March 2020

March 3, 2020

Welcome \ Introductions: 

Bob kicked off our meeting.  

Meeting Place: Gilbert High School

Secretary Report: was read and approved. 

Treasurer Report: $3,085 plus some change.  No calendar bill at this time.  

Old Business: 

Presenters for 2020 are needed.  In April will be the FFA students and a tour of the addition. We have someone for May, but need something for June onward. 

Pay your Dues for 2020, only around ½ the people have paid so far this year.  Tonight, would be great night to pay.   

Since he forgot last month, Bob has the same assignment again. Bob will contact Steve Hanson to confirm the Ace Hardware date.

New Business:   

Summer Schedule on back of Agenda was discussed. 

Don will call and confirm our Scandinavian Days Parade attendance. 

Gathering of the Green will be in Davenport March 18-21.  

Farmall land USA in Avoca will close and sell out starting Sept. 26th of 2020.  This might be a good idea for a summer road trip. 

Annual GTC Ride, Gilbert HS, July 25th has been confirmed and we’ll end up in Story City at Pizza Ranch.  

Gilbert Family Fest date was confirmed.  We’ll have the normal tractor display. Will there be ice cream? Roger and Don are out of town that weekend, due to a tractor ride which they’ll be attending.  Carlson brothers have done it before, maybe someone could contact them.   

Auction or Threshing events: none 

For sale or wish list: Flyers on the front table for various John Deere items.  


Presentation: by Ron Jabaay

Ron has worked as a volunteer at Living History Farm.   His tractor collection consists of a single 620 John Deere.  He’s taken it out for the Gilbert tractor ride and it’s in the calendar this year.   In 2001 work brought him to Iowa, after growing up in Ind. He grew up on grain and livestock farm.  His dad sold out when he was in college. On the farm they had a 1958 620. He decided he’d find one and that’s how he came to own his collection of one. 

As a volunteer at Living History Farm he’s worked in various areas.  We learned about using a pie pan above a ham hung to cure. The pie pan would prevent mice from going down the rope to eat the ham.  

Ron drove oxen and draft horses on the farm.  They would pull various implements.

Ron’s wife is the supervisor of the Flynn home.   She has a degree in history and working at Living History was the first time she was able to put her degree to work.  

Ron then spoke about the Flynn barn established in 1871.  Martin and his wife Ellen started by buying land in Walnut Township. They started with 600 acres in 1867 and purchased up to 1500 acres by 1875.  They developed a very successful short horn breeding operation on the property they named The Walnut Hill Farm.   Ron spoke about different statistics about the breed. They originated from Martin’s homeland, Ireland and Scotland.   

The Flynn house was built in 1875.  Martin Flynn’s farm became part the Living History Farm.  They also had a dairy operation. Flynn Dairy of Des Moines was part of their family business, in addition to the breeding operation.  The former Roberts Dairy plant was built in 1954 by Flynn Dairy.  

The Martin farm was sold in 1915 to the state of Iowa and became the home of the Clive Honor Farm, a low-security prison farm.  Later it was sold by a developer and became Living History Farms. 

Gene Upstill also noted Dr. William G. Murray, an agricultural economist from Iowa State University founded the Living History Farm organization, which opened to the public in 1970. Dr. Murray’s wanted a place where history lived and people could interact with the past.

Recorded by: Marlene Youde – Secretary