - the second boy - has been working on the farm with his dad the past two years since he was graduated from Mason City high school. He's still thinking of going to college at Iowa City, but he likes farming fine, too.

Irene, the next younger girl in the family, just this year started working at the Standard Oil company office in Mason City, following the footsteps of her older sisters.

The rest of the family, all girls, are still at home. They are Esther, 11; Shirley, 9; Barbara 5; and Karen, 3.

* * *

Like any other children, they have their pets - three cats, who also do double duty by keeping the place free of rodents. But the beautiful horses, the soft-eyed cattle, the cute little piggies and the tiny yellow chicks are just as much fun as any pets they could possibly have.

The whole family is healthy and happy - twelve perfect demonstrations of the clean, strong bodies and minds are the result of life on a midwestern farm.

~ ~ ~ ~

FARM and FAMILY
They're $9 a Hundred

The Globe Gazette NORTH IOWA FARMER
Mason City, Cerro Gordo County, Iowa
Wednesday, April 16, 1941, Page 15

Here's a rural mother and three of her children, peering out of the door of their own little house on the Charles Edel farm south of Mason City. The mother is one of the two purebred Poland China sows Mr. Edel bought this year. Although he ordinarily doesn't go so strong for hogs, he plans to raise at least a hundred this year.

"With the government guaranteeing a price of $9 a hundredweight you can't go wrong," he said. At the present time he also has three Hampshire sows which have been bred to Berkshire boars. (Lock photo, Kayenay engraving.)

~ ~ ~ ~

The Globe Gazette NORTH IOWA FARMER
Mason City, Cerro Gordo County, Iowa
Wednesday, April 16, 1941, Page 16

FARM and FAMILY
Mrs. Edel Uses Six Quarts of Milk Each Day for Meals

Favorite Recipes Include Chocolate Cakes and Cookies

Meals for 11 or 12 persons are the daily problems which face Mrs. Edel - and she does a good job of facing them, to judge by her healthy family, which has been troubled little by sickness and has seen the inside of a hospital only on visits to less fortunate friends.

Every member of the family likes milk, so Mrs. Edel finds it necessary to use from six to eight quarts a day for cooking and drinking. And what could be more fitting, when dairy farming is the Edels' business?

When asked for their favorite dish, the younger Edels chorused "vegetable stew!" To make her savory stew, Mrs. Edel cuts two pounds of round steak in small cube and browns it in butter. To this she adds a small amount of water and vegetable which are in season, and lets them simmer till all are done. Preferred vegetables in her family are carrots, peas, lima beans, onions and potatoes.

A favorite dessert in the Edel family is chocolate cake. To the farm woman time is important, so Mrs. Edel uses a chocolate cake recipe by which she can put all the ingredients in the bowl at one time, dispensing with time-losing mixing and adding.

Chocolate Cake

1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup soft shortening
2 eggs
1 cup sour milk
2 cups flour
6 level tablespoons cocoa
1/2 cup hot water
Rounding teaspoon soda

Put all ingredients except water and soda in the mixing bowl and beat thoroughly. Then add water and soda. Bake in a moderate oven for 30 minutes; if using layer pans, longer if using a loaf pan. This recipe makes two large layers.

Marshmallow Icing

2 egg whites
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons light syrup
4 tablespoons water

Put ingredients on a double boiler over hot water; beat till frosting stands up in peaks. Then, add 15 marshmallows cut in small pieces. Icing made this way will stay soft as long as the cake lasts.

* * *

For lunches and between meals, the Edel family goes for chocolate chunk cookies.

1/3 cup butter
3/4 cup white sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon soda
2 tablespoons hot water
2 1/4 cups flour
1/2 cup nutmeats
1/2 cup sweet chocolate, broken in small pieces

Cream butter and sugar. Add eggs and beat well. Add vanilla and soda dissolved in hot water. Then add flour, stirring well, and fold in nutmeats and chocolate. Bake in moderately hot oven.

Transcription by Sharon R. Becker, March of 2013

 

 

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