Obermollers moved horses, equipment via train from Nebraska to MinnesotaBREWSTER — Ronald Obermoller isn’t sure how his ancestors ended up in rural Brewster. “They came up from Fremont, Neb.,” he explained. “Why here? I have never heard a reason why here.”
By: Aaron Hagen, Worthington Daily Globe
BREWSTER — Ronald Obermoller isn’t sure how his ancestors ended up in rural Brewster.
“They came up from Fremont, Neb.,” he explained. “Why here? I have never heard a reason why here.”
But 100 years ago, the Obermollers bought a farm in Ewington Township in Jackson County.
“My dad talks about them moving up,” Obermoller said. “Apparently they must have been pretty big farmers in Nebraska.”
The Obermollers originally came from Germany.
Peter Obermoller, who is Ronald’s great grandfather, was the original owner of the farm.
He bought it Feb. 29, 1912 from the Smith family.
“They bought it from a Smith, I know that because they came back and looked at the farm a few years ago,” Ronald said. “Apparently he went to town and sold the farm and she was mad when he came home and told her.”
Ludwig and Wilhelmina Obermoller took ownership of the farm on March 4, 1935 and owned it until Sept. 16, 1992.
Alvin Obermoller owned the farm for a couple of months before Ronald and Karen took ownership on Nov. 2, 1992.
“It more or less just passed through to me,” Ronald said. “I already bought the acreage a number of years before that. At that point, it was just putting the farm back together is what it amounted to.”
There is 160 acres on the century farm.
“We just a lived a mile and a quarter away,” Ronald said. “I guess I remember the farm was kind of known and unique because all the roofs were green. The house, barn and grainary, for whatever reason.
“The earliest memory I have is the green roofs.”
Ronald first moved to the farm in the early 60s.
“They had the house, dairy barns, a couple of chicken barns, a couple of hog barns and an old machine shed,” he said. “We had stock cows here at one time. We raised a lot of chickens at the time. There were no hogs at the time. We had a cow/calf operation, a stock cow herd and chickens. I figured out later there was more money is raising hogs than there was cattle. I always enjoyed the calving of the cattle and the farrowing of the pigs. That’s kind of what I’ve always enjoyed. As you get older you decide you can’t do all that work.”
The house Ronald and Karen live in now was built in 1942.
“We remodeled in the early ’90s,” Karen said. “We had a wind storm go through in the late ’70s and that took a lot of the old buildings.”
“That kind of cleaned the farm out for us,” Ronald said. “The buildings were old; they don’t last forever.”
Ronald does remember an old shed on the farm.
“What we had was an old cob shed out here,” he said.
The Obermollers decided to pursue century farm status for many reasons. Mostly because of Alvin, Ronald’s father.
“He’s been looking through the records for a couple years,” Ronald said. “When they moved from Fremont, they moved to his farm, which is over here a mile away. He can’t find any records. He’s sure they came up in 1910 and they bought this farm two years later. But he can’t find any records that tell him they owned the farm until 1913 or 1914. His farm is older than this one, but this one we have the records for. Its’ kind of neat. It’s something to celebrate, I guess.”
The Obermollers might actually have another century farm. However, the documentation doesn’t go back quite far enough.
“They owned that farm and bought this I think for the kids after they were up here a couple years,” Ronald said. “There were another couple of 80s they bought, so really there are three of them that are century farms. But this is the only one we really have the records for.
With the history of the farm dating back 100 years, the Obermollers are now passing it down to their children, Melissa and Jonathan.
“It’s probably gotten our kids interested in it too because they looked through the deeds and so on and asked questions,” Karen said. “They got more interested in their ancestors.”
And Ronald has learned as well.
“It’s interesting,” he said. “But it’s tough to put together. I learned a little bit about my great, great grandfather, but that was more by accident than doing the century farm.”
The family is still looking at ways to honor the farm.
“ We just got the sign the other day from the Farm Bureau,” Karen said. “Somebody was talking about someone who carves rocks or something, so we’re thinking about that. We just haven’t gotten it done yet.”
After countless years, Ronald is still actively farming — and plans to for years to come.
“I enjoy it,” he said. “I don’t have to answer to somebody else. If I make a mistake, I pay the consequences. If I do a good job, I reap the rewards.
“I’m still enjoying myself. I don’t do the GPS in the tractors and stuff. I enjoy driving them. If I didn’t want to drive the tractors, why would I farm? I enjoy farming and enjoy being outside. I enjoy the challenges.
“I really never considered anything else. Luckily, I wasn’t forced into doing other things.”