Fifty years ago last Tuesday Mr. Kutz arrived in Sac County and Mrs. Kutz came two years later.
Mr. Kutz came here from Ft. Atkinson, Wis. A friend, Ned Madison, also residing in Wisconsin, advised Mr. Kutz to move to Sac County, where the former had bought land two years before. Mr. Kutz bought 80 acres in Section 2, Clinton township, paying $10.00 an acre. The owner of the land could not make his payments and sold to Mr. Kutz.
The family lived on this eighty for about six years, after which they sold to Dave Anglum and George Millington. Each bought half of the farm at $31 an acre.
Mr. Kutz had very little money to start with, and lumber, machinery, and improvements were hard to get. Fifty dollars would not go far in building, even fifty years ago, However, Mr. Kutz made a trip to Storm Lake and interviewed a Mr. Horace Simpson, who was operating a lumber yard. He told Mr. Kutz to go ahead and get what lumber he needed to build his house. He hauled the lumber home and hired John Boon, a carpenter, to do the building. This carpenter was also a farmer and Mr. Kutz paid him in labor, such as binding on a Marsh Harvester and stacking grain.
The house was built early in the spring, and the family moved into it early in March, before any doors or windows were in place. A severe storm about the middle of March caused the family some difficulty to keep from freezing.
Before selling the eighty Mr. Kutz, and his Wisconsin friend, had bought 240 acres in section 35 and 36 in Boyer Valley township. For most of this tract they paid $3 an acre, although a part cost $7 per acre. Later Mr. Kutz bought out his partner, paying $9.00 an acre for his interest. This left Mr. Kutz sole owner of 240 acres and three years later he bought another quarter section, a total of 400 acres, which he still owns.
Many years ago, when going to Sac City to have some wheat ground, he crossed Indian Creek when the water was so high, that in order to keep the wheat dry, boards were placed across the top of the wagon box and the sacks of wheat placed on these boards. At another time he got stuck just outside the city limits and was forced to take the wagon apart and carry it out a piece at a time.
The first hogs sold from this farm were sold in Wall Lake for $1.90 a hundred. Eggs were as low one year as two cents a dozen. But Mr. Kutz says it was a happy life even if they did have to go to a 4th of July celebration in a lumber wagon and take along their lunch.
Wild geese and brant were plentiful. The settlers had as many as they wanted to eat as they would often come close to the house. Mr. Kutz had a sod chicken house and often in the morning they would see a wolf near it. Now and then they shot a deer and this helped out in the meat line to some extent. Judge Criss owned the mill then located at Sac City on the Raccoon river.
While on the home farm Mr. Kutz for a while, milked thirty cows. This was when the creamery was in the operation on the Barnt farm, which was not so very far from where Mr. Kutz lived.
Mr. Kutz has raised a family of five girls and one boy. They are: Fred Kutz, who lives 10 miles north of Odebolt, Mrs. Daisy Hotchkiss, of Odebolt, Mrs. Walter Thau of Sac City, Mrs. Will Hasch of Sac City, Mrs. August Hanson of Wall Lake, and Mrs. Ben Hasch of Clinton township.
Twenty-seven years ago Mr. Kutz bought 17 acres of land one mile north-east of Odebolt and moved onto it. He paid $2100, but six or seven years ago sold it for $7,000. Soon after that he bought a house on North Main street, where the family have since resided. The garden keeps this fine old couple out of mischief, and the day we visited their home, 35 young chickens were cheeping near the kitchen range.
Mr. and Mrs. Kutz keep an automobile and when the roads are in condition are able to visit all of their children if they so desire.
It is with pleasure that the Chronicle is permitted to chronicle the biography of this worthy couple--success to them in their journey through life!
transcribed by B. Ekse from microfilm