Mattsons Honored for Century Farm

By

Margie Holmgren
Kittson County Enterprise
31 July 1996

Earl Mattson, thanks to his wife, Lynn, received Century Farm recognition at the Kittson County Fair this year. Mattson's farm, near Kennedy, has been in the family for 100 years.

Lynn took it upon herself to finish the paperwork that had been started by Glen, Earl's father, before he died.

Lynn knew how important the farm was to Glen and how proud he was that it had been in the family for so many years.

The farm, which started out as a quarter of land - 160 acres, cost Earl's great-grandfather, Martin, $7.68.

Martin came to Kennedy at the age of 12 and worked for the Fort Farm in Skane Township.

One year later, in 1881, his parents, Magnus and Ingrid; his brother, August; and sisters, Carrie and Betsie, moved to Kennedy as well.

Martin farmed with his father, who lived in Svea Township on the present Ronald Larson farm.

The land Martin purchased and homesteaded in 1896 was adjoining his father's. That same year, Martin married Charlotta Nyberg and they had three sons, Elof, Lenus and Arnold.

Martin farmed until 1921 when he moved into Kennedy and left the farm to Elof. Since times were tough, Martin was forced to return to farming. He died in 1955.

Elof stayed on the farm and in 1925 was married to Esther Stromgren. They had one son, Glen.

Glen took over the farm in 1961, where he and his wife, Verna Pready, continued to farm. Like his father and grandfather, Glen, had the help of his two children, Earl and Kay, along with his wife on the farm.

For Glen, farming was as much recreation as vocation, he enjoyed his work immensely. He was usually satisfied with a piece of equipment as long as it worked, he didn't need the newest or the best.

Lynn recalls talking to Glen about his proudest moments in farming.

"When he bought his 'little toys,' that's what he called his tractors or trucks, that was what he was proud of' Lynn said.

Earl said he remembers his father being proud of the fact that he could pay cash for his equipment, like the bigger farmers.

The farm now consists of about 240 acres, but its value has more than just a dollar amount to it.

It's the farm that was built out of many years of hard work by Martin, Glen, and now, Earl. Hard work, not just by the men in the family, instead it has involved every family member.

Earl works for Harvey Blomquist, a farmer near Kennedy, so has to find extra time and help to work his own land.

"It gets to be a lot of work when I work at Harvey's and then come home and work my own farm," Earl commented.

Earl recruits the help of his wife, his sister, Kay; and his step-mother, Lue. "Everybody helps me out," he says.

"It's one of the smaller farms around," Earl says, but the size isn't the issue. It's the value of the time and effort spent by the Mattson families through the years.

A hundred years after buying a piece of land for $7.68, the Mattson farm has grown to be more than just a dollar amount, it is an investment in the Mattson family heritage.