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My Grandpa

John Irwin Folland


Isaac Folland


6th Grade 1997, Tri-County School, Karlstad,Minnesota


My grandpa John was born on September 28, 1919 on his farm5 miles east of Halma, Minnesota. The house was pretty small with 4 rooms:2 bedrooms, a living room and a kitchen. In their family they had 9 people:his dad Isaac, his mom Annie, his three brothers Lee, Art, and Harold, andhis three sisters Alice, Agnes, and Mildred. There was also a big barnon the farm that the cows were in.

Grandpa remembers his first day of school at the Websterschool in Pelan Township. He had gotten a new pair of shoes and he gotblisters from them because he had to walk 1.5 miles to school. Most ofthe time they used the buggy with the horses in the fall and spring andin the winter they used the toboggan with the horses. Also, in the winter,riding on the toboggan, his feet would get so cold he couldn't tell whetherhe had feet or not.

Grandpa went to the country school for 8 years. Insteadof going to high school, his parents wanted him to go to college at theNorthwest School of Agriculture in Crookston and they wanted him to be afarmer.

For fun in the winter they had a straw pile that they wouldski and slide down. He and his brothers would like to build forts. Onetime, he told me they had dug a fort underground in the dirt but, of course,it got wet and caved in, and so they built another fort in the trees thistime and some of the boards are still there.

The chores he and his brothers had to do were to keep thehouse warm and carry in wood for the kitchen stove, and switch straw inthe barn and clean the gutters and feed and milk the cows. As he got older,every day he had to haul hay and clean the barn. When Grandpa was 16, theymoved to a new farm a mile west.

After school in Crookston, he farmed for a couple of yearswith his dad. In 1942, Grandpa enlisted in the Navy in World War II. Hechose the Navy because he would have a bed to sleep in instead of in thearmy where you would dig fox holes and sleep there. So, he went in thenavy and was assigned to a ship that was being built in the PhiladelphiaNaval Yard. In two months it was ready and they moved aboard and that washome for the next 3 years. The ship he was on was the USS Warren, whichwas an attack transport. His ship carried boats, and guns and everythingthat was needed to go ashore under fire from the enemy. They made 7 invasionson the islands of Pelelu, Marshall, Funafuti, and the Guadal Canal Islands. While they were invading, they had some close calls from both airplanesand submarines. Grandpa says he wouldn't want to go through that againbut he came back in good shape.

Grandpa came back to the farm and said his dreams turnedto women and the future. He said he had lots of girlfriends but GrandmaRuth seemed to be the one with the most sense. They were married in thespring of 1949. They bought the farm from his dad and have lived and farmedthere for 47 years. During his farming years, grandpa raised grain, 30dairy cattle, and had 15 beef cattle. Some winters when my dad was smallgrandpa would work at a logging camp by Williams, Minnesota. He would staythere for a month at a time.

In 1982, my Grandpa retired from farming and my dad tookover the operation. Now Grandpa works for dad on the farm. He says hegets to have the fun of farming without the worrying about paying the bills.

Besides my dad, Mike, my Grandpa and Grandma have 2 daughters,Jeanne and Marilyn, and another son, Jan.

In August of 1989, my dad converted the barn on Grandpa'sold farm into our cabin. We have had lots of dinners there and Grandpaand Grandma really enjoy being out there. My Grandpa and I had a picturetaken in front of his old house.

Grandpa to me is the best card player I know. He knowslots of card tricks, and he taught most of them to me. I hope when I retirethat I am like him because he knows about everything about farming and machinery. I think I am lucky to have such a great, loving, and caring grandpa. Ithink no one in the world could replace him. I love my grandpa and he lovesme. I am named after him and his dad.

I got this information from my Grandpa Johnny.


I got this information from my Grandpa Johnny.