Retter Farm in the Late Russell Retter Era

Author: Retter Hofbesitzer / Labels: ,

Russell Retter was about 61 when the aerial photo was taken. He lived another seven years, dying at age 68. He was preceded in death by Jeannette (Nettie) Romania Eickhoff Retter on November 17, 1956. Son Kenneth Eugene died at childbirth on July 12, 1919. Daughter Carrie Catherine passed in 1998. Daughter Pauline Lavina Retter Myers, my mother, died on October 24, 2008. She, along with father Leroy John Myers, had been the caretakers of the farm since Russell passed away on April 1, 1957. Russell was born in the farmhouse as was each of his 3 daughters and infant son.

Animals on the farm in the 1950s included Shropshire sheep (for wool), Jersey/Guernsey dairy cattle (for personal milk consumption, butter and cooking), an occasional beef cattle or hog (for butchering), Muscovy ducks (for fun, I think, as much as anything else), chickens (for eggs and the occasional stewpot), Guinea hens and a couple of bridle horses for Pat and Roy. Russell kept several beehives for honey and for crop pollination. There was an orchard with apples, cherries, plums and pears. The farmhouse itself was adequately served by a 3-hole outhouse (Mom, Pop, child) until Russell and Nettie could no longer make the late night journeys that became necessary as they aged into their 60s.

After WWII Russell gave each of the 3 daughters and their husbands one acre from the farm on which to build a home. Thus we had Aunt Carrie and Uncle Joe Marshall and their 3 children, Joann, Penny and Bill on the southeast corner; Pat and Roy Myers and son Dennis in the middle; Aunt Midge and Uncle Bob Jenkins on the northeast corner; and Russell and Nettie in the 1820s farmhouse as the caretakers of the Retter Farm.   This was the composition of the farm from the late 1940s through most of the 1950s.