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A Life Of Farming: Walt Clow


Bruce Ash


Walt Clow grew up on a farm a mile west of Humboldt, Minnesota. He was the son of William and Bessie Clow. However, Walt wasn't the onlychild. He had a brother named George who was eight years older than hewas. Dave Johnston, a cousin of Walt and his own age, also grew up withthem. Since Dave's father died from being electrocuted and his mother diedof natural causes, the Clows raised Dave.

Every morning, Walt would have to walk to school insteadof riding a bus like we do now. Walt started the first grade the firstyear the Humboldt School started. The school at that time had only twoteachers. One teacher taught the first, second, third, and fourth grades. The other taught the fifth, sixth, seventh, and eighth grades. However,Walt only finished through the eighth grade because he would have had tohave gone to Pembina, Hallock, or Crookston to finish high school. He alsowas need to help around the farm.

On his father's farm there were many animals. THere werehorses, cows, pigs, pigeons, and even a goat.

Walt still remembers their first car which they boughtin 1923. It was an old Model T Ford.

On September 28, 1925, he was married to Inez Babcock,a graduate of Humboldt who had moved from southern Minnesota. They weremarried in Hallock and after that Inez spent a few years as a teacher. She taught at a country school once by Kennedy and also at Caribou.

Walt worked at many different jobs so he could earn enoughmoney to buy a farm. He once worked at the Hill Farm which is on the outskirtsof Northcote. He also worked at a Cadillac plant in Detroit, Michinganwhere he took inventory. He also worked at a packing plant in Kansas wheremeat was packed.

He then bought a farm west of Humboldt in 1919. He servedon the school board of North Hill Township for two terms.

Also, in that same year, he moved to Humboldt. It wasmuch smaller then than it was when he was a boy. Humboldt wasn't much largerin size in the early days, nor did it have more people, than it did in 1957,but it had many more business places. It consisted of two stores, fiveelevators, a livery barn, hotel, two restaurants, a barber shop, a bank,lumber yard, two garages, two implement buildings, and one church.

Walt has also witnessed many storms in the times of hislife. One of the worst snow storms occurred in March of 1941. This stormtook many lives in Crookston and also took two lives in Pembina. He recallsthat the storm came very suddenly. It struck about seven o'clock. Thefunny thing about the storm was that it was a beautiful day until it hit. He still remembers a tornado in 1937 during the Hallock Fair. It was ahot morning on the day the tornado struck. It blew the shed doors off theirframe and blew down neighbor's barns and even lifted their house. Waltalso remembers some of the bad floods in 1936, 1948, and 1950.

Walt Clow has been a farmer all his life. He has farmedin the days of plows pulled by teams of horses and now in the times of hugepower machinery. Walt has enjoyed farming since he was a boy and stilldoes as a man.



Clow, Inez, Interview, January 20, February 3, 1973

Clow, Walter, Interview, January 20, February 3, 1973

E=+1>Clow, Walter, Interview, January 20, February 3, 1973