Cerro Gordo County Iowa
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The Globe Gazette
Mason City, Cerro Gordo County, Iowa
Wednesday, February 19, 1941, Page 1

McLaughlins Example of Big U.S. Plan

Still determined master of its fate after a long decade of depression which forced it from the old farm home and nearly drove its members out of the profession of agriculture, the John "Bud" McLaughlin family is now buying a new "family size' farm.

The story of the McLaughlins, "the Six Macs," is a saga of modern agriculture - it is a living picturization (sic) of man's triumphs over the dislocations of a worldwide depression. It is the story of hundreds of North Iowa farm tenants now starting in for themselves on new, smaller farms.

Viewed by the economist and sociologist, this move toward ownership of farms, an effort to reverse the trend of decades, is one of the most salutatory developments of our times. A family living on a farm owned or in process of purchase becomes more permanently established in a community as a great asset.

* * *

The McLaughlin history is typical of the scores of families which, with the help of the farm security administration's tenant purchase plan, are employing hard work and determined effort to chisel a useful niche in the rural community for themselves - by buying a small farm and making it pay.

* * *

"Bud" McLaughlin is a typical farm-loving farmer. He, his wife and his family have never lived any place other than in a rural farm home. Once they operated half a section. Now they are buying 80 acres. But "Bud" feels that he is a pioneer.

"I'm going to prove that a family can take a small piece of land and make a good living on it," he says.

Just a year ago the McLaughlin family moved onto the P. L. Peterson farm, a mile north and a mile west of Swaledale. And, now, after years of passing from farm to farm as tenants, after years of paying rent and having little surplus left for the month s of hard work, the six McLaughlins have procured a loan under the tenant purchase act and are buying the Peterson 80.

* * *

At night as they gather around the dining room table with its red and white plaid cloth, they listen to the radio and play chinker checks. In between moves Mrs. McLaughlin glances around the room at the plants which crowd the windows and smiles, dreaming of the new hen-house which is in the offing, of the built-in cupboards which will make her kitchen a joy.

"Bud" himself scratches his head at the last threatening move across the board by his daughter, Dorothy, jumps across the board with one of his red marbles and wonders how much butterfat his eight grade Guernseys will give the next day. It won't be long until the cattle will have a completely remodeled home of their own in the barn southwest of the house.

* * *

Laverne is too engrossed in the game to be worrying about next summer, but when Old Sol lengthens the days again the 13 year old lad and his 9 year old twin brothers, Loras and Loren, will once again play in the shade of the fast-growing softwoods that are rapidly giving more shade to the farm yard.

In later years they will come home from school each day to admire the dense, straight elms which are growing under the wind of the earlier cottonwoods.

And out in the yard the dog, Shep, the cats and the stock don't know what's in store for them, but they'll find out in good time.

"Bud" McLaughlin and his quintet is on the march to the top and every man, every square yard of black Iowa loans and every animal is destined to do its part in the renaissance of a typical farm family.


  • McLaughlin to prove farmer can live on small place. Page 3.

  • Nine year old twins help with chores. Page 6.

  • 4-H club boy has time for both work and play. Page 7.

  • "The Chickens" major hobby of Mrs. McLaughlin. Page 11.

  • Women folk doing their part in farm program. Page 9.

  • What McLaughlins do for recreation. Page 3.

    ~ ~ ~ ~

    NOTE: The Farm Security Administration (FSA) was created as the Resettlement Administration (RA) in 1935 as part of the New Deal and was an effort during the Depression to combat nation-wide rural poverty. The FSA concentrated in improvement of lifestyles of sharecroppers, tenants and farmers who owned very poor land for productive agriculture. FSA became the Farmers Home Administration (FHA) in 1946. ~ wikipedia.org/FSA

    Funds for the Tenant Purchase Plan came from Bankhead-Jones Farm Tenant Act of 1937 and the Reconstruction Finance Corporation. The FSA provided 40-year loans at 3% interest. ~ histclo.com/agency/fsa/fsa-pro.html

    NOTE: Interred at Sacred Heart Cemetery, Rockwell, Iowa:

    John P. McLaughlin, born 24 May 1900, died 08 Oct 1989
    his wife, Erma B. McLaughlin, born 09 Dec 1898, died 07 Mar 1991
    Infant Daughter of John P. & Erma B. McLaughlin, died 07 Mar 1924
    Infant Son of John P. & Erma B. McLaughlin, died 10 Jun 1926
    Laverne McLaughlin, born 11 Jun 1927, died 13 Mar 2010
    Infant Son of Loren A. & Margaret E. McLaughlin, died 26 Apr 1961
    Joey Mark McLaughlin, son of Laverne McLaughlin, Vietnam Veteran U.S. Air Force, born 1854 1983

    Loren A. McLaughlin, born 28 Dec 1931; married 27 Sep 1955 Nargaret E., born 01 Jun 1933; Parents of Michael, Kathleen, Theresa, Patrick R., Patrick W., John, Laurie, Charles and Matthew.

    Transcription and notes by Sharon R. Becker, April of 2014



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