Babcock, Leo

LEO BABCOCK

Elsie Babcock

In 1919 Leo married Elsie Richter and from this marriage there were four children. Long ere this, the oxen had been replaced by a snappy driving team, and five work horses. Horse farming means 4:30 rising for feeding and grooming. There were cows to fetch from the open range and milk. The milk was run through a hand-operated separator, and the milk fed to the pigs. The cream was churned and hand printed in the butter mould, hauled to St. Paul, as were the pigs and grains until the coming to Elk Point of the railroad. There was no electricity to run fridges to keep meat and other perishables so meat, home-grown vegetables, hand picked wild berries, plus very expensive imported fruit were all canned by the hundreds of quarts. Eggs were sold or traded at the local stores.

As there was no suitable school near, Lois, now a teenager, left to go to friends in Detroit for high school. She entered a convent and became a nun.

Leo finished loading the first car of wheat on the first train OUT of Elk Point.

Our first car was a 1927 model T. Ford; that was replaced by a model 1928; then by the new model A-1929 -with self starter and that car ran for twenty-two years.

For a few years Oscar Holthe and Leo were joint owners of a threshing machine . . . the crew being made up of willing neighbors who were each threshed in turn. Then came the era of Ramsbottom and Caskey custom threshing with hired crews, no cook or bunk house, so the farm women fed sixteen men five times a day. By this time our horses numbered over twenty. Our first tractor was a second-hand Massey Harris, as no new tractors were available; but on Leo's 55th birthday he proudly drove home a new Massey 44. Our combine was one of the first in the neighborhood -- and that meant a disposal sale of Leo's loved horses.

Leo died in 1959. It is regrettable that he did not live to drive over the pavement on the highway past his home. Under this a four-foot wall of stone is hidden - stones picked by hand from the adjacent field!

The transition of 1910 when sixteen relatives shared Christmas in an eighteen by twenty foot log house is impossible for the great grandchildren to visualize.

Leo Babcock's homestead home built by Helge Hesselgren.

Leo and Elsie Babcock, 1944 married 25 years.

In 1943 Gladys and Ronald Flanders were married. They have two girls and a boy. Larry and Donna Holliday were married in 1957. They have two boys and two girls. In 1960 Leon married Evelyn Green. They have two girls and a boy. Joyce and Elsie live in Elk Point.

Leon and Larry have the same birthday, fourteen years apart. They farm N.W. 7-57-6, which is one of the few homesteads lived-on and farmed-by the descendants of the original homesteader.

THE FAMILY 1947

LEFT TO RIGHT: Elsie, Joyce, Leo, Larry. Leon.

REAR: Ronald Flanders, Gladys (Babcock) Flanders