Tricounty News

Maine Prairie farmer has interesting way of telling story of success by hard work

The next spring, I got work on another grading contract at $1.25 a day, and later this was increased to $1.50. The following fall, I had saved enough money to pay the ocean and railway travel for my brother-in-law to America, amounting to $70.

I continued to work for four years in St. Paul, and saved $435 with which I bought 40 acres of timber land seven miles northeast of Sauk Rapids, for which I paid $14.50 per acre, paying $80 down and $100 on time. I bought a team, a wagon and sled, and my money was gone. I then had only to depend on my wood, for this was my only source of income. I was 10 miles from the market at St. Cloud, and received $1 a cord for softwood, and $1.75 for hard wood, and many times the roads were almost impassable, but I had to keep busy to make my living. I kept this place for four years, and sold it to my parents for $10 an acre, then bought another 160 acres of timber tract close by at $3 per acre. Besides this, I rented 80, with 40 acres under plow, all new land.

It was now that I started to make a little money. I built a nice, fair house and barn, and kept the place for five years, disposing of it for $3,200. I then purchased another place seven miles from Sauk Rapids, for which I paid $3,500 – $3,300 cash and the balance on time. Wheat was bringing between 60 and 80 cents per bushel, and conditions were more favorable. So two years later, I saved enough money to buy another 80-acre tract for which I paid $1,900. This land was exceptionally adapted to stock raising, so I went into this business, and from that time I have always kept between 30 and 40 cows and lots of young stock. Within two years, I had increased this farm to 400 acres. In 1913, I bought another tract of good improved farm land covering 320 acres adjoining my other land, so that I have altogether 720 acres.

Here I kept from 125 to 135 head of cattle, and a number of horses and many hogs. If you know anything about farming, you know the time it requires to carry on such a business, and so in 1920, I had almost decided to sell my holdings, go to the city and retire, but I changed my mind and bought another farm in Maine Prairie Township, paying therefore $42,000. It was good land but carried poor buildings. So I went to work to replace them. I built a splendid nine-room, all-modern house with electric lights, heating plant, running water in the barn, and other conveniences. In 1926, I had to take my Benton County farm back, so I now own 480 acres of improved farm land over there, and 555 acres of improved land in Stearns County, all free from debt, equipped with machinery for efficiently conducting the farm, plenty of livestock and some money besides. I would like to give this advice to everyone who has an ambition to get to the top: work hard, save hard, and pray. If you follow this advice, you won’t have to kick about hard times.”

Fred Marklowitz owns 1035 acres of improved farming land, equipped with three sets of modern farm buildings. He has 60 head of cattle, 12 horses, 40 hogs, owns his own truck, tractor and threshing machine, and owes no man in the world a single dollar. This is the reward of honest toil.

Text from The Daily Journal-Press, St. Cloud March 20, 1928.

* * * * * * *

Congratulations to all our door prize winners during the 32nd annual Kimball Days. Wrapping up a memory, the winners’ circle: Lincoln coins-Joe Hendricks, Lincoln Legacy coins-Chuck Sterling, note cars-Edna Young, coffee mugs-Judy Anderson, trivet-Ned Root, cookbook, Cheri Antl, Centennial map-Jan Schmitz, Maine Prairie History Book-Angela Nohava.

Huge thanks to all our volunteers and visitors for another successful Kimball Days supper and special event exhibit “Main Street Memories” and “Magnus Johnson’s Story.” We’re so glad you came. What will we think of next?

Watch for the next special event at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 24, at
Kimball’s historic city hall with Minnesota State Capitol Site manager Brian Pease presenting “Building a State and State House,” you’ve never heard before. Everyone’s invited, there is no charge, refreshments are provided. And in October, a special visitor from the past presents a trip down memory lane. More details are here every two weeks.

You’re invited to new or renewed membership, saving your stories and hotos for our growing collection, or to pick up some popular souvenirs that make great gifts for everyone including yourself. We can be reached at the Kimball Area Historical Society, Box 55, Kimball MN 55353, or phone (320) 398-5250, or 5743, or e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , and don’t forget, we’re also on Facebook. We have All-School-Reunion Yearbooks again, if you still need one or know someone who does.

* * * * * * *

Indexing begins again Monday, Sept. 9.